Monday, August 23, 2010

Requesting Input from Reprographers !!! (Downloading files from PlanRooms)

Associates of mine in Europe are interesting in finding out how U.S. reprographers are dealing with the issue of "file downloads".

When the first reprographer-operated Internet PlanRooms began showing up in the U.S., most, if not all, did not permit (or, perhaps better put, did not enable) "file downloads." They offered "file viewing" and "print-ordering." Today, some reprographers, but certainly not all, operate PlanRooms that do enable file downloads in addition to file viewing and print-ordering.

Questions for the reprographer community:

- - What percent of U.S. reprographers do YOU think are now permitting "file downloads" from their Internet PlanRooms?

- - Of the U.S. reprographers who are permitting file downloads, what percent of U.S. reprographers who do so do YOU think are permitting file downloads "for free"? (in other words, for a price of $.00 per file download)

- - Of the U.S. reprographers who are charging for file downloads, what do YOU think is the current range of prices for file downloads? (In other words, from a high of $x.xx per file to a low of $y.yy per file).

Kindly either a) post your response as a comment to this post or b) send me an email at

Thank you.


  1. .50 cents per page for file downloads used to be a good price point before the economy went downhill. Now we dont even get planroom postings....GC's just send mass emails with there links to download to the subs who might want to bid. The reprographer is getting cut out of the planroom market also.

  2. To anonymous,
    If your GC is just sending mass emails, how are they tracking who is bidding and who is not? What happens when a sub comes to the table with an inaccurate number because he wasn't notified or aware of an addenda? Show the value of your service.
    Sorry Joel for not answering your question!

  3. Please expand on you our answer a little more, I am curious. As of right now we have not one job posting on our planroom. All of the gc's we have dealt with in the past have there estimator's send files to a list of subs for bids...then they wait for replies....No cost to them.No printing for us. How can we make them use us...what can we sell them on???? What value can we provide that we can profit on.

  4. GC's are a direct competitors of reprographers, some have their owm FTP site to enable their subs for download the files, of course they only allowed them to download files that are for bid, if and addenda comes up, they post it and send massive email to subs alerting them of the addenda,but, FTP don't really have a way to track who downloads files or who will be bidding, then there is the liability issue for GC's that want to save some buck, and conducting bussines this way, there are several softwares that will track who orders and download files and have multifunctionalities enbedded, subhub, bidcaster, etc. downlaod files should be at least a buck per file, just much like itunes, but for sub's this info is not even worth a dollar and the industry it's been eroded by.

  5. I agree that digital files should come at price, but sales price of a hardcopy print has not incresed since the 1960's either.
    Reprographers are still bidding work @ $.032sqft.....that's right $.032 As long as that happens, you need to realize the GC/Architect is a partner, not a competitor. This business is still somewhat relationship driven, so finding someone who will listen to you is valuable. Sending out random email blast may be inexpensive but when bid dates are extended,and other issues arise, that will cost the GC/Arch more money in the long run. You get what you pay for and as appealling as free is, what accountability can happen with free?

  6. The reprographic industry is dying on the vine. All revenue streams that we could count on in years past have been drying up with the poor economy and new ways of doing business....which is to be as economical as possible. There is not a "value added service" we can provide anymore....everything we do must have an accompanying service fee.....and nobody wants to pay. All the extended services are nice (document scanning, large color, business printing ...etc) but our main business was construction document printing.....and we will never get that back to any respectable level.

  7. "GC's are a direct competitors of reprographers" actually this isn't correct...what has happened is the form of communication that we once fulfilled had been unequivocally replaced by various forms…of dare I say…new media because that’s really what it is…and really always has been…….we have done nothing for ourselves in proving our relevancy in this process…..and as a result….what I believe to be one of the more risk adverse industries, construction, has moved onward………in what is a very competitive marketplace…. they have formulated other methodologies….we have become a ‘novelty’ service in the process…