Saturday, January 28, 2012

Reprographers, how do you compete with “free” ???

In the recent Survey of Reprographers conducted by Reprographics 101, we asked several questions about e-planroom services.

According to the “survey results”…..

39 out of 44 Reprographers indicated that they offer e-planroom services.

29 out of 44 Reprographers indicated that they believe that offering an e-planroom service is essential to their business and to their customers.

16 Reprographers indicated that they “charge” for e-planroom services.

Only 3 Reprographers indicated that they “give away” e-planroom services (i.e., for free) in return for the opportunity to print.

23 Reprographers indicated that they do both – charge for e-planroom services and provide e-planroom services for free

20 Reprographers indicated that they either don’t make a profit on e-planroom services or they don’t know if they do or not.

In the survey, we also asked a question about “threats/risks” to Reprographers, and a couple of survey participants indicated that “Blue Book” is a threat/risk. So, I decided to look up Blue Book, and found that BB offers a “free”, evidently fully-supported e-planroom service. I would imagine that BB targets contractors for this free e-planroom service.

Here’s some information about Blue Book’s free e-planroom service:

Delivering Your Project Documents Quickly, 
Securely and Free!

How It Works…

The BB-Bid Private Online Plan Room is an easy and secure way to share project documents with the vendors you choose at no charge. Because the BB-Bid Private Online Plan Room is hosted by The Blue Book, there’s no need to worry about acquiring the right technology or purchasing a dedicated server.

The BB-Bid Private Online Plan Room is fast becoming the most actively used private plan room in the industry. Over 200 Blue Book Construction Professionals nationwide and an internal team of Support Specialists are educating local contractors and suppliers - every day - to help simplify their workflow with cost-saving online tools like the BB-Bid Private Online Plan Room.

How You Benefit…

BB-Bid can simplify your bidding process and help you save time and money distributing your project documents by providing:

Control and Security

One location for your plans puts you in control of document revisions

Access to your project documents is through private invitation only

Reporting feature lets you track Plan Room activity

Functionality and Support

You can deliver documents directly from your desktop with SyncWare, The Blue Book's new, free desktop application, as well as via FTP, email or on CD

The Blue Book will convert any file format to the industry standard PDF

The Blue Book staff will name and index the files based on the title block

Takeoff and Markup

You and your vendors have access to Vu360, The Blue Book's new, free viewer with complete web browsing capability

Invited vendors can take measurements and markup documents online

You can easily share markups and respond to RFIs


Two New Tools to Help Manage Your Project Documents...


– A free software application that works directly with the BB-Bid Private Online Plan Room. SyncWare enables you to upload, share and control your documents right from your desktop


– The Blue Book’s own free viewer is now integrated within the BB-Bid Private Online Plan Room. This allows your invited vendors to take measurements and markup documents online, while enabling you to share markups easily with your project team.

How To Get Started…

Just fill out the information below and a Blue Book Product Support Specialist will contact you as soon as possible to provide a brief walk-through of this service. Or call 888-303-2243 to speak with a Specialist today!

1 comment:

  1. Received from someone who okayed me to post his comment:

    "I have gotten some feedback from the smaller GC’s this would appeal to and the issue is that there are a TON of ads is what I am told. The subs also hate it because of the same. A number of years ago BB mailed all GC’s in our area a form letter stating their online planroom was free and all plan printing was a flat $0.11/sqft. They had (not sure if they still do) a partnership with PlanEx for printing of the plans.

    No local companies used it then and I don’t believe any around here use them now…perhaps because iSqft is so huge here."