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Timely GPO Payment Comes With Accurate Documentation
Private sector printers achieve best results in developing the United States Government Printing Office (GPO) as a secondary market with the guidance of government print management experts.
Working successfully with GPO requires GPO experience. That is where government print management experts can make the difference for printers seeking GPO work. Government print management experts at GPO bid services can assist with specification interpretation, proposal preparation, bidding process management, assistance through the production process, change order negotiation, invoice preparation and collection.
To simplify the process, avoid confusion and accurately communicate with GPO, Snider said Government Print Management has created the GPO Invoicing Detail Spreadsheet. This is a standardized document that itemizes essential work specifications and is programmed so when a price, quantity or other change is made the calculation occurs automatically. Not only does this streamline GPO invoicing, it reduces mistakes and makes sure the print supplier is submitting an invoice that will be acceptable to GPO.
This is especially important when managing multi-year GPO print contracts. During the course of the work, GPO may have specification changes such as with the type of paper to be used. There also can be economic price adjustments. All changes must be acknowledged by the print supplier or risk having problems with the contract and/or payment of the contract.
GPO print supplier finance departments must comply with GPO invoicing protocols and must not use any other protocol. If invoicing is submitted that is not the way GPO wants it done, then there will be no GPO payment. It can become a dilemma caused by corporate bureaucracy vs. government bureaucracy. Governmental policies and procedures will trump corporate policies and procedures because GPO is the client.
Citing an example, Snider said a GPO order was placed with the winning bidder for a supply of standard envelopes and, in the same order, a supply of business reply envelopes. Two similar but different envelopes were specified in one order. Because the print supplier's finance department saw the two types of envelopes as two separate orders, GPO was sent two bills. This is called split billing when two bills are sent for one order, and GPO will reject a split bill.
Sometimes internal finance may not understand how invoices are to be submitted to GPO. "We once had a client who wanted to fax a 300 page invoice to GPO," Snider said. "We reviewed their documentation and were able to reduce the invoice to 34 pages, fax it to GPO and get a timely payment for our client. No problems. Had 300 pages been sent to GPO, there would have been an unnecessary payment delay."
When it comes to actual payment, most print suppliers offer GPO a discount between 1/10 of 1% and 5% so they will get paid within 21 days after submission of an invoice. GPO begins counting from the time it receives a correct invoice, not from when the supplier's invoice is dated. The invoice must be correct if payment is to be received within 21 days. If the invoice is not correct, payment will be delayed considerably. Should there be a disagreement between the supplier and GPO about an invoice, print management experts can step in with representational services.
Knowing how to navigate through GPO rules and regulations will determine how successful a print supplier will be in winning federal government print jobs. Going it alone, without assistance from experienced print management experts, may result in more than delayed payments or even no payments. Snider cautioned against creating a negative first impression with GPO: "That would hurt your chances for future work in what is a profitable secondary market for printers that consistently bid on and win GPO jobs."
About e-LYNXX Corporation
e-LYNXX Corporation patented the technology integral to e-commerce. Endorsed by Educational & Institutional Cooperative Purchasing (E&I) and Printing Industries of America (PIA), e-LYNXX drives results through its three divisions. ● AVS TechnologyTM licenses the patented* automated vendor selection procedure used in e-commerce and procurement systems. ● American Print Management provides web-based system, services and patented AVS TechnologyTM to reduce substantially the procured costs of direct mail, marketing, publications, packaging, labels and other procured print. ● Government Print Management offers effective U.S. GPO bid services and strategies. www.e-
*U. S. Patent No. 6,397,197, Patent No. 7,451,106, post-Bilski Patent No. 7,788,143, and Continuing Application 12/855,423 (collectively, the AVS TechnologyTM)