Again, three quotations were obtained from pre-selected printers. The company which printed MSTG 1 was not asked to quote, due to the poor quality and long delays experienced in a subsequent print job awarded to them. The contract was awarded to the company giving the cheapest quotation which was able to comply with the stated specifications and requirements.
The company awarded the contract was able to print 9,000 copies of MSTG 2 for USD 1.45 each. This was an extremely favourable price being almost identical to that of MSTG 1 for a publication approximately 85% larger and having a better quality cover printed in colour. This special price was obtained after extensive negotiations and was partly possible due to the combined award of this work together with another, larger, print job, for the Malawi Prescriber’s Companion (MPC).
The cost of printing was partly funded (approximately 1/3 of the costs) by the National AIDS Control Programme as the MSTG 2 contained a greatly improved and much more extensive section on the treatment of clinical presentations in HIV and AIDS patients.
The camera-ready MSTG 2 was delivered to the printers in July 1993. A full galley proof was produced and found to be exactly as required. The printer was given the final approval in late July to proceed with printing and the first batch of 2,000 copies was delivered towards the end of August. However, it was not until mid-October that the last of a series of batches was delivered. Printing had been estimated (as a verbal promise) to take approximately one month but eventually took nearly three months due to pressure of unexpected urgent additional work accepted by the print company. This meant that distribution of the MSTG, and the start of the planned introductory workshops, had to be delayed.
In order to ensure that the printer produces the document exactly as and when required, it is advisable for all specifications to be detailed in a written contract
This should include:
the full name and address of the client;
the number of copies required;
the agreed cost;
the type of print process to be employed, e.g. offset litho;
the type and weight of paper to be used for the cover and the inside pages;
the type of binding;
specification of any colours to be used;
the date of delivery of the completed job, or in case of batch deliveries, the number of copies to be delivered and the date of delivery of each batch;
the timing and method of payment.
The quality of the final product was excellent and a significant improvement on MSTG 1, largely due to the attractive cover and greatly improved layout and presentation of information.