How to Deal with Problems at Your Printer
That said, if the printer points the finger at your organization, don't accept responsibility until you have thoroughly researched the matter.
Once the problems have been identified, define the minimum acceptable corrective measures, regardless of who is at fault or who will pay for it. This enables consistent negotiations, while swiftly resolving the problems.
For example, don't press the printer to reprint the cover of a book unless you're willing to absorb the cost, because it might turn out that your organization caused the errors.
If you open the negotiations by demanding a reprint, it can be embarrassing at best if it's later discovered that a bug in your files was missed during proofing. If you adopt a strong position before all the facts are in, it can damage your professional relationship.
Likewise, how the printer manages conflict resolution indicates how much they value your business and are willing to invest in the relationship.
Different problems require different resolutions. These range from a complete reprinting of a book, to an open discussion with the printer and your design staff regarding how things could have been handled differently.
The approach has to be determined by how the product will be used, and the problem's severity. The tolerances for a case-bound four-color coffee table book are far less flexible than those applied to a black & white instruction manual.
Further, the printers tasked with producing these radically different products should have been chosen based on their core competencies and proven experience, not on cost and delivery alone.
How editorial integrity, customer perception, and sales will be affected should also be considered when attempting to resolve a production problem. Before kicking off negotiations, define what the ideal outcome should be, keeping your minimum acceptable resolution in mind.