The pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) set out for printers hoping to gain some work from the Olympic Games weren't the easiest documents to complete.
That's the opinion of Roger Severn, the managing director of print agency Aquatint BSC. He told Printweek.com: "Just doing the paperwork side of things was four or five solid days of work."
In fact, such was the time-consuming aspect of the applications that Severn has been put off committing to any similar tenders in the future. The feeling may be the same among other small or medium-sized print firms, whether they specialise in large format or outdoor printing - especially given the pressure on their staff to remain productive.
In addition to the time required, completing a series of tender documents takes certain skills that not all staff members will have. According to Sidney Bobb, the chairman of the British Association of Print and Communication (BAPC), this is a big factor for smaller print businesses. "If you haven't had the experience of tendering before, which many SMEs haven't, then the process can be very daunting," he explained.
"These are sent out by people that work in an administrative way and they expected replies that were expert in that type of administration... Many smaller UK companies simply did not have the infrastructure - the tenders expertise - to apply for the Olympic tenders."
The article went on to say that unsurprisingly, any smaller printers receiving a 100-page tender document are likely to feel overwhelmed. Those who did take the plunge and were successful were forced to stick to "strict printing" policies, according to Graphicartsmag.com.
These were set out back in April and covered everything from acceptable paper usage to print quality.