Mastering budget management is essential in a time of limited resources and financial constraints. The insights shared here could be invaluable if a substantial part of your overhead budget is dedicated to print procurement.

Every business aims to optimise its expenses, and occasional errors can arise in pursuing that goal.

Have you ever wondered how to reduce print costs with minor compromises effectively? The answer to this question becomes particularly significant as buying print services can often be a considerable portion of your overhead.

Furthermore, print costs extend beyond a printer’s invoice. This article will provide actionable insights if you’re part of most businesses receiving competitive prices for their printing needs.

In the following discussion, we delve into methods that can help extend your print budget without compromising quality or service levels. These seven strategies offer avenues to maximise the value of your print spending:

1. Revising Budgets Regularly

Relying on a “last-year plus inflation” approach might no longer be sufficient in an environment with changing market dynamics. Uncertainties stemming from Brexit, rampant inflation pressures, a volatile exchange rate and the impact of high-interest rates make budgeting complicated.

Adopting zero-based budgeting at least once annually is beneficial, albeit requiring extra effort. The rewards, however, are likely to be substantial.

2. Evaluating Stocking Options

Stock management is a strategic choice with implications for ongoing production and waste prevention. A comprehensive analysis of stock levels should factor in costs related to storage, handling, economic order quantities (EOQ), and production lead times. Regularly reevaluate these decisions and consider alternatives like the ‘just-in-time’ approach to minimise risks and expenditures.

3. Optimise Printing Specifications

Routine print orders often stem from prior specifications. Reevaluate these specifications regularly for relevance and cost-effectiveness. Examining the “fit-for-purpose” principle can result in adjustments that deliver desired outcomes while reducing expenses. Regularly reviewing print specifications—preferably every six months—ensures alignment with evolving needs.

4. Bulking Up Orders

Larger print orders can translate into lower unit costs due to the significant fixed setup costs involved. Bundling multiple items—like conference materials—can also lead to cost savings. However, it’s essential to balance savings and compromises in this approach.

5. Print When Demand Is Low

A less commonly practised strategy involves scheduling print jobs during periods of low demand. During these lean periods, printers may offer discounts to secure business. Utilising a “Print Diary” to plan a year’s print supply and coordinating with your supplier can yield benefits without compromising timely availability.

6. Discounts

Leveraging discount schemes is a well-known method to reduce print costs. Volume-based discounts, retrospective volume discounts, and settlement discounts offer avenues to negotiate better rates for your print needs. Ensuring mutual benefits within these schemes allows both parties to thrive.

7. Using Specialist Printers and Print Managers

Engaging specialist printers enhances efficiency and offers potential savings. These experts possess industry-specific knowledge and skills, ensuring optimal results that save time and money.

Collaborating with an experienced print management team that champions best practises, quality, and response can yield an efficient solution for each project.

In summary, the benefits of these strategies can accumulate rapidly, driving substantial cost reductions. Significant savings can be secured by implementing these methods, combined with a nuanced understanding of processes and extensive experience.

The degree of savings is directly proportional to the level of transparency and fairness of your collaboration with your printer and print manager.

It is, therefore, essential to forge a robust and long-term relationship with your printer or print manager. A strong working relationship based on trust, transparency will always pay dividends. Remember, it’s that assistance that helps optimise your print expenditure.

At Evolution Print Management, we offer four decades of experience and industry knowledge to tailor the best solutions for your needs. Contact our dedicated team at 0330 010 2264 or via email to explore how we can help you maximise your print budget while saving you valuable time and resources. Let us be your trusted partner in budget optimisation.

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