Look inwards to your business –
could you save money on your print?
The last recession drove down prices for everyone, not least for print buyers. The pain to the print industry has been the buyer’s gain. According to the BPIF (Printer’s Industry Federation) there are around 5000 few printers now than at the turn of the millennium.
What’s Happened in the Print Industry?
Despite the recession and its huge oversupply of capacity, the number one factor impacting the print industry is the growth of the digital age encompassing new methods of print-free communication. The result, print simply had to become more competitive. All a benefit to you the consumer.
Print prices are therefore now bumbling along at the bottom, as low as they can get and you’re not likely to see any further direct savings. Printers are squeezed and unable to invest back in updating their technology, or training for the print specialists of tomorrow.
So Where Can You Save?
The next realisation of savings will have to come from within your business itself and the print process. Knowing your own business is absolutely key. Each aspect of the printing process, from design through to production, needs to be examined for mistakes and waste.
In order to bring about the most efficiency in your print costs you need to carefully consider all aspects of the business from requisition for print, through to placing an order, administration, handling, pricing, accounting, storage, dispatch and even disposal. These internal costs are where efficiency can make a difference.
Don’t let these costs fool you because they are hidden on the Profit and Loss Account. They might be hard to identify but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there and need addressing.
Let’s take a closer look.
Product Development is the internal process of setting up goals, specifying outcomes, understanding alternatives for the project. The size of this area will depend on the size of the business and the size of the project. By its very nature it is manpower-heavy, and as such can sap the business in terms of indirect costs.
It is not possible to entirely eliminate the cost of Product Development. However you can systematically plan, delegate, and monitor, in order to drive accountability and keep costs to a minimum.
The Graphic Design stage is when the product is brought to life. In order to reach the end goal of a high-quality brief-achieving product, the designs typically go through many iterations, each piling on the costs both financially and in terms of time. Knowledge and understanding of this stage is essential to prevent it becoming a Big Black Hole.
Whether your Graphic Design is in-house, subcontracted to a Printer or Print Management Company, or handed over to freelancers, there are pros and cons to be considered in terms of costs. In order to keep costs minimal here briefs need to be highly developed and explanatory with a clear understanding of objectives. A well trained, experienced designer with a good understanding and knowledge of the print process will help to drive down costs overall.
Order Processing and Stocking
Set-Up charges reflected in costs, for all suppliers, generally mean it’s tempting to buy a larger quantity of whatever you get printed.
However this can lead to wastage. It is essential to consider what is the most economical order-quantity for your business whilst also considering the costs of holding stock, handling and distribution.
Storage isn’t a non-cost. Printed material tends to be bulky and heavy, as well as having a shelf life. Recording quantities, mobilisation of stock, and storage all affect overall costs. Whilst you may consider that rents, utilities, etc., do not add additional cost, this argument is moot if space is at a premium.
Distribution costs are another area of hidden costs. They tend to be easily justifiable. As businesses our priorities are always to get the product from A to B in as safe and timely manner as possible. Cost therefore easily becomes the secondary consideration. These costs therefore need to be planned-for to prevent them from becoming monumental.
Experience has shown that distribution costs are possibly the most unpredictable costs associated with print. Work on better planning and predictions and you can lower costs.
Even the most efficient company will not be able to utilise 100% of their print matter. Stock redundancy is inevitable, times changes, businesses move on, and therefore disposal becomes an important consideration. Disposal of redundant stock can entail costs all of their own.
Unused printed matter can easily mount up. The result is that we must consider the cost of handling, moving, and disposing of it in the most cost effective manner.
Cutting Costs in Print, Becoming Market Competitive
By examining the areas detailed here we can begin to address driving down internal hidden business costs in order to retain to continue to benefit from the low printing prices, examinations that will increase competitiveness whilst maximising profitability. All wasted costs need to be eliminated if possible, or minimised as much as possible. It is a buyer’s market in the print industry but nonetheless further savings can be seen internally.
Printed media is specialised. It is targeted only for a certain application in its own unique market. It is a culmination of different materials and complex processes requiring multiple sourcing along with dealing with sub-contractors with different material and complex processes. This requires multi-sourcing as well as dealing with sub-contractors with different experiences, knowledge and skill sets.
If you can identify the hidden costs and challenge your business to minimising them, then the future of print savings are yours. Bring in a fresh pair of eyes and start scrutinising the whole business. Ultimately create plans that minimise waste whilst increasing the effectiveness of your print purchasing.
Evolution Print have 38+ years’ print experience matched with a small, dedicated and highly-skilled team. We are able to assist and advise business owners and managers by working alongside them to create cost efficiencies and greatest savings when buying print.
We start by understanding your print needs and current processes in order to provide you with the most appropriate suggestions to ultimately save you money on your print.
For more information, call Girish Naker on 0759 502 1301