Do you ever want to ask, how can I reduce my print cost with minimum compromise? This is understandable as a fair chunk of the overhead budget is buying print. Also, we all accept that there is a lot more cost of print than what you pay your printer. If you are like most businesses you are already getting a competitive price for all their printing,
In this article, I talk more about how the print budget can be extended without having to compromise on quality or on service levels. There are 7 simple ways in which you can maximize the money spend on your print.
1. Revising Budgets
It is more common to see a ‘last-year’ plus inflation as the spend on print. This type of budgeting works well where there are small changes in demand. In recent times, Brexit negotiations and the complications around has created uncertainty. Added to this, is the volatile exchange rate, which makes budgeting difficult.
The Print Industry fast contracting too. Under, these circumstances, it would be advisable to do zero based budgeting every year. This may increase the work somewhat, but the benefits will be significant.
2. Evaluating Stocking Options
Businesses adopt different strategies when it comes to stock. In an ongoing production environment, stock-out could be damaging. Small changes in legislation or a reduced demand can lead to stock becoming redundant and wasteful.
There are a number of different things to consider when it comes to stock levels. Storage costs, stock handling and movement, economic order quantities (e.o.q) and production lead times all have cost implications. Thus, it is imperative that the right decisions are taken. Also, regularly test the decision-making process to ensure that the decisions are apt and optimal. When changes are identified and implemented, they will yield savings quickly and the process will be greatly improved.
Other options, such as ‘just-in-time’ can work very well in certain circumstances. This reduces the cash outlay as well as reduces the risk of writing off redundant stock.
3. Optimize Printing Specifications
The usual practice is to send out an order based on previous specifications. A ‘fit for purpose’ examination must be undertaken. Print specifications should be regularly revisited for appropriateness. If necessary, specifications should be changed to achieve the desired outcome. E.g. Forms – traditionally, where you may be printing a 3-part set, would a 2-part set suffice? Or can we drop a brochure from an A4 size to say a 2/3 A4 – will it lose its impact? If not, the cost certainly will be less.
As a matter of course, every print specification should be checked one every year, if not every six months.
4. Bulking Up Orders
A common way of doing this would be to place larger orders. Printing has a large fixed setup cost, which translates to lower costs for larger quantities. Another way of bulking orders is to place several items, say for a conference or an exhibition together. A lot of web-based companies batch process and this is exactly how they achieve a lower unit cost for the print. Bulking of order works well when there is a hike in demand across several orders of same specifications. E.g. print several leaflets together and sometimes you can even mix different sizes. E.g. an A4 and an A5, however, the savings are greatly reduced when there are compromises made.
5. Print when demand is low
This strategy is the least used. The natural tendency is to buy a print when you need it the most. If one can foresee an accurate demand, have your print done when there is a low demand. Printers can be willing to print at a discount during there lean periods. An appropriate example would be to have your stationery printed in December when traditionally the print trade is quite.
We also encourage the use of a ‘Print-Diary’. Plan the year’s supply of print and discuss this with your Print supplier. This will encourage suppliers to pro-actively manage your print needs without any compromises. Clearly, there are financing costs as well storage costs to be considered. This option is easy to implement
There are many ways discount schemes are used to bring the cost of print down of which three are most common schemes. Volume based discounts, this is where you buy more quantity and negotiate a better rate for your print.
A retrospective volume discount is where, on achieving agreed volumes, a pre-set amount is discounted or paid back to the customer. The qualification period varies from industry to industry, but a six-monthly or a yearly discount gives both parties adequate margins to be able to do this without harming the business.
Lastly, a settlement discount can help reduce the cost of your print. Most businesses, fail to take advantage of this form of discount. Where it can be utilized, it helps reduce project costs.
7. Using Specialist Printers
Specialist printers have more knowledge and skills in their area of expertise. They are able to offer savings. This may be in the form of money but always save time. This is useful, where resources are tight.
A Print Management team works always works best. They are seeking to utilize best practices, appropriate skills, right quality and speed of response. An optimal solution for any given job.
Summary of how to manage expected print costs
The benefits can accumulate quickly. Most of these are quite straightforward and can be implemented. An in-depth knowledge of processes and wide-variety of experience becomes crucial to secure the best deals. The size of savings will be in direct proportion to how open and fair you are with your printer. Remember, it’s with their help you will be able to maximise the return on your print spend.
At Evolution Print Management, we work with you and for you. We use our 4 decades of experience and knowledge of the industry to seek and provide the best solution that saves you time and money. For more information, talk to us, our small, yet friendly and experienced team will only be keen to help. Call us on 0330 010 2264 or email me back on this email or simply fill in the form below.