Let’s say you are a franchise or business executive at a company that experienced recent growth. During this economic downturn, you may be looking for solutions to help cut costs and improve the bottom line.
If you currently produce printing and print-related products in-house and then distribute them to your franchisees, distributors, customers, salespeople or retail outlets, there is a real and simple way to cut costs: outsource printing to a qualified printing fulfillment company. While it may seem counterintuitive to outsource something to cut costs, here is how it can help.
The True Cost of In-House Printing and Distribution
It is easy to acclimate yourself to producing printing in-house and just as easy to forget that there are real expenses associated with print production. Printing in-house involves contracts on digital printing presses with both the cost of the equipment and on-going maintenance or click charges. In addition to the equipment, there are real space requirements for in-house production and personnel to run the equipment. An, of course, you have material (paper) costs and maintenance costs apart from click charges if you have cutters or other bindery equipment.
The key to figuring out the economics of in-house production is to add up all of these expenses and compare it to the cost of outsourcing. Most printing equipment is designed to be cost-effective at high volumes. If you are not utilizing your equipment fully, there is a good chance that you are wasting money. So, you have to look at the cost of labor, materials, equipment, maintenance, and space for printing that you produce each month and compare that to the cost of sending the work out.
One other factor in the economics of this decision is the opportunity costs. If you are personally involved in producing and shipping web to print materials to a dealer network, franchisees or other groups, and it is only part of your job, you should consider what else you can accomplish when you can step back from these responsibilities. Although it is harder to determine the hard cost of your time, you will likely be more productive and be able to handle additional work after making this transition.
How to Save Money with Print Outsourcing
If you decide to outsource your printing needs, it is critical to make changes to your process to lower your in-house expenses. Cancel leases and do not replace unnecessary printing equipment. Find a way to cut the employment costs associated with running the printing and binding equipment. This is a tough decision, but you either need to get rid of production-related employees or relocate them to another department where you need their help. See if there is a way to reduce your leased space after getting rid of unnecessary equipment to lower your real estate costs.
Going to the Next Level on Savings from Print Outsourcing
In addition to making the switch to print outsourcing, you can look at your processes and engineer them to result in additional savings. When you make a change like this, it is a great time to examine what you are doing overall. Here are a few ideas which could save money (and time).
- Review your printing needs to determine which products are important to your business growth. Don’t print things which you don’t need.
- Change over to an on-demand printing fulfillment system. Again, this may seem counterintuitive at first. Some printing fulfillment companies may push you to run high volumes of printed materials to get the unit cost to the absolute lowest point. However, running large volumes and then figuring out how to use them later is an outdated business model. If you run materials as close to on-demand as possible, you will eliminate waste and any associated costs.
- Find a knowledgeable printing fulfillment partner who can analyze your printing needs and find the best and most cost-effective way to get your printing done. If you find an experienced partner, they can advise you on paper selection, printing processes, and volumes to make the process as cost-effective as it can be. Sometimes there are straightforward ways to make a specific printed piece less expensive just by changing the dimensions slightly (to increase yield) or looking at a different printing process. Offset printing, using an actual printing press, can often save money for larger print runs, for instance.
Partner With an Experienced Printing Fulfillment Company
If you are looking for an experienced printing fulfillment partner to help you save money with print outsourcing, contact one of the professionals at The Print Authority.
We have three decades of design, printing and distribution knowledge and can create a web to print portal to meet your needs.
We also understand that our success rests on your happiness with every print outsourcing order we produce. Contact us today!