October 2, 2019 The Print Authority

Print Outsourcing: A Quick Guide

Most businesses need printed materials for marketing, operations, training, human resources and more. Depending on the size of your company and your company’s needs, you may already outsource your printing, or you may do it in-house. Increasingly, many organizations are finding that once all costs are accounted for, it makes sense to outsource printing.

Learn how print outsourcing is more cost-effective than in-house printing as well as all the benefits of partnering with a printing company!

In-House Printing VS Print Outsourcing

Myths About the Cost of In-House Printing

Some printing equipment salespeople market equipment by emphasizing the running costs of the equipment. This makes it seem as though it is less expensive to do in-house printing, which isn’t always the case.

For example, say you want to print 500 letterheads. To sell a new digital press, a salesperson might reason, “The cost will be 5 cents per copy. Multiply 5 cents by 500 copies and you get $25.00. Then, add $15 for the cost of paper. As a result, the letterhead only costs $40.”

However, by highlighting only the running cost, the printing seems really inexpensive compared to the usual cost of hiring a printing company to print the letterhead. But this is a myth!

The True Cost of In-House Printing

Although the sales pitch above may be technically correct, it ignores most of the true costs of doing printing in-house. In addition to running costs and paper, here are additional cost considerations:

  • Equipment Cost. One formula for the equipment cost is:
    • Monthly Equipment Cost = Purchase Price + interest costs/number of months equipment will be used. You can also create a formula for the equipment cost per print if you know how many prints you run each month.
  • Labor Cost. It is important to account for labor costs in running equipment. This may be an entire department, one person, or perhaps just part of a person’s time
  • Cost of Space. There is a per-square-foot cost to any machinery and equipment. You can determine the rent you pay per-square-foot and multiply it by the number of square feet taken up by printing and related equipment. Similarly, if the business owns the building, you can come up with the cost of the space as a percentage of the entire building.
  • Opportunity Cost. All businesses have a limited amount of capital, space, and personnel, and you should consider whether printing equipment is the best use of company space, time and money. More importantly, you can often generate more sales by reallocating the money used to print documents in-house for promoting or improving your core business.

Seeing the Big Picture

Whether you are a franchisor, a manufacturer, a hospitality company or some other multiple location business, there can be significant savings and benefits in using an outside company to outsource your printing.

Benefits of Print Outsourcing

In addition to saving money, there are many benefits to using a printing and fulfillment company to handle your design, printing and distribution needs. Here are some to consider:

  1. Quality may be better at a printing company. The core business of a printing company is to produce quality printed materials. Printing companies truly understand the printing process and demand a higher level of service and maintenance from their equipment providers. They may also have higher standards for print quality. When you buy printing from an outside source, you are partially paying for expertise and diligence in producing the final product.
  2. You may have more options. Printing companies may offer many options for specialized printing or finishing that may not be worth bringing to an in-house shop. Examples of this are UV Coating, specialized bookbinding, laminating, embossing, foil stamping, and more.
  3. You can outsource customer service. Stop spending lots of time, money and energy working with your “customers” by answering phone calls and emails. An outside printing fulfillment company can take that burden off of you!
  4. You get a high-quality design. Some printing companies have high-quality design departments that may be able to create higher-level designs than an internal design department.
  5. You can save money on shipping or mailing. At times, the distribution cost for a printing project can exceed the printing cost. Printing fulfillment companies who do a lot of distribution understand all available options for shipping or mailing the product out. This can result in significant cost savings.
  6. Additional production options that may save money. Many printing companies offer both digital and offset printing, and will use the most cost-effective method for each job.

Partner With the Best!

Are you thinking about print outsourcing? We would be happy to help you analyze your situation and come up with the best solution for you! Give the experts at The Print Authority a call at (615) 468-2679 or drop us an email.