Print Outsourcing: A Quick Guide To Outsourcing Printing

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 be outsourcing printing services, or you may do print jobs in-house. Increasingly, many organizations are finding that once all costs are accounted for, it makes sense to outsource printing.

Keep reading to learn how print outsourcing is more cost-effective than in-house printing, as well as all the benefits of partnering with a quality printing company!

What Is Print Outsourcing?

Simply put, print outsourcing is the key to great printing with no hassle. Outsourcing print services means contracting with a printer who can take care of all of your print projects. Your printer can even take care of designing your materials and will ship them to you, giving you the freedom to focus on your core operations.

Of course, lower cost is one of the largest factors in any business decision, and outsourcing printing services makes financial sense for companies in all sectors. When outsourcing your printing, you don’t need to pay for in-house printers and print technologies, which are expensive and require frequent costly repairs. As a result, the cost per click when outsourcing printing is frequently lower than in-house.

Outsourcing printing is also easier and more flexible, and many businesses find that print outsourcing services are easy solutions that fit their needs. You can sleep soundly without the need to worry about faulty equipment or constantly remembering to buy and restock paper and ink.

If you’re looking for sophisticated products, outsourced printing is also the choice for you. Many businesses outsource their printing in order to receive high-quality printed products on a variety of papers that are not possible to print on an office printer or copier, as well as finishing processes such as binding and laminating that take your materials to the next level.

Outsourcing printing services is the best way to ensure that your company is always equipped with high-quality, professionally-printed products that represent your company in the best possible light: no need to concern yourself with continually restocking paper and ink or worrying about printer malfunctions! You can sit back, relax, and enjoy your stellar printed products.

In-House Printing vs. Print Outsourcing

In order to make the best choice for your business when it comes to in-house or outsourcing print services, it’s important to understand the costs of each type of printing. Let’s first take a look at the ways in which in-house printing costs can add up.

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.
  •  Repair Cost. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that machines don’t work perfectly all the time. When printing in-house, you must deal with breakdowns and repairs, which costs your company both time and money.
  • Cost of Lost Quality. Looking professional and providing high-quality products to your clients is paramount. When printing in-house, you have fewer paper and printing possibilities at your disposal. You aim to represent yourself well in your printed materials, and printing with an in-house company printer simply can’t provide these for you.
  • Cost of Space. There is a per-square-foot cost for 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 of Print Outsourcing

Whether you are a franchisor, a manufacturer, a hospitality company, or some other multiple-location business, you can generate significant savings and benefits by 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. The dedicated staff members at printing companies genuinely 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 specialized printing or finishing options 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.

Outsource Your Printing To The Print Authority!

Are you thinking about outsourcing print services for your company? Let The Print Authority help you analyze your situation and come up with the best solution for you!

Our team helps many successful businesses maximize their profits through top-quality printed materials that give companies peace of mind, all at an affordable cost. Give the experts at The Print Authority a call at (615) 468-2679 or contact us to learn more about our printing services!

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