Printing takes many forms - from the business cards staff use through to more complex marketing materials and signage required for events. For many businesses, reining in the spend on printing can be complex. Also, many people have tended to ignore this category in recent years with the growing focus on digital technologies - however, printing still represents a significant spend for many businesses and therefore a significant opportunity to buy better.
The simplest and most cost-effective way to reduce print expenses is to avoid the cost and not print. Unfortunately, even in this digital age, this is not a viable solution for many businesses. Marketing and other printed materials remain key to many businesses conducting their everyday selling.
What is important is to consider what you print, how you print it, and the usage of the material to determine where and when you can save. If you believe that you need some assistance in determining the areas where you can save - please get in touch
It is also worth talking to someone as if you are looking for fresh thinking to achieve cost reduction in this space. A great example of this is warehoused print stock. While this may work for some organisations today, the rapid change in people, brands and products in the market makes this a less optimal business proposition. Highly reliable just-in-time (JIT) solutions can eliminate the need for warehousing of print stock thus reducing supply chain overheads, time and wastage all of which translates into bottom-line savings.
The reality in Australia is that there is no one-size-fits-all printer who can deliver every aspect of printed material across all types of printing. Further, brokers are not in a position to offer a cost-effective and seamless experience to reduce the amount of time your staff spend sourcing, buying and managing printed items. While there are high-end multifunction devices that can be effective in this space the suitability for most organisations is limited to those with large volumes and the associated capital investment can be high.
Unit cost mentality
While this may be a valid approach for standard items that change infrequently, it often fails to incorporate variability in stocks, finishes and quality. Further, a lower quality item is less likely to be used by staff as opposed to good quality stock. Unit Cost methodology also tends to lead to decisions that favour the purchasing of extra quantities purely because the unit cost is reduced. The reality is if you fail to use the material, you increase waste and cost.
Offshoring has become more prevalent as a method of cost reduction. However, businesses need to be aware that offshore printing is highly challenging in regard to quality control. Low-quality printing can be a poor representation of your business and also requires generally longer lead times and management resources. The adage that you ‘get what you pay for’ holds true in the printing space.
Low quality increases waste
Using a low-quality option often results in a significant increase your waste on print. Consider items such as business cards with low-quality printing and print stock lead to smudging. This approach can result in up to 50% of the items printed being thrown out over time rather than used.
Poor management of inventory
Look in the storage room of any business and you are bound to find boxes of outdated materials and excess brochures. The equation between the quantity you print and waste reduction is a key factor in cost control. Further, a benefit that is often overlooked is that lean print runs to ensure that organisations review their messages to market regularly.
Invariably when sourcing printed materials through an external designer or marketing companies you are paying for a margin added to the printed materials as well as the costs for design and handling. Simple and iterative changes such as a new staff business cards can be cost-effectively handled by many printers directly and also can reduce the amount of internal handling time across staff and departments.
False economies of scale
Resist the temptation to print extra quantities just because the incremental cost is small. Questioning whether you need the extra quantity in the first place. Everyone has seen unused or outdated brochures go to waste. Do not fall into the trap of pursuing false economies of scale when you end up putting the extra quantity into waste.
Taking control over 80% of your spend will deliver the best results. Managing the other needs by exception will deliver the flexibility that operational teams need.
To deliver the best outcome for your printing:
Supply Clusters offers a range of printing solutions through our supplier network. Through our preferred printing supplier WePrintIt, members enjoy dealing with one of Australia’s largest printing groups and one which is at the forefront of modern practices around handling, on-demand printing and technology.
Here are some of the benefits:
Making poor choices in your printing may cost significant amounts of money.
While every organisation is different and has different needs, choosing the right supplier offers a solid foundation for not only reducing the cost of printing, but also enabling better practices around management which saves time.