Chasing unit prices on print may deliver results. Reducing the amount you print can have a broader impact on cost reduction. The right approach depends on your appetite for change.

Printing takes many forms – from business cards through to complex marketing needs and signage. For many businesses, reining in the spend on printing can be complex. With the shift to digital technology many organizations have lacked focus in recent years. Yet print still represents a significant spend for many businesses. Which means there is also 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.

Consider what you print and how you use it

Consider the usage of the printed material to determine where and when you can save. If you believe that you need some help in determining the areas where you can save – please contact us.

It is also worth talking to us if you are looking for fresh thinking to achieve cost reduction in this space. A great example of this – warehoused print stock. This old method of achieving volume based price savings made sense yesterday. Today, the rapid change in people, brands and products renders this approach less than optimal. Just-in-time (JIT) solutions can remove the need for warehousing of print stock. No more large print runs means less wastage. This leads to a reduction in supply chain overheads and management time. All of which translates into bottom-line savings.

Transparency creates accountability

Supply Clusters provides transparent reporting on your print spend through our member portal. Sign up to our Standing Offer arrangement and your data will be available 24/7. Members have access to all of their data including detail on every single printed item. Join today, start saving on print spend and see all the detail you need to manage your needs:

  • Quantity and Spend by period
  • Purchases by cost centre
  • Transactional level detail on each item
  • Volume Rebates on all of your Print spend

Things to look out for when choosing a Print supplier

Unit cost mentality

This makes sense in a limited set of cases. It often fails however to account for variability in stocks, finishes and quality. Further, a lower quality item is less likely to be used by staff as opposed to good quality material. Unit Cost thinking tends to lead to poor decisions in the print space. Quantities that you often do not use. The bottom line is if you fail to use the material, you have increased cost and waste.

Offshore Printing

Offshoring has become more prevalent as a method of cost reduction. Businesses need to consider that managing quality is difficult when printing offshore. Low-quality printing can be a poor representation of your business. Offshore printing often has longer lead times and consumes more management resources. The adage that you ‘get what you pay for’ holds true in the printing space.

Low quality increases waste

Using a lower price/quality option often results in a significant increase in your waste on print. For example, low-quality business cards or print stock can often suffer from smudging. This approach can result in up to 50% of the items printed, discarded rather than used over time.

Poor management of inventory

Look in the storage room of any business and you will find boxes of outdated and excess print material. The equation between the quantity you print and waste reduction is a key factor in cost control. A benefit that is often overlooked – lean print runs ensure that your material is up to date.

Hidden Costs

When sourcing print through an external marketing company you may pay a margin. This may be fine for you. But this can add up to a significant amount over a 12 month period. We recommend transparent print costs and paying for design work per hour. Simple items such as new business cards can be done by many printers directly. This reduces the time investment that your team incur.

False economies of scale

Resist the temptation to print extra because the incremental cost is often small. Question whether you need the extra quantity in the first place. We have all seen unused or outdated brochures go to waste. Do not pursue false economies of scale unless you are sure of your needs. The extra quantity may end up in waste.

Better buying outcome

Taking control over 80% of your spend will deliver the best results. Managing the rest by exception will deliver the flexibility that operational teams need. To deliver the best outcomes for your print:

  • Cut out the middleman where possible. This reduces the cost of the material significantly. It also ensures no extra margins on top of the finished print product.
  • Consider the broader costs of design and artwork as part of your printing strategy.
  • Simplify and control the distribution process of marketing material. Understand what you actually use. Stop printing a quantity because you always have.
  • Get expert help when you need it.

Supply Clusters Offer

Supply Clusters partner with We Print It for all of your print requirements

Members receive the following benefits from We Print It:

  • Discounted pricing structures on a wide variety of common printed materials.
  • Access to volume rebates for large users of printed materials (premium members).
  • The opportunity to cut out middleman as well as accessing cheaper printing costs.
  • Competitively priced design services. Reduce the high cost of third party designers and agencies.
  • Expertise to deliver the best outcome for your business.
  • Access to the latest ordering platforms. This reduces the amount of handling for ongoing re-prints and small customisations.
  • On-line visibility to each step of the production process. No more chasing where items are at.