How to Save Money on Printing and Production

When analyzing a DR insert or alternative media campaign, one of the components or levers that we have control of is the printing/production of the insert.  Most advertisers award an entire print job/run to a single printer.

By breaking down the elements of the printing you can outsource the other components to the lowest bidder.  The components that can be quoted out are:

Paper – there are various markets and ways to purchase paper.  If the job is a one time job, paper can be bought on the spot or seconds market.  These markets are less expensive, similar to a remnant market.  If the job is a continuous weekly or month project, an annual contract might be negotiated to ensure a locked in price especially in a volatile paper market.  The annual price can also make budgeting and forecasting easier as you know our price will be constant throughout the year.

Printer / Manufacturing – The actual production of the inserts can be quoted out to various printers.  Be sure that the project that you are quoting fits a specific press format.  It is important to run your project on the proper press size.  Not fitting the project to the right press can increase your cost by as such as 75%. Within the production factors such as make readies, plates, and wash ups can all be negotiated within the job.  For instance, just by reducing the cost of plates alone by $50 per plate, you can save over $1,000 on a print run.  If your print run is 1,000,000 inserts right there you would save $1/M.

Cartons – most printers charge for cartons when packing inserts to be shipped.  If your campaign requires envelope inserting, you can request that the printer reuse or recycle the cartons that some of the original materials arrived to the printer in.  While new cartons only cost $.50-$2.00 per carton by recycling the old cartons and not having to use new ones you can save $200-$400.

Freight – can be quoted out to various freight companies as opposed to having the printer handle the freight.  The freight job can be awarded to the freight provider with the lowest costs.  You could save thousands of dollars by not using the freight provider the printer uses.  Additionally, if possible, find a printer that is closest your destination point(s).  This will allow for the lowest cost for your freight.

While breaking down the components of the production process takes some time and the proper resources, it can save the client money, which ultimately could save a program, which might even save an account.

Rick Sanchez

Account Director

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