When Buying... More Costs Less

Printing is a short run manufacturing process. On short runs, more time is spent in preparation and setting the equipment for a particular job than in actually running it. This ratio of set-up time to production time raises the unit cost of short runs. Conversely, it lowers the unit cost of longer runs.

Typical printing speeds are 5,000 per hour or higher. An order for 1,000 letterheads takes 2/10 hour or 12 minutes to actually print, including loading the paper into the press and unloading it. If, for example, it is a two-color letterhead, it may take 5/10 hour to load the correct ink colors, mount and adjust two plates, and get the feed set up for the particular paper to be run. It takes another 2/10 hour to clean the press for the next job. So out of 9/10 hour spent producing a two-color letterhead, only 2/10 hour or 22% of the total production time is spent actually printing the letterhead.

If the order were doubled, you would be paying for just the additional running time and stock for the additional 500 letterheads. 5,000 letterheads takes only an hour printing, plus the 5/10 set-up and 2/10 wash-up, for a total of 1-7/10 hours.

That's why price per thousand falls fast.

Naturally, we're not suggesting that you buy more than you'll ever need or more than you can budget. We do suggest that on everyday items which have a very low chance of change you:
A) Look at your invoices and find items that are bought more frequently than every 3 to 6 months.
B) Request a new quote for the same quantity as the last order and for a 6 month supply.
C) Compare the savings. Is there space for storage at those savings? Is there money to buy now? Is the likelihood of change low? Is the need likely to continue?

If the answers are favorable, you can save by planning ahead. If you would like to analyze your business printing requirements, give us a call.

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