edition 19 dec 15 2003
the real price of print
Checking the letterbox the other day I noticed it was crammed full of retail catalogues and it reminded me of a conversation I had earlier this year with an advertiser who spends millions of dollars on web printing catalogues. We were talking about printing costs and they told me they had negotiated the lowest prices in Australia for the web contract. When I told them that was just a fraction of the story on print prices, they didn’t get it. So Mike Boyle of P3Print explains why even though you may have the lowest print prices, you may not be getting the best deal. Add a colleague to the p3 news mail list, email their details to news@p3.com.au 
why low print costs does not necessarily mean great value The current competitive print market means that many clients are negotiating low prices on their printing costs. At the same time a large number of printers are also closing up shop. So in this context when we talk to clients about value for money, their initial response is they could get better prices if they tried. The problem is that most people associate printing prices with the cost of putting ink (or toner) on paper. Yet this is only a fraction of the real cost of business printing to any organization. The cost is not in the print The most tangible cost associated with printing is the cost from the printer. It often appears in one lump sum making it visible and often easy to benchmark and compare. But consider that the print process does not begin and end with the printer, but commences when you identify the need to communicate using print, and continues beyond when that printed item is delivered to the intended target audience. In 1999, CAP Ventures looked at the costs associated with this process in the USA and identified that less than 15% of the total print cost is spent on placing ink on paper. Make cuts where there is more to cut So what is the other 85%? Well there is content research, creation, design, layout preparation before you ever get to the printing press. Then following the print process there is warehousing and storage, distribution, archiving and the greatest cost – obsolescence and waste. (After all, who does not have boxes of print material sitting in an office or storeroom somewhere collecting dust?) So while many print buyers are shopping around looking for the lowest print price, they are often overlooking the bigger opportunity of creating cost efficiencies and savings in the 85% of costs not associated with printing. Often these cost black holes are sitting right under their noses. Realising the real savings starts with the real costs To identify where you can make real savings in your total print production costs, consider the following questions: 1. Does your briefing process, or lack of it, add significant cost to your printing? 2. What management tools do you have for collating and storing content? 3. How time and cost efficient is your design and artwork approval process? 4. What processes do you have for managing and minimising print inventory? 5. How cost effective is your warehousing and distribution systems? 6. Is your archival system adding value or just a graveyard for old materials? P3Print can provide print buyers and advertisers with the insights, expertise and knowledge to achieve significant savings across your total print production process. Even if you believe you have the lowest print prices available, we are able to help you achieve efficiencies. To find out more contact print@p3.com.au  or check out our website at www.p3print.com.au
Mike Boyle @ P3Print


With 20 years experience in sales, marketing and management roles in the graphic arts, printing and publishing industry, Mike has facilitated the successful application of innovative digital technology with many graphic arts organisations.

With top level management and extensive sales and marketing experience across Asia-Pacific, in multinational companies, Mike provides a unique and insightful perspective on achieving maximum efficiency in your print communications.


Contact Mike at print@p3.com.au or see www.p3print.com.au  for more details

wishing you a profitable and cost effective new year in 2004


expanded services to help people achieve commercial purpose through creative process In the past year P3 has assisted more than 40 of Australia’s top advertisers achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in the management of their advertising production and media. Thank you to our clients for the support and we look forward to continuing to assist you throughout an even more successful 2004.

P3 Advertising Performance Manual

Maximise value in the production, planning and resourcing of your


* television campaigns * print production * media strategy & buying * agency relationship & remuneration * direct marketing * interactive campaigns * public relations See www.p3.com.au for more details.


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