Print Estimating and Order Management … Simplified

A Guide to help Print Companies and Sign Shops

Estimating Wide Format Print Jobs: Avoid 5 Common Pitfalls
Written by Ordant on July 26, 2017

Estimating wide format print jobs can be tricky -- particularly if you produce many different types of wide format prints instead of specializing in one or two niche products.

Five common pitfalls include:

  • Losing money on each job
  • Quoting prices much higher than your competitors
  • Not including enough margin for errors and reprints
  • Failing to explain the additional value your company can provide
  • Taking too long to deliver the quote

You don’t want set your prices too low that you win jobs that will be unprofitable. But you also don’t want to lose jobs by quoting jobs well above what your competitors offer. Some clients do award jobs to companies with mid-range prices if they can clearly see that your company offers more value and other services than the shop with rock-bottom prices.

Use these strategies to avoid common pitfalls.

Understand your actual production costs for different types of prints. Wide-format printing is different from conventional commercial printing. You can easily lose money on a job if you don’t take into account all of the variables that can affect the production of different types of wide-format print jobs.

For example, prints with large, full-color images consume more ink than a print with just a few lines of big text. Prints on inkjet canvas will use less ink than prints on a resin-coated photo paper.  

If the printed graphic will hang from the ceiling and be viewed briefly from a distance, the print quality doesn’t have to be as sharp as museum exhibit prints that will be studied up close. When the print simply requires “good-enough” quality, you can run the job in a faster production-printing mode.

If your staff isn’t trained in color management, you could waste a lot of time, ink and media making test prints and reprints of jobs that require accurate brand colors. Likewise, you can incur high waste costs by not filling the entire width of each wide-format roll with income-generating prints.   

Know how and when to offer discounts for larger print runs. If you have clear pricing strategies and knowledge of actual production costs, you can assess when it is economically viable to offer customers a 10% or 20% discount for ordering a higher volume of prints at one time.    

Emphasize the extra value of special services you provide. As other shops continue to add newer, faster printing printing devices, there will be instances in which your estimate won’t be quite as low as your competitors.

To guard against commodity pricing, emphasize special services your company provides. Maybe your team includes a superstar designer who can suggest innovations that make large-format prints more interactive and measurable. Or perhaps your company can warehouse some prints and deliver them as needed. Make sure your quote mentions any special services included in the price.

Quote the type of print instead of the technology that will be used.  It’s great to make customers aware that your shop uses a mix of printers that can produce a full range of jobs. But your customer really doesn’t care whether a poster is printed on a roll-to-roll wide-format inkjet printer or a digital press that can output B2 size sheets. You need the flexibility to run the job on whichever type of equipment can meet the quality and delivery expectations for the job at the lowest cost.  

Offer “special” pricing to certain clients. You can quote higher prices to hyper-detail-oriented customers who may expect you reprint jobs that have small flaws. And you can offer lower prices to loyal, easy-going customers who can bring you additional business in the future.

Use print estimating software for most jobs. You must deliver quotes quickly. If the wide format print graphics will be part of a special promotion, the print buyer will be juggling multiple deadlines and coordinating services from many vendors. Unless it’s a huge, complicated wide format print job, print buyers don’t have time to wait for multiple bids and evaluate each one in depth. The right print estimating software makes it easy to track the cost of the different variables and quickly assemble a price that will be profitable.  

Final Thoughts

Creating estimates for wide format print jobs is still an art. Relationships also matter, because your clients have must trust that you can deliver a color-accurate job and install it as promised. Hiring the lowest-priced bidder won’t matter to clients if graphics are late or look wrong.

Ordant software is an excellent choice for estimating wide format print jobs. It gives you the flexibility to incorporate the different variables associated with wide format printing as well as digital presses, and offset or screen printing. You can also offer discounts to special customers. Best of all, Ordant software is so easy to use that your employees won’t need extensive training to deliver fast and accurate estimates. To schedule a demonstration, visit www.ordant.com

 

 

About Ordant

Ordant is cloud-based, integrated Print MIS and Web to Print software for print companies and sign shops. It is fast, easy to use, and secure. With Ordant, you can calculate the exact cost of custom price estimates, simplify order management, and set up online B2B or B2C storefronts. Ordant can improve print-shop profitability by streamlining online proofing, email order approval, customer relationship management (CRM), time tracking, Automated Emails, and file uploading. Ordant reduces the need to re-enter relevant customer and job-shipment data in apps such as FedEx, UPS, Quickbooks, Slack, Stripe, and Google Drive. Ordant software can be used with many types of printing, including offset, lithography, digital printing, screen printing, wide format printing and label printing

print estimating cloud
Features:
Print Estimating
Web-to-Print StoreFront
CRM
Online Proofing
Upload Files
Purchase Orders
Connects to: Slack Google Drive Stripe Fedex UPS QBO

Offset – Digital Printing – Screen Printing – Large Format Printing

Call today at 1-888-861-5228 to automate your Print Estimating and Order Management Process.

Ordant adapts to our needs and the intuitive design makes it easy for us to use for growing our business.
George M.
The simplest software to use, the most tools for the money, and the best way to grow profits.
Aaron C.
We got up and running with Ordant, FAST! The simple software cut back on training and integration issues. The Ordant team made the process smooth.
Kim R.
The best print estimating solution we've worked with for large-format printing
Bruce C.
Over the past months and with minimal consultation during weekly conversations we have accomplished
Rick M.
The best job management and estimation software we've used.
Diane C.
Our company was looking for something simple and cloud based--we found the answer with Ordant. Ordant's estimating and other tools have really helped us expand our business.
Rory O.
Ordant is a great choice for your business. They've helped ours so much!
D.S.
Ordant's attention-to-detail is superior to every other service we've used. They quickly answer all of our questions and help us with our concerns.
Brad G.
We searched for a great print solution for months! I'm happy to say that when we discovered Ordant, our search was over!
Carlos A. D.
Supportive customer service with an amazing level of patience.
Krystal S.
Great System, Great Support, Great Service!
Paul C.
The Most powerful print estimating software we've used!
Michael C.
BEST order management system our company has encountered.
Keeana B.
Ordant has saved our company so much time and money.
Kelly N.
Easy to use software for offset, digital and wide format print estimates
Jose I.
A comprehensive large-format solution that was great for my business
Art M.
Ordant is truly efficient and definitely the easiest to use.
Jonny W.
We highly recommend using Ordant because it has really helped our business.
Catrina E.
Great way to weigh all the different options and costs for print.
Jess S.