Controlling costs can improve the profitability of your print shop substantially. Resolve to pay closer attention to print shop cost management as you make 2018 plans for your business,
Consider one or more of these six resolutions in your quest to rein in operating costs.
Study ways to reduce materials costs and waste.
If your shop has used the same brands and types of printing materials for several years, maybe it’s time to shop around. With newer, innovative printing materials for wide-format printers and digital presses, you might be able to produce certain products with fewer processing steps or lower ink or toner consumption.
And, keep in mind that the least expensive printing materials may not be the most cost-effective options. If your print materials don’t feed properly through your printer or produce inconsistent color, you can end up with a high amount of waste prints.
Find a materials supplier who can recommend high-performance printing materials for specific applications. If you are a regular customer, ask for discounts, favorable payment terms, or fast delivery services that can help you reduce your annual materials costs. Fast delivery reduces the need to maintain inventories for materials your shop doesn’t use every week.
Evaluate ways to reduce the cost of each print.
Can you make sellable-quality prints by using faster print modes or less ink? Does your print-management software and equipment allow you to limit ink usage or boost production print speeds based on the quality the project requires? Is every press operator trained in all of the printing control options available to them?
Explore ways to manage labor costs.
Can newer, automated equipment help your shop generate a higher volume of sales with the same number of employees? Would smarter scheduling help reduce the need for overtime? Should some work be handled by part-time, seasonal, or outsourced employees? Are you using the most up-to-date, efficient methods of paying employees?
Can you identify which employees are more efficient and productive than others? Should you be coaching and training the less productive employees to be more efficient?
Be alert for opportunities to trim factory expenses:
Can you reduce the amount of money you spent on utilities, insurance, maintenance? It doesn’t hurt to get new quotes on insurance periodically. Sometimes, you can qualify for discounts you might not have been aware of.
Making your shop more environmentally sustainable can help you identify ways to conserve energy and reduce waste. Upgrades to your lighting, HVAC systems, or windows can help reduce monthly utility costs.
Use automated systems to trim administrative expenses.
How much time do your employees spend on repetitive tasks, such as data entry or phone calls seeking proof approvals or missing job information? Can you use an automated print management system to prevent duplication of effort or minimize human touches?
Setting up an automated order management system can streamline and standardize the process of gathering and processing job-related information. It can automate the proof-approval process and enable customers to track the status of jobs in progress.
The order-entry process you set up in the software should gather all of the information needed to complete, ship, and invoice the job. It can also help reduce the risk of costly miscommunications between your employees and clients.
Reduce marketing and selling expenses.
Are you using the right mix of online, printed, and face-to-face marketing channels to retain current customers and reach new ones? Should you scale back marketing methods that aren’t generating qualified leads?
Do you have systems in place for maintaining lists of current and prospective customers? Do your salespeople have enough current information about customers to understand how close each prospective client is to making a buying decision?
Can you reduce the amount of time it takes to produce estimates for each prospect? Would a web-to-print system help generate more more orders online?
Cost Cutting Is One Path to More Profits
According to a a report published by the Center for Print Economics and Management of the Printing Industries of America (PIA), “Printers can increase profitability by analyzing their sales and operations, making business changes that increase sales volumes, or lowering their manufacturing costs.” A PIA study of commercial sheetfed printers found that profit-leading printers (those in the top quartile of profitability) had significantly lower cost structures than printers in the bottom quartile or profitability.
So yes, it can be advantageous to find ways to reduce your costs.
A robust, easy-to-use print MIS program, such as Ordant software,can help you find ways to cut costs and improve operations. You can use it identify which products and customers are most profitable, improve scheduling, and reduce estimating and other administrative costs. It can give employees more time to focus the resolutions above. The Ordant web-to-print module can help your business reduce selling costs by enabling more products to be sold online. .
To schedule a demo on how Ordant software can help reduce administrative costs, streamline your operations, and make data-supported decisions for 2019, visit www.ordant.com