Print Estimating and Order Management … Simplified

A Guide to help Print Companies and Sign Shops

Question to Ask Before Pricing Wide Format Printing
Written by Ordant on November 13, 2017

Is wide format printing really a high-margin business? It can be. But it depends on how you approach pricing wide format printing and how you market the ancillary services.

If you’re expanding into wide-format inkjet printing to escape the fiercely competitive pricing of commercial printing, think about how to capture some of the higher margins that experienced large-format graphics producers earn.   

Unless you plan to simply sell a few standard sizes of banners and posters, don’t automatically use the same pricing structure you use for sell sheets, booklets, postcards, or brochures. Many large-format print jobs will involve fast-turnaround printing of many different sizes of graphics on different types of materials. Then, your client may expect you to ship different sets of these wall, window, shelf, display, and floor graphics to various locations throughout the country.   

The most successful large-format printing companies have stayed in business because they use a value-based approach to pricing wide format printing. Their prices take into account the importance of the job to the customer, the complexity of the assignment, and some of special risks associated with each project. On some large-format printing jobs, there is plenty of room for errors and mistakes can be costly. Many jobs require expertise in materials selection, color management, logistics, and installation. You also need a “can-do” approach to problem-solving.  

So how does all this affect pricing? Well, it should prompt you to think beyond the cost of ink, media, and press time required to deliver 50 or 100 copies of a print. Some multi-graphic requests will require you to think more in terms of project management. How much will the finished and installed project be worth to your client?

Consider these questions:

How valuable is it to your client to have perfectly matched colors on everything from their business cards and sell sheets to trade show graphics and wall murals? One reason commercial printers are being encouraged to expand into wide-format printing is because many customers want colors to match on all of their printed goods. Color matching is difficult to guarantee when customers have to send a portion of the printing to a commercial printer and other parts of the print job to a wide-format graphics specialist or sign shop.

But because wide-format graphics involves such a wide range of different materials, color management can become tricky. Getting colors to match on many different printing devices requires additional investments in software, and employee training.

Will your customers pay more for a type of graphic they can’t get anywhere else? Large-format printing equipment is so versatile that you can print or decorate almost any type of surface or object you choose. If you have a particularly creative design team, you can produce one-of-a-kind tables, chairs, floors, pillows, window blinds, labels, packages, and vehicle wraps. You can help marketing managers gather data about the viewership of the printed graphics.  

The owners of thriving wide-format printing companies understand the value of continuously educating their clients about new types of graphics and support services. But a lot of “design thinking” and product development research goes into creating new types of signs, displays, promotional products, and decor accessories. So if you offer your client a type of display that is unique to your company, expect them to pay a premium for it.

Will your customers pay more for graphics that will be installed for a long time?

Are you printing marketing collateral that will only be used for a three-day trade show? Or are you printing wallcoverings that will help your client create a branded environment for his or her store? If the printed graphic will be installed for years, charge a higher rate. You will need to make sure that the job is installed perfectly, looks spectacular, and that the materials will last the promised length of time.

Will the job involve complicated logistics?

Problems crop up on wide-format printing projects that involve shipping different mixes of wide-format graphics to different locations. Clients who aren’t prepared to do it themselves will pay extra to have you handle this phase of the job, too.

How much would it cost to reprint or re-install a supersized graphic?

If you choose to specialize in grand-format graphics for events and trade shows, keep in mind that if the prints get damaged during finishing, shipping, or installation, you may be asked to reprint them at no charge to the client. Reprinting a huge banner is more costly than reprinting a fw sell sheets or brochures.

For more advice on some of the nuances of pricing wide format printing, ask for a demonstration of the wide-format module in Ordant Software. It’s simple to use and can be easily customized to handle different pricing models. You could set up one set of pricing rules for lithographic and digital press jobs, and a different set for wide-format, grand-format, and sign projects. We have helped all types and sizes of printing businesses bring more intelligence to their estimating process, and we can help you too. Visit www.ordant.com to schedule a demonstration.

 

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.