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Do you know how much your business spends on printing?  If the answer is “no,” there’s a good chance you’re spending too much.

The reason is simple:  first, you can’t control printing costs if you don’t know who’s printing what and how much they’re printing.  Second, if you don’t know what you’re printing budget is, you probably don’t have effective policies in place to reduce costs.

How Much Do Businesses Spend on Printing?

If you don’t know how much your business is spending on printing, you’re not alone.  According to Buyer’s Laboratory, for example, 90% of companies don’t track printing costs.  That makes it difficult to assess what companies spend on printing, but IDC has come up with a good estimate:  on average, businesses are spending as much as 15% of annual revenues on printing—and that doesn’t include hidden printing costs.  For example, there’s lost productivity:  if yours is like most businesses, your IT team is spending about 15% of its time just handling printing issues, and 23% of help desk calls are printing related.   That’s a lot of time, time your people could be spending on core business processes.

Are There Effective Strategies to Save on Costs?

Every business is different, and only you can decide what your printing needs are and how best to reduce associated costs.  That said, there are some best practice strategies to reduce printing costs through automation, including the following 6:

  1. Leverage web-to-printweb-to-print will enable your business to buy a print from an online supplier through a user-friendly interface.  There are several benefits to web orders.  For example, your print orders will be better organised.  You’ll also be able to maintain consistency among all your print materials which are critical for brand integrity.
  2. Have clear policies on who is authorised to purchase a print: keeping print costs under control means you’ve got to ditch a laissez-faire printing policy.  To keep costs under control, create and distribute clear guidelines and rules for who within your business is allowed to purchase a print, what they’re permitted to print—and what they’re not.
  3. Partner with other businesses to get bulk costs: the more you order, the lower the price.  Especially if yours is a small business, work to establish printing partnerships with other companies and order your print materials together.   That’s a win-win scenario, with all partnering businesses getting a reduced price.
  4. Limit artwork editing permissions: if anyone in your business can edit artwork, you’ve got a problem.  For one thing, you’ll probably wind up with some inferior artwork in your system.  For another, you can’t maintain brand consistency if anyone can tamper with images.  To solve this problem, lockdown edit permissions throughout your system.
  5. Move to automated artwork proofreading: artwork errors are costly, they reduce the quality of your print output, and they diminish your brand.  Fortunately, there are many effective proofreading software solutions that will eliminate this problem.  Platforms like ReviewStudio, Wrike, and Ziflow (among many others) will reduce costs by reducing errors.
  6. Order only what you need, and only when you need it: one of the chief advantages of working with an online print management provider is that you can order whenever you need more print materials for a given job.  In this way, you’ll avoid the costly mistake of ordering more than you need.

Conclusion

The bottom line is this:  your business can’t afford to waste money.  That means implementing effective cost-cutting measures wherever possible.  One of the best ways is to partner with an experienced digital printing agency that can identify multiple ways to reduce costs.

To learn more about the ways our digital services can help you reduce printing costs—and increase the quality and marketing effectiveness of your print materials—contact us today.

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