Which Printer Is Best for You? (1,131 words)
by Jack Schmid
In almost every survey taken during the past decade, catalogers have consistently mentioned the rising cost of paper, printing and mailing (including postage) as a major area of concern. And we see no trend that will lessen this concern. If it isn't postage cost increases, it's paper.
Catalogers are forced to find innovative ways to reduce the cost of their catalogs in the mail—or any cost increase will come right out of the bottom line. What is the right answer? Should you:
• Raise your prices to reflect the cost increase?
• Find a new printer who can print for less?
• Select a printer who is an expert at mailing and postal savings?
• Cut the heart out of your paper budget by printing on tissue or low-cost newsprint?
In today's competitive world, catalogers must study their printing options from every angle. Printing projects are driven by a number of key variables such as size of the run, need for cost control, tightness of the timeline, amount of flexibility required and the relationship with the printer. Smart catalogers work hard in determining where the job is "best fitted."
Basically, you have two ways to go: Print with a large printing house or choose a smaller printer.
Who are the big guys? Let's do some name dropping. R.R. Donnelley, World Color, Quad, Quebecor, Graphic Arts Center and Banta rank right up there in total sales, annual impressions, catalogs mailed, etc. They can offer a cataloger the luxury of doing it all! Each of these larger printers can receive a creative file with scans, show proofs, produce film, prepare plates, provide direct-to-plate capability, print, bind, address, sort files for postal discounts and drop ship the mail. These companies are expert at getting the mail there quicker and in delivering the mail in a two or three day in-home or in-office window requested by the mailer.