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Save Money on Long Run Brochures, Flyers, and Direct Mail Pieces

These inked images appear as a blur as they fly through a high-speed printing press. In the realm of printing, saving time equates to saving money.

The purpose of promotional literature - such as brochures, flyers, and direct mail pieces - is to create consumer awareness, stimulate interest, and increase sales. Because the distribution of promotional literature contributes so strongly to growth and success, it is a necessity to most businesses. This is why promotional documents are usually produced in higher quantities than the other types of printing used by a business.

Furthermore, as sales rise, a business will usually order even more promotional pieces to continue the upward trend. So it is not uncommon to see a huge increase in a company's use of brochures, flyers, and direct mail as the years go by. It is also not uncommon for a company to outgrow its original print supplier, especially if the printing presses and production methods can no longer produce efficiently at the new higher volume.

Once your printing orders reach a high quantity level, say 50,000 or more pieces at a time, you are probably ready to upgrade from traditional print methods. You can attain a lower unit cost with faster press speeds, automated processes, and other techniques that reduce processing time. In the realm of printing, saving time equates to saving money.

Fortunately, there are several time-saving production methods available to help reduce your unit cost. Below are three specific examples you should explore…

1) Perfecting Presses. If your literature has printing on both sides, a perfecting offset press is ideal for your project. Also known as a Perfector, a perfecting press applies ink to both sides of the paper during a single pass through the press.

Have your print jobs been running on a Perfecting Press? If not, the press operator must wait until one side of the sheet is printed, then manually turn over the sheets and pass them back through the press in order to print the reverse side. Needless to say, the manual intervention and second press run both cost valuable time…time that adds to the cost of your job.

2) Web Presses. Also known as a Roll-Fed press, a web offset press is ideal for high-volume projects. A web press is fed from huge rolls of paper. As the paper unwinds from the roll, it forms a continuous "web" that flows through the press. This web of paper is held taught by a series of rollers, which move the paper through the press at an amazing speed. The paper on a web press is cut into smaller parts after receiving the inked images.

Have your print jobs been running on a Web Press? If not, they are likely running on a sheet-fed offset press, which has separate sheets of paper entering the press one after another. Sheet-fed presses produce the same high-quality as a web press, and they are pretty fast…just nowhere near the blazing speed of a web press.

In addition to the speed advantage, your paper costs will be less with a web press. This is because paper bought in bulk rolls offers substantial savings over paper bought as separate sheets. By the way, all web presses are perfecting presses.

3) Inline Finishing Capabilities. Inline finishing refers to value-added operations that are performed on the paper after the ink has been applied but before the paper exits the workflow of the press and its attached fixtures. These operations enhance the function and appearance of the printed piece and include clear coating, perforating, scoring, folding, trimming and others.

Being able to perform finishing operations inline saves time because the printing does not have to be taken off the press and sent to separate finishing stations. Bear in mind that not all finishing operations can be performed inline. However, if your finishing needs can be met with an inline process as opposed to an offline process, your project can be completed all at once and forego any secondary operations.

Have your print jobs been running on a press with inline finishing capabilities? If not, your project must be manually moved to various finishing stations after it has run through the printing press. Each time your print materials move from one station to another, it adds time and labor to your project.

Is it Time to Re-Evaluate?

Is your current printing vendor able to grow with you? Can they offer the next level of more efficient printing presses? If your business has grown over the years, it is probably time to re-evaluate how your print projects are being produced. Many printing plants will max out at a certain quantity because they don't possess a more efficient production option as the quantities continue to increase.

For example, a printing press that is cost-effective at 25,000 pieces will likely seem expensive at a volume of 50,000 pieces or more. This is why you must continue to ask the question: My quantities have increased, is there a more efficient printing press better suited for my project? If yes, it could translate to substantial savings for you.

Formax is always happy to help you compare…that way you'll know how well you are currently buying your printing. Just give us a call at 314-434-5500 or 866-367-6221, or click here to access our quote request form. Our extensive array of printing presses allows us to match virtually any print project to its ideal production method. Whether it's brochures, flyers, direct mail pieces, sales letters, or other types of printing, you can save money by matching your high-volume projects to the most efficient equipment.

Take care! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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