Catalog Cost Cutting ’08, Part 1
Catalogers always need to know how to maximize their printing, paper and mail distribution programs, especially now that we all face more paper and postage cost increases. So this month and next, I’ll share some effective ways to squeeze more savings out of these programs. In this first part, I’ll expose 10 places where expensive fat is hiding in your paper and its printing process. Next month, it’s all postal.
Squeeze the Press
What you pay your printer to print your catalog pales in comparison to the amount you spend for paper and postage, but there are still significant savings to be had. The two things that matter most are page count and print quantity.
1. Print with a known catalog printer.
I often receive calls from small sheet-fed or web printers who want to submit a quote to catalogers I work with. My first question is, “Can you tell me about your co-mail and drop-ship mail distribution programs?” The phone goes blank; they haven’t a clue!
Lots of printers do a good job putting ink on paper. Today, however, mail distribution is of upmost importance and local sheet-fed and/or web printers simply can’t compete.
Smaller catalogers are often tempted to entertain such quotes, but these printers have no ability to penetrate the postal system. They typically truck the catalogs to a local lettershop facility, which ink-jets the back cover only (the catalog can’t be ink-jet imaged once it’s bound) and distributes the catalogs through its nearest bulk mail facility or post office.
If you print more than 100,000 copies, mail distribution is of utmost importance — as I’ll explain next month — and local printers simply won’t get your books “deep” into the postal system to take advantage of co-mailing or other postage discounts. So I highly urge you to work with established catalog printers.