Catalog Cost Cutting ’08, Part 1
2. Don’t print on-demand.
This technology has come a long way, but it’s not a real option for catalogers yet. Print-on-demand is used for very short runs of 500 copies or less. Good applications for this are journals and books, not catalogs.
3. Know your press equipment.
Eliminating small and on-demand printers, you’re best bet is to print with an established web-offset catalog printer. But there are differences between double web and single web printers. Specifically, there’s more flexibility with page count/basis weight combinations with a single web printer. Catalogers should know which is being used to take advantage of this flexibility, along with the various efficiencies of catalog size and basis weight.
4. Use the fewest press forms possible.
Page count and the printing press being used determine the number of press forms required. One press form is the most efficient to print. The more press forms, the greater the cost. Generally, 32-page or 48-page press forms are the most efficient to print. Next month, however, I’ll discuss why a 32-page book isn’t efficient from a postage standpoint.
A 48-page catalog can also be produced using a 32-page press form on one basis weight and a 16-page press form on different basis weight, but this requires two forms, which adds to the cost.
5. Use a uniform paper weight and grade.
Keep the paper weight and grade the same for all pages throughout the run. You might need to run the cover on a heavier stock for “feel,” but the inside body pages should run on a single, lesser weight of paper.
6. Restrict covers to four pages.
Try not to print an eight-page cover, even if your catalog qualifies for the piece rate. It’s just an excess expense.
Surgical Paper Cuts
After three paper price increases last year, catalogers are paying approximately 20 percent more for paper than they did a year ago. Paper represents more than 50 percent of your total printing costs, so the impact of these increases is difficult to absorb. Here’s how to deal with the pain.