Case Study: How NEBS Brought Prepress in House
Problem: Multititle business-to-business cataloger NEBS wanted to reduce catalog and direct mail prepress costs charged by its third-party providers.
Solution: Bring prepress duties in house.
Results: Prepress costs were reduced by up to 50 percent, for an estimated annual savings of more than $450,000. And production turnaround times have decreased significantly.
New England Business Service (NEBS) has provided small to medium-sized U.S. businesses with forms, checks and promotional solutions since 1952. The Groton, MA-based company now boasts a customer base of more than 2 million.
NEBS produces more than 40 catalog titles, with a total annual circulation of more than 57 million. Individual print runs range from 150,000 to 9 million.
The company’s relatively new Premedia Services team handles the preparatory work for all of these catalogs, as well as the company’s overall marketing efforts (about 10,000 advertising pages annually), says Mike Apfelberg who oversees the in-house service bureau.
Why bring catalog and direct mail prepress duties in house? NEBS’ officials set out to change their print strategy, with a goal of reducing prepress costs, first for catalog and direct mail operations, and then for corporate
Earning Their Prepress Chops
“We brought prepress services in house for the Direct Marketing division about three years ago, and for the rest of the corporation about a year ago,” Apfelberg recounts. “We used to send out files in native formats to our service bureau or our printers’ prepress department. Then we’d get proofs back that we’d either ‘OK’ or make corrections on.” That process, he says, often took days of transit time and forced quality compromises.
But since bringing prepress in house, the process has been streamlined. “Now we supply our printers with our own RIPed files,” Apfelberg continues. “We transmit DCS 2 files generated off of our NEXUS RIP, along with contract proofs generated off of our DuPont Digital WaterProof or our Epson 7600 with DuPont Chromapro RIP.”