Selecting a Print Location for Your Catalog Version
Executives at Eddie Bauer print and mail about 400,000 catalogs in the German market. “Our time schedule is always very tight,” says Luise Babl, director of marketing at Eddie Bauer GmbH & Co., explaining why the cataloger prints and mails within this target market. “We don’t lose time for transportation, there are no additional [transportation] costs and no customs [requirements].”
Pump up the Volume
Logistics is another key element in the “where” equation. How many catalogs are you mailing? If you’re sending fewer than 100,000, it could be more economical to print and mail from the States. However, if you’re mailing more than 100,000 catalogs in, say, Europe, it’s often more cost effective to print and mail from a central European location than to print and mail from the United States.
If you’re printing several editions of your catalog in different languages, build volume and take advantage of scale economies by working with one regional printer and exporting catalogs to their individual countries rather than working with different printers in each country.
“If you’re mailing a localized version of your catalog in four or five European countries, it’s more efficient and cost effective to print in one location, even if you’re doing four color plate changes, because the press is webbed up and prepared to print your catalog,” Ohnmacht says.
When business-to-business cataloger New Pig began printing British and German editions, all catalogs were printed at one U.K. location. Both editions were printed on the same press, using a black plate change to switch from the English to the German language.
However, as its business grew, New Pig could no longer print color plates at the same time because each book had its own mail plan. Plus, it cost more to ship catalogs from the United Kingdom to Germany than it would to print its German-language catalogs in Germany.