Printing & Paper Efficiences
By changing the basis weight of the catalog, the cost per catalog page is reduced by $1.67, which represents a 19.6-percent cost reduction. On a run of 1 million catalogs, you can save, in real dollars, a total amount of $107,000 by making the change to a lighter-weight paper combination. (That is: 64 pages x $544/M x 1 million copies = $544,000, and 64 pages x $437/M x 1 million copies = $437,000. $544,000 - $437,000 = $107,000, or 19.6 percent savings.)
Assuming a 6-percent customer return rate and a 55-percent gross profit margin ratio, your incremental per page break-even point is reduced from $17,347 to $13,935 for a reduction of $3,412 per page. A reduction of this amount can greatly increase profitability.
It’s generally most efficient to print in 16-page (or at least eight- page) sections and with one weight of paper if possible. For example, you could print a 64-page catalog with two press makereadies (two 32-page sections) more efficiently than you could print a 44-page catalog (requiring three makereadies).
As you can see from the charts, it’s possible to circulate the same number of pages (or more) for less money. Unless your product presentation requires top-grade paper, which most do not, substantial money can be saved by altering paper and print manufacturing combinations. Ask your printer for cost-saving options.
And be aware of the 3.3 ounce maximum weight limitation for mailing at the U.S. Postal Service piece rate. If you’re unsure what the impact of this type of change will have on your results, test different paper-weight and grade combinations first.
Remember, as you increase pages, consider reducing the basis weight of the paper you’re using to reduce and leverage costs.
Stephen R. Lett is president of Lett Direct., a catalog consulting firm specializing in circulation planning, forecasting and analysis. He can be reached at (302) 541-0608 or by e-mail at www.lettdirect.com.