Special Report Printing, Paper & Production
#2 Practice good list hygiene. "Scrub your customer list extra well," Sayin says. "This will reduce undeliverables, which will save money on printing, paper and postage."
#3 Identify trends. Mary Ann Nisca, director of print production for cataloger Lillian Vernon Corp., suggests looking for trends, and listening to your customers. For example, she says, "Fewer people are ordering with our order form insert. There's been an increase in orders via phone and Web. Because of this, we eliminated our separate order form insert and went to an on-page order form."
#4 Scout out new papers. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, printing on the same stocks. Now's a good time to explore your paper options. You might be impressed with some of the new stocks and grades, and might even save some dough.
Nisca says, "We lowered the paper basis weight on our inner form. This will allow us to save on postage costs. We're also looking at alternative paper grades that may help offset increased costs in paper and postage."
#5 Conduct a weigh-in. "We're in the process of reviewing our page counts," Nisca continues. "One thing to note regarding postage: If your book weighs less than 3.3 ounces, lowering your page counts won't change your postage costs. We try to fill as many pages as possible to meet the postal minimum. The post office charges a flat rate for pieces less than that weight."
#6 Rethink how you buy paper. Sayin suggests, "If you use more than 500,000 pounds of paper in the course of a year, try purchasing your paper direct. You'll save at least 5 percent in printer markup right off the top. Then, ask your printer about some of the newer, lightweight, supercalendared sheets with high brightness and good opacity. You might find some real savings."