We have been asked dozens of times, “How Print on Demand Benefits Inventory Control.” You will learn in the following article.
Print marketing materials are still one of the best ways to raise awareness of your services. According to a survey from FedEx, four out of five small business owners say that print marketing helps them stand out among the competition.
Our world may be increasingly digital, but there’s something about the feel of print that enhances trust and appeal. What you might not know is that you can get all the benefits of print marketing while keeping costs under control by using print on demand companies. Learn what print on demand is, how print on demand works, and the benefits of print on demand for inventory control.
What is Print on Demand?
Print on demand is a custom printing process. The need determines the print run size. Print orders are planned as they come in, rather than guaranteed before the print run is determined.
Let’s say that you have a customer in another state that you have been supplying print material, in this case, it is informational healthcare books. You normally would order the yearly quantity in this case 50,000 books. Now, with print on demand, you only order what is needed at the time maybe 2,000 books.
In other words, if you normally print 50,000 books per year and these are kept in inventory until a quantity is needed but you end up throwing away 12,000 because you didn’t need them, it will be reflected in your budget. Not with print on demand.
The print on demand model was developed after digital printing. Before then it would not have been economically feasible for a printer to set up for a job to print a small quantity.
With print on demand, files can be printed as needed, when needed, and only in quantity required — even if it’s a small quantity. Since the file is saved, documents can be printed any time without extra work or costs on the part of the print shop or you, the business owner.
Cutting back on print paper comes with financial and environmental incentives.
Another benefit of print on demand is you can get paper marketing materials for that important brochure or updated healthcare material without worrying about the need to meet traditional printing order minimums.
It’s easier to maintain a print inventory with print on demand because you can see your existing print stock at a glance and order precisely what you need saving you money.
Print-on-demand benefits all sorts of printed materials, not just marketing materials. For healthcare and medical fields, print on demand is practical for informational, and customer service oriented print campaigns, such as pamphlets or books that explain the benefits of a given health insurance plan.
Healthcare and insurance companies can also create customized printed documents for their customers, including EOBs. Just be sure that your data is sent through a secure FTP site,
With the traditional printing process, the setup costs represent a large portion of the total job costs. The cost is amortized over the total print run, so it’s a marginal cost per item printed. With digital printing, there’s not as much to set up, so it becomes cost-effective to do smaller jobs that would not be economically feasible with the traditional printing process.
The benefits of a small print run carry over to inventory and management, as well. For example, consider a large print job, where your business must order dozens of boxes of material, which then sit around in storage until your company uses them. If you have enough storage space onsite, then you can store items in your building. If you don’t have enough storage space, your business will need to assume warehousing costs to pay for physical inventory.
Switching to print on demand reduces inventory accounting, storage costs, handling costs, and waste.
How to Print on Demand
Now that you know the benefits of print on demand, you might be wondering how print on demand works.
The process starts well before printing. At Preferred Direct we want to make sure that your graphic design and the finished product looks great. Also, that it will meet your needs, and that the work is cost-effective.
We offer a range of printing services with or without variable data. We offer binding and finishing solutions and we will always talk through the options with you so you know how to get the look you need for each print job.
We are a very hands-on printing provider, so we work one-on-one with all of our clients through the design and fulfillment process. We’ll make sure you understand all of the factors that affect the print job, so you know what variables affect the quality of the product or our approach to keeping your sensitive information secure.
We are HIPPA Compliant and HITRUST (CSF) Certified
When everything is ready, we’ll do the print job for you. Online proofs and tracking are available through our secure FTP site.
How Print on Demand Affects Inventory Control
Inventory management may not be something you give much thought to, but print-on-demand offers significant inventory control benefits over the traditional print process.
As mentioned above, the traditional print model comes with a high setup cost. For high-volume items, where you know the materials will move before they become dated, traditional printing may be the right choice.
There’s another result from the traditional process, which is high amounts of waste. If you over-estimate the number of copies you will need for a brochure or flyer; then you could be left with boxes of material that are soon outdated. Companies often don’t question the drawbacks of the print model — or how the waste impacts their bottom line by tying up capital.
The quality of digital printing has improved, where printed products now rival the quality of offset printed items. As a small business, whether you’re in financial, health, or nonprofit sectors, it’s never been a better time to use print-on-demand services. The costs per-unit comparable to traditional print jobs, but the financial savings and inventory control benefits exceed what regular printing offers.
Inventory control shows you at a glance how many copies of print items you have. You can check how much stock you have and order additional copies either as often as you need or when you hit minimum stock levels.
With inventory control, your business will always have the right number of copies in the right place when needed — say, for an upcoming brochure mailing. By ordering low quantities, you can keep costs affordable while reducing the expense of the item storage and disposal.
When you’re relying on print on demand to keep inventory levels low, you need a supplier who will be able to deliver orders efficiently and effectively. Inventory control will ensure the customer never runs out. Many print shops can complete a job in anywhere from one to three days, once you’ve done the initial setup work of creating and refining the order. At Preferred Direct, we work with businesses in a range of industries, including education, nonprofit, medical, and insurance. To get a quote for printing services, or to learn more about what sets us apart from other printing companies, contact us today. Call Toll-Free: 1.844.719.1848.