Save on Printing Costs: The Right Type of Printing Can Reduce Your Office Expenses

By Lindsay, David | Black Enterprise, February 1998 | Go to article overview

Save on Printing Costs: The Right Type of Printing Can Reduce Your Office Expenses


Lindsay, David, Black Enterprise


Are your printing costs too high? If so, maybe you're using the wrong process. Small businesses with runs of 500 copies or less can cut costs with digital printing, a low-cost alternative.

Xerox, an early entrant in the arena, estimates that the multibillion-dollar digital printing market grows more than 10% each year. To capitalize on this trend, many print shops have acquired digital machines to offer flyer, booklet or book printing in numbers well below the minimum quantities that traditional printers require.

Because of several fixed costs in printing, traditional offset printers must produce a minimum number of copies (around 500 for documents, 1,000 for books) for their work to be cost-effective. For a customer seeking limited quantities, these minimums can turn a print purchase into an unnecessary strain on cash flow, especially if he or she is paying for storage space. "Traditionally, people have paid to print more than they need and they end up storing their money in boxes," says Cheryl Waters, president of BCP Digital Printing in Baltimore.

The digital press is a computer-driven machine that pulls images from electronic files rather than printing plates. The text and layout of a book, for example, can be stored on disk and printed out as needed. Since it does not require the labor, materials and setup time of a traditional press, consumers get printed materials without placing large orders.

Reduced digital press setup and maintenance requirements can also translate into minimal costs for the consumer. The setup charges for digital printing and traditional printing are $130 and $500-$800, respectively.

Waters believes digital printing also offers flexibility because it gives consumers the power to cheaply correct, update and reprint materials. …

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