Generally speaking, static printing—offset or digital—has become more and more of a commodity. Are you looking for some proof? All you have to do is Google “business card printer” and look at the search results. The ability for printers to turn a profit with most static work is mostly based on machine speed (how many sheets of paper can that device print) and operator efficiency (how quickly can the operator finish one job and begin another). This is the way of the static print service provider—become more efficient and lower prices to be more competitive. Following this vicious cycle, the static printer eventually hits the proverbial “wall” where prices can longer be lowered.
The opportunities to increase profits for printers lie with variable-data printing (VDP). One of the keys to profitability is understanding the difference between estimating and pricing static printing versus VDP. As mentioned previously, offset (or any type of static printing) is a commodity and is typically sold as cost per copy. VDP, however, is a solution. It’s the value of this solution that has to be figured into the cost of the job.
In a new white paper for the DPC, author Joe Marin explains the fundamental aspects of VDP costing and pricing. All Printing Industries of America members can download this white paper here: VDP Costing and Pricing: The Fundamentals.