Part 1: Saving Money (unless you just like to spend money)
There are certain advantages to using an independent Graphic Designer/Printer. Not being tied down to the confines of a brick and mortar location, independent printers have extreme flexibility to shop both local and national, retail and wholesale suppliers. This gives us access to the best available pricing and widest variety of products, paper stocks and coatings without having the overhead of a storefront.
For example, when clients ask for certain items, cost comparisons are done with a number of printers, thereby passing the greatest savings to clients while maintaining the highest standards of print production. Oftentimes, one printer will be more cost-effective for one item yet higher priced for another. Throughout the years, relationships with printers are developed and guidance can be given to help clients make the best possible choices.
An example of this is a job I recently produced for an attorney client. My client decided at the last minute to attend a trade show as a vendor but had no brochures to hand out to attendees. The show was in a week so prep time was short. I was confident I could design an excellent brochure for my client but with the short timeline, I wasn’t as confident that I could have my go-to wholesale printer produce and ship the brochure in time for the show. I suggested that we produce a very small quantity (100 brochures) locally for this run and then order 1,000 brochures from my wholesale printer. Incredibly, the pricing was about the same for 1,000 brochures with my wholesale printer as it was for 100 brochures printed locally.
Another client requested postcards that were going to be used for an event in less than a week. In pricing local versus national wholesale vendors, it was determined that the cost would have been $4 less for 1,000 postcards versus the 100 locally if there had been time to order from another supplier. Additionally, the paper stock would have been thicker and UV coating could have been added for no additional price.
The reason for this is that most wholesale printers are also known as ‘Gang Run’ printers. Gang Run printers print multiple jobs on the same sheet to cut run costs and waste. The cost savings can be considerable when you know where to look.
Pricing can even vary widely among Gang Run printers. By shopping around, I found a $300 difference in the price of full color labels for one client between suppliers. My client never knew about the substantial difference in price but I knew and was able to pass those savings directly to my client. That’s why I go the extra mile to assure I’m getting the best prices for my clients while maintaining the highest quality.
For jobs needing to be produced quickly, local vendors who offer wholesale pricing are often used so all jobs can be produced for clients within their timeframe. The cost difference should remind clients to submit jobs early so they can take advantage of considerable price savings.