August 15, 2019
What Makes a Good Digital Printing Company?
Despite that we live in the digital age most people, and most companies, still need printed materials. Lots of them. We need stationery. We still hand out those old-fashioned 2 X 3.5 inch mini-billboards called business cards because, as with shaking hands, the human gesture of handing someone something still creates a bond. We need brochures and flyers and rack cards and post cards and product sheets. We need reports and manuals and catalogs and booklets.
The fact is, there is more printing going on now than ever before
In their report The Future of Global Printing to 2022, Smithers Pira shows that, while the total global print volumes are forecast to decline marginally from 48.8 trillion A4 sheets in 2017 to 48.1 trillion in 2022, there are two areas of significant growth. One is packaging. The other is driven by the “rising requirements for higher value digital production – to print low runs and to add engagement to the printed item.”
You guessed it. That second category is digital printing, which excels as short run, high quality printing, and variable data printing that adds interaction to a simple post card, making digital printing the ideal partner for digital marketing. (For more information on this refer to our blog on Digital Print Marketing Versus Digital Online Marketing.)
We think there is another, very good reason why digital printing is on a growth track while most offset printing is declining slightly. It has to do with the just-in-time inventory management economies of contemporary companies. While just-in-time (JIT) inventory management was invented way back in the 1970s, it has come to be the standard way in which many companies deal most cost-effectively with product inventories. Put simply, since it costs a lot of money to buy large quantities of things (e.g. parts, components, products) and even more money to store all those products, why not just order, and pay for, the quantity you need when you need it. At the same time, you save money on storage and retrieval costs.
Printed materials are one of those products that companies used to have to order in big quantities due to the economics of offset printing. But three factors of digital printing changed all that:
This means that digital printing is the ideal technology for just-in-time, cost- and time-effective printing.
The best printers have always sought to be good, productive partners with their clients. But digital technology has allowed a far closer partnership between printer and publisher of materials that saves companies time and money. To quickly illustrate the difference that digital technology has made, let’s take a simple example. The humble business card.
It used to be that companies that had multi-color business cards would print a large run of “master” cards. The master would contain the color and constant elements of the card. This was a large expenditure up front, although it did save money compared to setting up for a multi-color job each time new cards were needed. As well, someone had to store the masters; usually it was the printer, who may have charged a storage cost. After all, printers pay rent by the square foot, too, and storing boxes of master cards – and other materials – for a hundred clients takes up space. Then, as employees came and went, the company would send over the new names, titles, and contact information and the printer would print those on to the masters in short one-color runs – usually black ink.
With digital printing’s low setup times and costs, there’s no longer any need to produce large runs of master cards. Even if the company has two to three color cards, they simply order a small run of cards with the names they need each time. There’s no large initial cash outlay and no storage costs, plus the turnaround time is generally shorter.
Now, multiply that simple example by a plethora of printed marketing and instructional materials that need to change over time and it becomes clear why digital printing is not only cost effective, but simply easier. Your “storage” is now a digital file on a computer. You don’t print excessive quantities because you can simply send a new, edited file to your digital printer and have the appropriate quantity of printed products quickly delivered.
Partnering closely with your digital printer is like having your own, just-in-time printing plant. But without the associated costs.
At Rhino Digital Printing, we realized a long time ago that we bring value to our clients in two ways. One, by printing high quality color and black and white jobs in a timely, cost-effective manner. Two, by partnering closely with clients in a way that meets their just-in-time printing needs. This is more than just an attitude. Our clients know that they can easily submit a digital file to us via our website and we’ll get going on their job. We’re always just a quick call away. If a printed piece, such as a business card, needs changes, we do those and quickly send a digital proof.
The old joke about offset printing used to be, “You want low price, high quality, and fast turnaround? Pick one. Maybe two if you are lucky” With Rhino Digital’s just-in-time, high quality, cost-effective printing, that joke now has a better punch line. Pick all three.
We’re digital printing experts serving the Portland, Oregon area and the U.S. For more information contact us. Or better yet, give us a call at: 503-233-2477. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and help you with tips and information on getting your printing projects done in the most economical and timely manner possible.