This week’s Print Tips at Margie Dana’s Boston Print Buyers lists “major reasons” media buyers are choosing digital print when they do decide to use print. There should be no surprises as you read the list. In the comments there is a case study from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts on their switch to Print on-Demand:
I believe that my team cited 11 or 12 of these reasons when trying to influence a cultural shift to our printing habits at BCBSMA earlier this year, so your list really hit home with me. In fact, after we conducted some unofficial research in 2008, we determined that 90% of our 750 separate supply items, were prime candidates for some kind of digital print model, whether shorter run digital, true POD or a hybrid of POD and short-stock replenishment. (By “short-stock replenishment” I mean: keeping 1-2 months supply on the shelf rather than 6-12 months supply, and replenishing inventory levels (Digital Print) to 1-2 month levels, when supplies dropped below pre-set low supply benchmarks.) We also felt that we needed to deviate from the practice of printing high quantities of first run collateral, based on the determination by our Account Managers, in hopes that those supplies would be used, though they had no known indicator for what the actual usage might be. Instead, our plan was to print to the known quantity for ‘immediate use only’ (usually digital), then either include an overprint of a small supply for inventory or roll out the piece as POD only (until a valid usage history dictated otherwise.)We concluded, that by utilizing such a digital printing/POD model, we would dramatically reduce waste, from over 40% waste to under 10%. (Potentially 100’s of thousands of dollars!) We’d also cut our warehouse space to a fraction of what it is today, while still maintaining and managing 750 or more individual collateral items, in fact, increasing the likelihood of being able to version out collateral without drastically impacting overall digital print budgets. Thanks again for this insightful list…it not only is validating for my team, but it will also help serve as a reference tool for future endeavors!
As organizations reduce their print volumes, Margie’s list contains opportunities for printers to provide solutions to address multi channel messaging and efficient use of print media.