Things to Watch for When Evaluating Digital Press Contracts (Part 1)

By | October 21, 2016

Looking to invest in a new digital press? Wondering what to watch out for when evaluating the contracts of potential vendors? Here is a checklist from printers who have made this investment based on their personal experiences. This is not to suggest that these “hidden” issues are rampant among digital press vendors. Only that they can pop up here and there.

These comments were taken from an online discussion group. To protect the members’ privacy, their names have been removed from the quotes.

1. Color clicks vs. full-color clicks.

Some devices are capable of “clicking” the meter for every printed, which can make your full-color costs higher than expected.

“If this is part of an MPS contract where you are given an inclusive volume of prints, then your excess costs will be enormous as the items you thought to be one click will actually be four. Always ensure that your service or MPS contract states the color charges as full-color only.”

2. Terms like “duty cycle” and “rated volume.”

These often mean that the press is intended to run for the rated period of time.

“Penalties . . .  often lie on the other side of violating such terms.”

3. Inclusive volumes that are A4 only.

“Some current service contracts show a “minimum bill” that includes a number of full-color images. I have seen several cases where the customer believes that the inclusive volume is A3/SRA3 only to be invoiced for the additional cost because it was actually accounting for A4 prints. Always ensure in writing that your service provider states whether inclusive volumes are A4 or A3/SRA3.”

4. Annual increases in click cost.

“Having run a digital press for many years, they never really spell out or explain how they increase your click cost each year along with the Fiery RIP cost. Over a five-year period, this can virtually double your cost per print.”

Another member noted, however, that he has not seen increases in click costs for his machines unless they were getting near end of life. In fact, he has actually seen some reductions based on increases in volumes and advances in technology.

5. Volume plans that don’t match your actual volumes.

“These can be [a waste of money] also, because if you don’t hit the agreed upon volume, you get nothing credited back but have paid for it upfront.

Check out my post next week for the rest of the list.

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