Kansas Department of Administration, Division of Facilities Management
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Cost saving Tips:

Reduce number of pages:
One of the primary cost factors in a printed project is the number of pages in the document. Printing on both sides of the sheet can reduce page count. Adjusting the space between the lines can help also. Smaller type fonts and reducing the number of graphic elements are also options for page reduction. Designing pages is often a delicate balance between aesthetics and function. Cutting costs by detracting from the usability of the document is a false savings.

Reduce number of ink colors used:
For each color of ink used in a publication multiple functions must take place.  Each color requires its own negative, plate and an extra press run.  If proofing is required for the job there are more steps involved. It is easy to see that reducing the number of ink colors will save both time and money.

Generic distribution list:
If a business form is printed with a distribution list that is different on each part of the form there will need to be a negative produced, flat stripped and plate created and a press plate mounted for each individual part. If the list includes complete distribution information for all sets then all parts may be printed from one negative, one flat, one plate and a single press plate.  The result is reduced cost without sacrificing efficiency in most cases.

Contract paper:
The Division of Purchases negotiates a state wide contract for fine paper each year.  This contract includes most of the categories of paper that will be needed by any state agency. The items on contract meet all technical specifications for specific paper grades and are often priced as much as 50% below the normal book price.

Contract paper is nearly always less costly than non-contract paper but this savings comes with a different kind of price tag. It requires that agencies plan ahead. Non-contract items are generally available with less lead time than contract paper. Contract paper may take as long as one to two weeks to arrive.  The job will still need to be printed and bound after it arrives. This can be a problem for jobs not allowing sufficient lead time.

In order to receive contract pricing it is necessary to purchase full carton quantities.   This does not create a problem for larger jobs but in many cases smaller jobs needing only a fraction of a mill carton become impractical. Call Division of Printing Customer Service Department for assistance in selecting a low cost solution available to meet your paper needs.

Whistles and Bells:
The Division of Printing is capable of adding nearly any "fancy" element to your publication but they all cost in two ways: Time and money. We can "die cut", perforate, foil stamp and emboss, ladder fold, full-reverse, heavy coverage, full-bleed, graduated-screen and use lots of specialty inks and papers. The customer should be aware that these are all cost and time factors for your project.

Plan ahead:
The Division of Printing does not directly charge extra for rush jobs but there are a number of indirect costs associated with them.  Often it is necessary to work overtime to meet rush schedules and we all know about time and one-half. In order to get paper or other necessary materials on less than normal lead time it may be necessary to pay a surcharge up to 25% or, in other cases, extra freight costs. Contract paper, for example, generally does not incur any freight cost.  One way to speed up delivery is to pay the additional freight.   On several thousand pounds of paper this can be a significant cost.

There is a saying that applies to the printing industry as a whole: "There is never time to do the job right but there is always time to do it again". This is a process that is witnessed over and over again. Jobs are rushed into production and corners are cut to make a difficult delivery date only to find that the job is not what is needed and must be reprinted.

Appropriate proofing:
This is somewhat difficult to explain but it is easily recognized when it does not happen. Here is an example: Customer furnished camera-ready copy for a project and requests a blueline proof. We shoot negatives and process them, impose them into flats and expose blueline proof paper, process the proof paper, dry it, fold it and deliver it to the customer. Depending on the number of pages, ink colors and other factors, this can represent a lot of hours of work. Where this process becomes inappropriate is when the customer returns the proof with a number of pages of corrections. This means that at least a portion of the work we have already performed will be trashed and we start over, sometimes completely. The appropriate procedure would have been to spend extra time proofing the copy prior to sending it to the printer and not requesting a proof at all. The blueline proof is an extremely poor time to begin checking for typos, grammar, spelling or content. This should have been done prior to sending in the copy. Camera-ready copy, properly submitted, should not require any proof stage.

Order more:
In most cases ordering an additional thousand of a publication will be considerably less costly than ordering another thousand later.  There are a number of set-up costs involved in producing an offset print job.  These are the costs required to print a quantity of one.  If these costs are represented by a cost of a hundred dollars then the cost would be one hundred dollars each.  In order to double the order, each piece of equipment involved in the production would be left running for an additional one second.  The incremental cost of doubling the order would be miniscule but the cost of each item would be cut by nearly 50%.  This is an extreme case but it does demonstrate the theory.

Know what you want:
Jobs that are well defined when they are submitted to the printer have a much better chance of being completed on time and within the estimated cost.  When specifications change or are invented during production we do not always take the most efficient route to getting the  job completed.  If, for example, we are working on a single color job and specifications are changed to add a second color, any stripping we have done or negatives produced will be rendered useless.  Having to start over will obviously increase the production cost and time.

Talk to the printer:
When preparing complex projects it is always a good idea to get the printer involved early on.  This can save a lot of "do overs" and help avoid pitfalls.  There have been numerous examples of jobs submitted  to the printer that cannot be produced within the available budget.   Much time and effort could have been avoided by getting some preliminary cost estimates before investing hours of work on the project.  Often we can suggest alternatives which will save money while maintaining the appearance and functionality of the product.  Savings available are substantially reduced after a lot of effort has been expended.

Print on demand:
Print on demand is a concept where the customer orders only  the amount needed "now" and additional copies are ordered when they are needed.  This is opposed by the traditional method of ordering a years supply and warehousing them.   By using this concept with appropriate print jobs the cost associated with warehouse space, inventory control and discarding obsolete publications to make corrections are eliminated.  The print on demand concept assures that information provided to the end user is always accurate and up to date.  Print jobs may be ordered by "batches".  Create an order for 500 copies each week or each month.  If corrections are necessary, notify the printer, send the new copy and the correction is made.  It's that simple.

Print on demand is not appropriate for all print jobs.  It applies to jobs printed in black ink and with a format suitable for electronic publishing on the Xerox Docutech 6180.  Some jobs will incur increased "overall" print costs which will mitigate the savings mentioned above. Careful analysis of the overall suitability of a particular job is an important aspect.   Call customer service at the Division of Printing for assistance in making this determination.