“Virtually” In Love with On-Demand Printing

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February 15, 2010

In industries where physical products are sold, a number that is critically analyzed is inventory turnover.  Without going into a long calculation, this number illustrates the company’s good or poor management of inventory.  It can highlight that too much inventory is in stock, causing high carrying costs and poor use of cash, or it can show that too little inventory is being held, causing shortages and lost revenue.

Recently while attending a client review meeting, I witnessed how this client applies inventory turnover to using an on-demand printing platform.  Being a numbers person myself, I was immediately intrigued.  (Just so you know, an “on-demand printing,” “web-to-print” or “marketing communications portal” solution basically allows easy, speedy, online ordering of printed products like stationery, forms, labels, envelopes, postcards, business cards, etc.

This client took their printed inventory cost to practically $0 by:

  • Using a web interface to order only what is needed, instead of massive bulk shipments
  • Shipping stationery, forms and fliers directly to their sales personnel instead of storing and shipping from their corporate headquarters
  • Printing all of their direct mailings using on-demand digital technology, eliminating the storing of shell postcards and the cost of overprinting

Not to mention the thousands of dollars they are saving by streamlined invoicing and ordering processes.  They are “virtually” in love with on-demand printing.  Yes, they pay a little more per printed piece, but probably not as much as you think.  And yes, they know exactly what they are saving using this solution, although they weren’t willing to share the numbers with me.  Hmmm… I wonder if I’m not charging them enough?

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