Thinking Ink: 4 Ways To Cut Costs
Although a printing contract allows for changes in actual costs of materials and services supplied by third parties, the contract can stipulate that the change doesn’t affect your costs until these products are first purchased by the printer at a change in cost. This can leave quite a delay between the announcement of a price increase and its impact on your cost, so be sure the printer’s biller is reading invoices, not press releases.
Finally, bear in mind that a manufacturer’s 12-percent ink-cost increase shouldn’t hike your prices by 12 percent. Inside your per-page cost is that printer markup, which should remain static. If your contract provides for a price audit, a third-party accountant can get down to the nitty-gritty and verify the legitimate price adjustment. If you don’t want to use such a high-handed approach, you can reasonably ask the printer to make a concession that reflects only the increase in his direct costs.
Ink is easy to take for granted and never forms a large percent of your total manufacturing costs. But it’s worth watching closely, because your printer is an effective ally in controlling the cost.
Alex Brown is a consultant to magazine publishers specializing in manufacturing and magazine management. She founded her consulting company, Printmark, in 1984, and is a frequent speaker at industry events.