Using Foreign Printers
It is generally an accepted rule of thumb in the print world that you can have only two of three things: low price, rapid delivery and high-quality. When publishers are purchasing print services domestically, they often sacrifice price for speed and quality. However, North American print buyers frequently fail to consider that with a small sacrifice in timeliness, it is possible to achieve extremely significant gains in quality and savings. It just takes a little organization, communication and global thinking.
Enter foreign printers.
What kind of jobs lend themselves to being printed abroad? Historically, ideal candidates for foreign printing have been complex coffee-table books that do don't require time-critical production schedules.
Complex jobs yield higher profits
Complex jobs are ideal because they present the greatest opportunity to save money. According to Gordon Goff, president of Palace Press International, "The more it costs to produce a product, the greater the savings are going to be. [With foreign printers] you save on the total spectrum of operating costs. Machine time costs less; paper and binding are both cheaper and the labor is much less expensive, especially in China, and to a lesser degree, in Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea." Thus, a book that costs $12 to produce domestically may cost only $6 abroad.
Why is it so much less expensive to print abroad?
The most important contributing factor is the lower cost of foreign labor. From machine operators to prepress specialists to hand labor, people's time is less expensive to purchase abroad. This is not to say that foreign printers are exploiting their workers by violating labor laws, a practice for which the textile industry is infamous. These are skilled laborers whose wage buys them a higher standard of living in their country. Paolo Cornacchia, accounting manager at Palace Press International, has personally seen many of these printers in action and in his experience, "Foreign labor laws in the print industry are every bit as strict as in [the United States]."