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 Rightsizing Your Media Needs


Producing and distributing product documentation involves a combination of tangible “hard” costs (printing, inventory, distribution) and less tangible or “soft” costs (design, project management, administrative, and clerical). Breaking down and identifying each separate cost point allows you to see what areas are absorbing much of the time and profit that could be gained from a more effective print management strategy. Then, by looking at exactly what you need and when you need it, a truly unique, highly customized solution can be developed to efficiently address your needs.

With a detailed look at the factors above, companies are able to quickly maximize their market opportunity and maintain a smooth flow of information by utilizing a combination of print processes. How? By identifying where costly inventory and warehouse space can be cut by “rightsizing” inventory to include only specific titles or by lowering the quantity of each title stored. Alternatively, some titles have little or sporadic fulfillment requests, or are revised frequently making them candidates for a print-on-demand process. With a detailed review of your current process and annual inventory turn, you can choose the appropriate method of production and avoid situations like those seen in the graph below.

As you can see from the chart above, companies A, B, and E should take a hard look at their inventory to determine if the publications in the orange sector are obsolete or “dead.” These titles are not only a drain on money but also present a business risk. Some of the titles in blue may make sense to retain in inventory, but also may be good candidates for an on-demand environment. Additional factors such as historical numbers and the complexity of the piece should also be considered when determining the proper production method. By rightsizing your print needs, you are able to better manage inventory, free up invested capital, create new market opportunities, reduce expenses, and improve profitability.

So, where do your needs land? How customized do your publications need to be? How automated would you like the front and back end of your process to be? Do you typically have very short turn-times or are you able to project your future needs accurately? How much warehouse space do you have or do you want to have?

Below is a quick reference of standard print processes and the criteria for determining which process best fits a given print document. Take a look at where your current needs are, based on the categories that run down the left side. Does your current production method align with how you should be producing your materials? If not, there is definitely room for improvement