NPRC Launches Major Sign Survey

A new sign survey covering the latest in pricing for signs and wide format products has been launched by the National Printing Research Council (NPRC). The 2018-2019 Signs & Wide Format Pricing Survey, Although off to a rocky start after dealing with a major cyber attack on its website, is now back on track and reporting an excellent response rate.

Some of the many products and services covered in this new survey include substrate capabilities and pricing, banners & flags, foam core, colorplast, ACM and magnetic pricing, decals (square and contour), vehicle decals, and flat service vehicle wraps. Other products surveyed include window perfs, vinyl signs (simple and complex), misc. hourly rates for vinyl services, plus custom vehicle wrap charges and capabilities.

NPRC’s newest survey, the results of which will be published in early September, will be based upon input from hundreds of printers and sign company owners just like yourself. More than 45,000 firms offering or specializing in signs and large format have been invited to participate in this key industry survey. Participation may be limited so recipients are encouraged to complete and return their surveys early!

Deadline for participation is July 30, 2018Click here to download the worksheet and submit your survey early! NPRC expects to release this key industry study in mid-September. Note this worksheet is just that – a worksheet that you complete at your leisure. Once completed, you are then directed to a link that takes you to our official, on-line site where you will enter your answers. Remember, much of this survey can easily be delegated or assigned to a trusted manager or other key employee. Please, however, remember to stress the July 31, 2018 submission deadline.

Alternate Site: In the event you have difficulty downloading the worksheet from our website, the Survey Worksheet can also be downloaded from our Alternate Site by Clicking Here.

 

 

 

NPRC Releases Bindery Services Pricing Study

The 2018 Printing Industry Bindery Services Pricing Study is now available for immediate shipment. Published by the National Printing Research Council (NPRC), this new study offers the most detailed analysis of bindery services ever published in the printing industry. This nedw study, released May 15, 2018, covers literally dozens and dozens of bindery services and products typically offered in the printing industry. The new report provides both average and median pricing, plus in most cases, per M or unit pricing.  You can view the entire Table of Contents by CLICKING HERE.

Services and products highlighted include 3-hole drilling, cutting, folding, collating, numbering (both digital and crash numbering), perfect binding, booklet making, regular and NCR padding as well as dozens of other charges. Visit the NPRC Bookstore today to place your order.

Remember, as usual, all NPRC publications are sold on a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not totally satisfied these reports are not everything we promise!

NPRC Member Price (PDF): $79.50
NPRC Member Price (Hard Copy): $89.50   

Non-Member Price (PDF): $159.00
Non-Member Price (Hard Copy): $179.00

Pricing Study – Table of Contents and Sample Pricing Page

You asked for it, so we did it! Recently we received some inquiries from owners who have been thinking about purchasing our latest pricing study – The 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study, but told us that before they placed an order they would like to view the Table of Contents – a pretty reasonable request, but something we had failed to think about. So here it is… Click Here to see exactly what products are covered. 

Although this new pricing study, like all publications published by NPRC, is sold on a 100% money-back guarantee, some folks would still rather just be sure what our studies contain before they place an order. Then visit the  NPRC Bookstore to place your order.

You can also  download three different sample pages from this just-released study. Click on one or more of the pages depicted below to download a complete full-page PDF.

The first page is a sample pricing page depicting pricing for 4 x 9″ Rack Cards. Click on the image to print-out the pricing sheet:

Rack Card Pricing is one of more than 30 products and/or services covered in the 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study.

The second is a pricing page covering 9 x 12″ Digital Envelopes printed in black as well as 4C.

Click here or the artwork above to download a PDF of one of two pages offered in the study dealing with envelope printing.

The third page is a pricing page covering 4/0 and 4/4 Digitally produced business cards.

Click here or artwork above to download a sample pricing page for 4/0 and 4/4 business cards.

 

 

Business Card Pricing – Minor Corrections

Ooops – We made a mistake. It wasn’t our first and it probably won’t be our last. In any event, we reported some incorrect “Business Card Pricing Data” in the 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study. Specifically, the pricing errors applies only to the per unit pricing for  digital business cards and only for the 250 quantity, as reported on pages 70 & 71 of  the just-released Study.

Data data for average and median pricing, as well as majority low and majority high pricing was correct, but our “price per card” at the 250 quantity for six of the eight possible entries was wrong. 

Click on the link below to view a PDF of both corrected pages.

Click here to view and print the corrected PDF for these two pages. 

 

 

Sample Pricing From Bindery Survey

PRELIMINARY SAMPLE PRICING FROM
NEW NPRC BINDERY SERVICES SURVEY

Interested in some preliminary, “early bird” sample pricing extracted from NPRC’s 2018 Bindery Services Pricing Survey?– then check out some of our pricing below.

Remember, every printing firm that participates in this survey will receive a copy of the final study absolutely FREE. Surveys must be submitted no later than the March 31, 2018 Deadline. Click here to download worksheet.

The following sample prices are subject to change, but from our experience, even with a small sampling, these prices will probably be very close to the data we will provide in the final study:

  • Hand gathering, average hourly charge… $47.38
  • Hand collate 6M folded sheets, $214.49 or $35.75/M
  • Machine Collate 500 each of 10 8.5 x 11 sheets (5M total)… $17.99/M
  • Hourly cutting charge… $55.71
  • Charge per individual cut… $1.12
  • 3-Hole Drilling, off-line (60# stock)… $10.52/M
  • 3-Hole Drilling on digital device… $11.27/M
  • Padding Charge, 100 pads, 8.5 x 11, 100 shts/pad… $0.50 cents/pad
  • Numbering Charge on digital devices… $28.64/M
  • Crash Imprint 1M 2-part NCR… $36.17
  • Plus pricing for literally dozens and dozens of the most popular bindery services and products produced or offered in our industry!

If you’re really interested in fully exploring what fellow printers, large and small, are charging for various bindery services such as scoring, perfing, collating (machine and manual), cutting charges, plastic coil and Wire-O, 3-hole drilling and a dozen of other popular bindery services offered in our industry then you should really plan on participating in this popular industry survey.

You can easily end up paying $170 or more for this study when it is released in the next 60 days, OR or you can receive it FREE just by participating. Go here to download the 2018 Bindery Services Pricing Worksheet.

 

NPRC Launches Bindery Services Survey

Just released – a brand new industry survey by NPRC.

Interested in exploring what fellow printers, large and small, are charging for various bindery services such as scoring, perfing, collating (machine and manual), cutting charges, plastic coil and Wire-O, 3-hole drilling and a dozen other of the most popular bindery services offered in our industry? If so, then download the 2018 Bindery Services Pricing Worksheet.

The 2018 Printing Industry Bindery Services Pricing Study will bring you up-to-date pricing information about key bindery and finishing services used on a daily basis in our industry. 

Deadline for participating in this popular industry survey is March 31, 2018. Firms that participate and submit their survey by the published deadline will receive a complete copy of the final publication absolutely FREE. Why pay $150 or more when this study is released in April when you can receive it free.

This survey is ideal for assigning to a manager or key employee.

Paper Purchasing – Our Latest Data

Purchasing Paper – A Growing Challenge or
Business as Usual for Many Printing Firms?

The National Printing Research Council recently conducted a survey dealing with some of the classic issues confronting printers when it comes to purchasing paper, and while there were no “real surprises” uncovered, we did get a better feel regarding how printers deal with the second largest expense item confronting them in this industry – Paper!

First, let’s take a look at some of the basic statistics derived from our survey data. Approximately 158 printers from around the country participated in our survey. They came from small towns and cities such as Monticello, KY and Pickney, MI to much larger cities such as Houston, TX  and Pittsburgh, PA.

Second, while our survey did not directly ask for annual sales, we know that the average annual sales of our participants was in the $800,000 range while the median sales was closer to $520,000. We were able to extrapolate our annual data sales based upon other data provided by our participants – specifically monthly paper sales and the percent of paper purchases as a percent of total sales.

Average annual sales of survey participants: $822,300
Average paper purchases as a percent of total sales: 12.55%
Median annual sales of survey participants: $521,739
Median paper purchases as a percent of total sales: 11.50%

As for purchases of paper reported as a percent of total sales, the average 12.55% reported above, is extremely close to the 10.5% reported in the 2017-2018 Financial Benchmarking Study. According to the Benchmarking Study, the top quartile based upon profitability reported average paper expenditures of 10.5% while the bottom quartile reported 12.7% for paper purchases.

Survey participants also reported the following:

     • Average Paper Order… $584
     • Median Paper Order… $400

Approximately 44% of our participants reported purchasing paper every day, while another 35% told us they placed an order every 2-3 days. The reasons for paper frequency have as much to do with general sales volume as they do with minimum order requirements imposed by paper vendors.

Firms located in isolated, rural or small town environments tend to be, by their very geographic location, smaller firms and as a consequence they tend to also order smaller $$$ amounts of paper than printers located in suburban or major markets.

Minimum Paper Orders & Paper Stores

Approximately 32% of survey participants reported their local paper vendor (primary or secondary) imposes a minimum paper purchase order before they will deliver. The rest of our participants indicted they faced little if any imposed paper purchase minimums.

While 44% of our respondents indicated they place paper orders every day, another 21% indicate they place orders once a week or less.

In fact, a few printers told us they could order as little as $25-50 and their paper company would deliver, often at no extra charge.

Other printers, however, reported having to order $400 or more to avoid paying a delivery fees of $50 or more.

Approximately one-third of paper vendors have established a “Minimum Purchase” requirement before they will deliver paper.

The average minimum paper purchase required by vendors imposing such an amount is $273. The median amount is $300.

For printers unable to meet these “minimum purchase amounts” they are typically faced with an average or special delivery fee of $80. The median delivery fee, when imposed, is $25.

Although we have no hard data to support this, we believe there is a decline in the number of paper stores available and serving the printing industry.

What about “paper stores”? The industry is pretty much split when it comes to having access to such a convenient alternative to relying on paper deliveries, especially for small amounts of paper. Approximately 55% of our respondents told us they have access to such stores, while 45% told us they have no access.

Paper Vendors & Delivery Frequency

Once again, larger printing firms in larger markets have the benefit of more frequent paper deliveries. Approximately 79% of our survey respondents told us their paper companies deliver to their markets every single day.

A small percent of our respondents indicated they could only count on scheduled paper deliveries twice a week. Fortunately, most printers can count on paper deliveries 5 days per week.

At the other end of the spectrum are about 13% of printers who either get paper deliveries once or twice each week, or must rely on freight companies or services such as UPS and FedEx.

Approximately 66% of our survey participants told us that their primary paper vendor does offer alternative shipping and were more than willing to ship paper orders via UPS, FedEx and couriers if their paper order was too small to process internally.

Discounts for Prompt Payment?

Regardless of whether the paper vendor is a primary or a secondary supplier, a significant percent offer discounts for prompt payment of invoices.

      • 67% of Primary Vendor Offer a Discount
     • 62% of Secondary Vendors Offer a Discount

Location, Location, Location

It should come as no surprise that paper vendors tend to be located where the action is, and where the action is also means where large numbers of printers are located as well – where else but in larger metropolitan areas.

Almost 12% of the printers we surveyed indicated their primary paper vendor was at least 100 miles away!

Our survey also asked printers to tell us the approximate distance between their primary and secondary paper vendors and their own location. Approximately 67% of printers told us their paper vendors were located 50 miles or less from their own location, with a majority of them telling us their paper vendor was less than 25 miles away!

“Many printers around the country don’t know how lucky they are. Our one and only paper supplier, Mac Paper, is approximately 75 miles away and they have made it almost impossible for smaller printers to deal with them…”

On the other hand, approximately 8% of our participants told us their primary vendor was located between 100-200 miles away. Another 2% told us their primary vendor was more than 200 miles away!

When it comes to secondary vendors, it gets even worse, 15% of our participants telling us that their secondary vendor was 100-200 miles away.

One printer complained and told us, “Many printers around the country don’t know how lucky they are. Our one and only paper supplier, Mac Paper, is approximately 75 miles away and they have made it almost impossible for smaller printers to deal with them. They won’t even deliver a paper order worth less than $200. If the order is between $200 and $400 they charge a $50 delivery fee. Between $400 and $500 they charge a $25 fee. Plus, on top of that they also hit us with a $6 fuel charge.”

 

 

 

Digital Color Pricing Tips

Pricing Newsletters or Booklets Feature Make
Quoting Odd Quantities Easier than Ever!

Here’s a “real world” example of how to get the most out of the newly released NPRC 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study. Some people are often overwhelmed at the information available in our studies, so we thought we would pass on a couple of digital color pricing tips gleaned from our own experiences. 

This is a modified version of the old “The cobbler’s son has no shoes” parable. As many of you know I am the Executive Director of NPRC while my wife Mary owns and runs a small printing operation (Paragon Printing & Graphics) that offers most of the traditional offset and digital services found in most printing firms these days. 

She Gets Her Studies Free!

I have nothing to do with the printing firm and Mary has little to do with my publishing and consulting services. In fact, we can go one or two days at work without even speaking to each other, with each of us so busy doing our own thing.

While Mary is certainly aware of the types of studies we produce, she rarely finds the time to read or analyze them to any great extent, which is is always a bit disappointing to me, considering the rock-bottom prices at which I make them available to her!

So much to my surprise, she came to me the other day with a copy of the recent digital printing study in hand, and said she was working on a quote for 900 copies of a 24-page newsletter. Finished size of the self-cover newsletter was to be 8.5 x 11″. More specifically, the job was to consist of 6 11 x 17″ page signatures, no bleeds, digitally printed on 100# coated text. Signatures where to be collated, folded, stapled and face-trimmed. 

Mary said she found the newsletter pricing section on pages 55-57, but all that she could find were average and median prices for either 16-page or 32-page newsletters, and she needed a price for a 24-page newsletter. I told her that wouldn’t be too hard to come up with a price, at the very least we could interpolate pricing.

Pricing Per Newsletter

Voila! I found an even easier way, something I had forgotten. Not only does our study offer average and median prices for quantities ranging between 100 and 2,500, it also features pricing per individual newsletter as well. In fact, it provides average and median price per newsletter as well as what we term “majority low” and “majority high” pricing as well.

So the first thing we did is look at the average price per newsletter at the 1,000 quantity level for both a 16-page newsletter and then pricing for a 32-page version. Average digital color pricing for the 16-page newsletters was $2.68. Pricing for the 32-page newsletters was $4.87.  Averaging the two produced and average price per newsletter of $3.78.

Knowing the quantity was very close to the 1,000 quantity pricing we chose to go with that price and simply multiply our $3.78 x 900 for a total price of $3,397. Mary’s original price was significantly higher, but to be honest, I have no idea what her final price was for the job, but at least I can say she was better informed regarding digital color pricing for this quantity, format and size than she was before, but don’t let on I said that!

Even more useful, the digital color pricing in the newsletter pricing section is the fact that the study actually breaks down pricing to the signature level, so we could look at pricing per side, per signature and discover that pricing ranges between $0.33 and $0.30 each. 

Does Study Cover All Products?

No, the study couldn’t possibly cover every type of product offered in the industry, but by using interpolation, averaging and a big dose of common sense, you can find sample pricing for dozens and dozens of products produced on digital color devices. As an example, you can find detailed pricing on some of the following products:

  • Flat Sheets, 100# coated text & cover (8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17 sizes)
  • 2-part and 3-part carbonless forms, plain and numbered
  • Retail click pricing (no stock pricing included)
  • Stock Mark-up practices
  • 16-page and 32-page newsletters and booklets
  • Envelope Pricing, black  and 4-c
  • Business Card Pricing, offset, digital and brokered
  • Popular discounting methods for various customers
  • Plus, dozens of variations in terms of quantities and pricing

To read more about this study visit the NPRC Bookstore.

NPRC Offers Printing Goals Sheet

NPRC Offers Free Financial Printing Goals Sheet

NPRC has just released its latest 2018 Financial Printing Goals sheet for the printing industry. Based upon years of research conducted by QP Consulting, Inc., as well as data available in NPRC’s 2017-2018 Financial Benchmarking Study, this new handout offers specific financial printing goals required to attain “profit leader” status.

Printing Goals  

The data is based upon information provided by printers falling into the top quartile in this industry in terms of profitability. This new Financial Goals Sheet for the printing industry details specific ratios for cost of sales, payroll expenses (excluding owners) and overhead expenses.

Download Printing Goals Sheet…

Free Financial Printing Goals Sheet with key ratios

Free Financial Printing Goals Sheet with key ratios

Our advice, download and print the PDF provided and tape or staple to the wall next to your desk. Simply viewing these key profitability ratios on a daily basis, according to many printers who have used this sheet in the past, will help you improve your profitability.

To view and download a PDF of this goal sheet, click here.

“Shopping Your Competitors”

Thinking of Shopping Your Competitors?

There’s no better time than the beginning of the year to start shopping competitors. January and February is a great time of the year to get a handle on pricing in your marketplace. Shopping your competitors is also a great method for separating “fact from fiction” when it comes to what your competitors are charging for various products and services.

Shopping  Your Competitors

Pringing staff meets to discuss best way to shop its competitors

We’ve consulted for hundreds of firms, both large and small, and we have often found ourselves recommending that clients actually hire a professional shopper to dispel many of the myths that arise in local markets as to what printers are the “highest priced” versus those considered the “low-ballers.”

There’s an old saying, “You get what you pay for,” and if you hire your sister-in-law, a neighbor or someone from your local church you’re not going doing it the right way, at least according to this article. 

If your interested in learning more about the process and how to go about hiring someone to help you click here or visit our Downloads Page.