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.

5 Characteristics of Troubled Printing Firms

Troubled Printing Firms – Five Characteristics!

John C. Stewart, Executive Director, NPRC

John Stewart

John Stewart Executive Director, NPRC

NPRC maintains the largest and most accurate data base in the printing industry, especially when it comes to key financial ratios. Just like  the Farmers Insurance Company that  frequently notes, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two,” we feel the same way when it comes to knowing what works and what doesn’t work in the printing industry! This article intends to target one of our most topics – troubled printing firms!

So we thought we would tackle in detail five of the most common attributes of troubled printing firms – attributes that clearly distinguish between the profit leaders and the profit laggards in our industry. For some readers, one or more of the practices noted below will be almost “second nature,” while others will either skip the advice entirely, or rationalize why that characteristic doesn’t apply to them.

(1) Monthly Financial Statements – There’s no question about it – troubled printing firms are the least likely to receive and analyze monthly financial statements. Some owners appear to go through the motions of getting financial statements, but then rarely take the time to really look them over! Some of the most troubled firms I know are likely to go months without obtaining a current profit and loss statement or a balance sheet.

Collage of Financial Benchmark Study Pages

Collage of Financial Benchmark Study Pages

Successful owners are far more likely to spend at least a couple of hours each month going over various expenses and ratios, using a yellow highlighter to denote areas that need work. Every owner should have at their finger-tips key ratio goals for categories such as payroll, cost of goods and overhead expenses. Note that “payroll” should include all direct and indirect payroll expenses, but should exclude that attributed to a single owner. Successful and profitable owners can typically quote these key ratios, while less successful printers end up making wild guesses.

If you have no idea what the “top” companies in this industry report for these key expense categories then you need to make a small investment and purchase the latest Financial Benchmarking Study from NPRC. This report is all about how to increase your profitability. The Executive Summary by long-time industry guru Larry Hunt is by itself worth ten times the price of this report. To purchase, visit the NPRC Bookstore.

(2) Low Productivity as Measured by SPE – How many employees, including working owners, does it take to produce $XXX in sales. This critical ratio is one of the simplest of ratios to calculate in our industry, and yet it is also the most telling as well! The bottom line – troubled printing firms do a lousy job when it comes to maintaining high levels of productivity.

Sales Per Employee Graph

Sales Per Employee Graph

To calculate your SPE, divide total annual sales (actual or projected) by the total number of employees (including all working owners and partners) required to produce those sales. Yes, that includes outside sales reps whether or not they receive a salary. The more accurate your numbers the more valuable the resulting answer will be. Count part-time employees proportionately. If an employee averages about 20 hours per week, then count he or she as a one-half or .5 employee.

In a recent survey of approximately 210 printing firms, the SPE ranged from 20 firms reporting an SPE of less than $100,000 to 52 companies reporting an SPE of $155,000 or more. To put this in some “real world” terms, let’s take a look at two firms – both producing $700,000 in sales.

• One $700,000 firm requires/reports using 7 employees to produce its sales – An SPE of $100,000! Plain and simple, a firm reporting an SPE of $100,000 or less is simply over-staffed, as well as most likely inefficient as well. That SPE number is also significantly below the industry average of approximately $135,000! Owners of firms with below average SPEs are likely under-paying themselves due to excessive payroll. Low SPEs also tend to impact the value of a firm when it comes time to sell – if it sells at all!

• While a second firm reporting the same $700,000 in sales produces its sales with only 4.5 employees, or an SPE of $155,500. Although the SPE calculation totally ignores what employees are actually paid, a closer examination tends to indicate that employees working for high-SPE firms also tend to be paid significantly higher and also tend to be far more efficient and talented at what they do.

(3) High Payroll Costs – Unfortunately for many owners  of troubled printing firms (it’s not always their fault), total payroll costs are sometimes hard to find on the typical profit and loss statement. This is often the fault of CPAs and accountants, as well as in-house bookkeepers, who fail to consolidate payroll expenses under one heading.

We often see direct payroll expenses under a payroll heading, but then discover that other related payroll expenses such as health insurance, payroll taxes and unemployment taxes are listed below under overhead expenses. Ideally, you should be able to look at your financial statements and quickly determine the total amount spent each month, as a percent of sales, for total payroll, excluding your own payroll, taxes and benefits.

Financial Benchmarking Study

Financial Benchmarking Study

The previously mentioned Financial Benchmarking Study contains some very reliable payroll ratios, including ratios based upon various annual sales categories, but also a quartile report which provides total payroll for the top 25% firms (in terms of profitability) and compare that ratio against the bottom 25%.

Is your company a “troubled printing firm? If your total payroll expenses are in the 32-34% range or higher (excluding your own payroll) the answer is “yes.”You have a serious problem on your hands, at least in comparison with the rest of the industry, and it needs to be addressed immediately.

On the other hand, if your total payroll is in the 26-28% range you should pat yourself on the back because those ratios would be considered outstanding in this industry.

P.S. Payroll is consistently the single largest expense in operating a modern-day printing firm, and has been the largest expense ratio for more than 35 years. If you fail to proactively address this category, it really won’t matter much about steps taken elsewhere on your financial statements.  As we’ve noted previously, troubled printing firms are notorious  for  failing to maintain acceptable payroll ratios.

(4) Failure to Monitor Industry Pricing – Our industry is somewhat unique in that it has available to it so much in terms of valuable financial and pricing data – information that can really help a firm compare its performance and pricing practices against others in the industry. Without many of these studies, a printer could easily find himself misled by the comments of customers who sometimes remark, “I like what you folks do, but your prices are just too high sometimes.”

How is a printer to react when he hears something like that? Well, before you go off and start lowering all your prices, or instituting more discounting, there are at least two things you can do. The cost will be relative small and the ROI could be huge, in terms of both raw dollars as well as peace of mind.

First, if you’re concerned about pricing and where you stand compared to competitors you could visit the NPRC site and check-out an article we posted about 15 months ago titled, “Hiring Someone to Shop Competitors.” Click here to read the article. Conducting a thorough, detailed survey of competitors can be a real eye-opener, but you can’t do it on the cheap. Hire someone, as the article explains, and do it right.

I have seen some top-notch surveys conducted by printers I know and every time I see the results they tend to refute many of the myths regarding pricing within individual markets – even in very small markets where only 5-6 printing firms exist.

Key NPRC Studies

These are just a few of the many studies and reports available in the NPRC Bookstore. No other printing association offers the broad selection of studies and reports offered by NPRC.

Second, visit the NPRC Bookstore and check-out the list of pricing studies we have published in the past 24-36 months. The pricing data we report is extremely accurate with an average margin of error of +/- 4% or less for most items. And please don’t dismiss this suggestion by saying that most pricing is local and not national and therefore what we report may not have any bearing in your local market! Wrong, wrong!

We can report with absolute certainty, based upon hundreds of individual market surveys, that pricing tends to vary far more within your own individual market than it does from one section of the country to the next. We can report with great assurance that while the national average price for a simple product such as 1,000 #10/24 envelopes printed in reflex blue (no bleeds) may vary by no more that +/- 4%, prices for that product within an individual market can easily vary by as much +/- 35-40%.  +/- of the reported average price!

We just checked pricing on this product and even after eliminating outliers, the pricing for 1M envelopes varied between a low of $104 and $280, with an average price of approximately $158. that type of variation occurs even within the smallest of markets. 

(5) Tolerating “Bad Apples” – With more than 400 on-site, individualized consulting visits under my belt, I can report that I can’t recall visiting a mid-size or larger firm (5 or more employees) that didn’t have within their midst at least one “bad apple.”

Ironically, while it was not that difficult for me to spot the bad apple, the owners were often totally oblivious of the bad apple, or the real-world impact that the bad apple was having on the rest of the staff. Not surprising too was the fact that virtually all of the remaining employees could name the ‘bad apple” in the company, agreeing almost 100% of the time on who that employee was!

Press Room

Press Room

Rest assured, your employees are uniquely equipped to identify who the bad apple is and how he or she is impacting the profitability of your firm. They know it, even if you don’t! Unfortunately, even the good employees, just like the owners, sooner rather than later start making up excuses for the bad apples, and why they continue to be retained.

“Bobbi’s a single mother who brings her personal problems to work and shares them with other employees as well as our customers! Sometimes it’s like a soap opera out there in the shop. As a consequence, a lot of time is wasted.”

“Martin is a recovering alcoholic but every once in awhile he goes off the wagon. We always seem to have our fingers crossed as to whether he will show up, especially after the holidays.”

“Steve isn’t the most reliable. However, when he shows up he is very productive, but I can’t always count on him. There is always something going on in his life that interferes with work.”

“Cathy is incredibly talented, but has a terrible personality when it comes to dealing with customers, and I’m at my wits end in how to deal with the situation. I’m embarrassed to admit that I have been putting up with this for more than seven years!”

“Mike is probably one of the best operators I have when it comes to knowing the equipment, but he makes a lot of mistakes as well. He’s just not very good when it comes following procedures.”

I could go on offering up a dozen of the more popular excuses I have heard over the years when it comes to tolerating employees that in any other more profitable firm would have been terminated months if not years ago. I guess that’s the difference, among many, between how the “profit leaders” in our industry manage their businesses as opposed to the “profit laggards.”

If you have any questions about this article don’t hesitate to drop me an email at johnstewart@printingresearch.org.

Happy 2018!

Findings Uncovered in Digital Pricing Study

The just-released 100+ page 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study contains literally thousands of average and median prices for dozens of digital products produced in the typical printing firm. This is what one of the survey participants shared with us in the past couple of days:

“Hello John,
I just had to let you know how impressed I was with the Digital Pricing Study you just released. While I only spent 30 minutes going over the study, my initial impression is that the quality of this study is as good if not better than previous studies. Thanks for the hard work you and NPRC put into these studies, The printing industry is better off because of studies such as this.”
Armand Girard,
Curry Printing & Marketing,
Auburn, ME

Orders placed between now and Jan. 14, 2018 will be processed and shipped beginning January 15th. To order your copy, visit the NPRC Bookstore.

What About Participant Copies? Participants received two emails and a link for downloading their FREE copy of this new study on Dec. 20th and again on Dec. 21st. The subject line of that email was: “URGENT – Here’s your 2018 Digital Color Pricing Study! Please check your spam and deleted folders. Please do not ask us to send a replacement copy.

Below are some random findings and pricing data from this latest study:

• Average SPE – The average sales per employee of the 214 firms participating in this year’s 2017-2018 Digital Printing Color Pricing Survey was $133,538. The median is close behind at $128,333. Approximately 25% of all participants reports SPEs between $160,000 and $190,146.

Digital Jobs Finished On-line? Only 22% (average) of all digital jobs are finished on line. Most are processed on digital printers but are finished off line.

• File Handling & Graphic Charges? The average file handling fee reported by participants was $14.47. For Complex jobs that file handling fee jumps to almost $35. The average hourly graphics charge is now almost $74. For complex jobs the hourly fees jumps to $90.

• Variable Data? Approximately 85% of jobs processed on digital printers involve “static” data, with the rest involving some variable data.

• Flat Sheet Pricing – The average price to print a 4/0, 11 x 17” sheet (full bleed) on 100# coated text is $532, or $0.53 per sheet. The median price is slightly lower at $490, or $0.49 each. Prices are provided for quantities of 100, 500, 1,000 and 2,500. Pricing is also provided for 4/4 and for 100# coated cover.

• Carbonless Forms – The average price being charged for 500 2-part carbonless forms produced on a color digital printer is $317. If numbered, this prices increases by approximately $40.

• Source of jobs? – Approximately 63% of all jobs processed in the typical printing firm subject to this survey were provided by customers. The remainder were produced by a graphic’s department. These figures are quite similar to those provided in thr 2016-2017 study.

• Discounts Offered? – Jobs falling in the $1,000 range, if warranted, are likely to be discounted 11-18% depending upon type or class of customer.

• Most Finishing Accomplished Off-line -When it comes to finishing newsletters produced on digital devices, approximately 40% of printers would do all finishing off-line – collating, folding, stitching, etc. Approximately 15% of printers would collate a 16-page or 32-page newsletter on-line but complete the remainder of the finishing off-line.

• Business Cards – Despite the significant number of options for printing business cards, we were somewhat surprised that almost 75% of all business cards sold by our participants were produced in-house, either via offset printing or a color digital device.

• Business Card Pricing – The average price for 500 4/4 business cards, excluding any graphics charges, on 12-14 pt. coated cover and produced internally is $89.73. If the same job is brokered it will sell for $78.95.