Publishers – Understand and Control Your Costs

Publishers – Making Too Much Money?

Keeping your content current, relative, and affordable should be a key focus in your organization, your society, or your association.  You work hard to provide the best content to the market place and your end readers.  But despite all that the industry continues to change all around you, at a faster pace today than it did a year ago.  Digital encroaches into your printed communications space, multiple paper increases, postal increases, freight increases and worse yet are there any issues getting paper to print your piece!    Lions, tigers and bears, oh my?  Volatile markets are present in many areas affecting your bottom line and ability to reach your audience, meaning you must “trust” your print partner to stay on top of it.   What if the relationships they have are not as solid as they should be?   Some printers are well run machines, some are not, some think they are.   Do they keep you up to date in the market with changes and capacity shifts that may impact your business or ability to print last minute pieces?  The impact to you not being able to print or to have to print at a much higher cost would have a major impact to you and your organization’s bottom line.  This is the part in this article where if you are making too much money you just blow off the rest of this article and do something to celebrate your good fortune.


For those of you that need to control costs, and more importantly understand those costs and their drivers, please keep reading.    It’s about to get exciting.

There is no need to run blind in this market, there are many ways to stay on top of the market and garnish the knowledge you need to be successful.  Here are some questions for you to do a self-check on your relationship with your print partner.

1)     Does your contract specify how they will implement pricing increases, timing, communication methods?

2)     Does your contract specify brand / grade substitution allowances and communications?

3)     Are they clearly telling you what grades and brands of paper they use on your work?

4)     Do they have pricing protection plans in place to help minimize or push out any increase to you?

5)     Have they explained to you how they push back when pricing increases are announced?

6)     Does your contract specify how your materials and freight will be indexed to costs and the market?

7)     Have you talked with their expert lately about the cost drivers and the markets?

8)     Are their relationships with key suppliers built on solid trust or at arm’s length?

9)     Has your printer done an audit of your business lately to suggest ways to reduce your costs?  As a reminder you seldom get what you don’t ask for.

10)  Does your staff understand all the options there are in paper and distribution methods?

Coming from the print side of the business, using our available resources and deep knowledge, we would always be happy to go into detail at any time with the customer.  We love to talk about paper and logistics.  Has your printer been sharing their resources with your staff lately?  Please say yes….market knowledge is very critical right now in the print industry.

If you are not getting the knowledge you need for your team or want a second opinion (or as we call it an “under-the-hood” analysis) we can provide that to you with our No-Cost-To-You program.    Visit us at