How to slash the printing costs on your training materials – 1 of 4

Print on demand versus stock holding

Maybe it is time to have a long look at the cost of printing training course materials – a long look – not just at the headline invoices the printer sends, but the actual costs. This blog is the first in series which will examine the costs and hopefully show where there may be significant savings for you.

First up – stock.

We recently came across a major training course provider who had a shelf full of training manuals in Russian – ‘Do you do many courses needing a Russian language version?’

‘No, they have been there for two or three years’

Printers will tell you that if you buy in bulk then the price per manual will be significantly less. That is true, but if you end up putting manuals in to stock which are never used, then they will be very expensive. For example, would you prefer to spend £5/manual or £9/ manual? Seems obvious, but if you have to buy 100 manuals to get the £5 price then you need to be sure that they are used in a timely fashion – use only half and the £9 ones are cheaper!! (See calculation below). And that’s without even taking into account the costs of storage.

The answer may be your ability to predict demand and the accuracy of such forecasts. In today’s business environment detailed forecasts are problematic. Also, it seems that the move from public courses to company specific in-house courses is a strong one, as is the need for courses to be tailored – this is the age pf personalisation.

The alternative is to find a digital print supplier who understands the training industry, who understands the idea of the cost per delegate, who will give you a price for one manual and it is the same price per manual for 20 manuals. No bands, no volume breaks – just a price per delegate. In the end, that will be the way to save money.

Calculation – 100 X £5 = £500 – but if you actually only ever use 50 then the actual cost of the 50 manuals used is £10 per manual = £500.