In a recent seminar, while discussing the advantages of software automation, I mentioned that Web to print software can reduce manufacturing costs between 20-50%.
Immediately, someone in the audience asked how that was possible when the cost of paper alone is 25% of the price. Clearly this person was well-versed on print ratio studies.
For anyone not familiar with the ratios studies, they are the graphics arts industry’s closest approximation of financial benchmarks.
I tried to explain that as print run lengths get shorter, the percentage of cost due to paper declines and, in a manual workflow, the percentage of cost allocated to annual labor increases.
I must not have been very convincing, because that person remained skeptical. So, I grabbed a marker and started creating a table like the one below with different steps in the workflow, the cost of each cost center and the time in each cost center, with and without a Web to print solution.