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InfoTrends Calculates the True Cost of Printed Business Communications

December 12, 2012
WEYMOUTH, MA—Dec. 12, 2012—Producing and distributing documents involves many processes and includes a combination of tangible, “hard” costs (printing, shipping, storing materials, etc.) and other less tangible, “soft” costs (composition, design, editing, project management, etc.). Companies of all sizes need to understand all these related costs to manage their businesses effectively.

InfoTrends’ new study, titled “The True Cost of Business Communications,” compares and examines the costs associated with outsourcing and doing the work internally, along with providing key considerations for what the outsourced print should be.

InfoTrends has found that non-print costs are typically higher than actual print costs in environments where older methods are used for producing, purchasing, creating and managing printed documents. However, the ratio of print costs to non-print costs varies dramatically, depending on the quantity that is being printed.

The research firm recommends that companies conduct a thorough analysis of internal work processes that are involved for the most common documents produced. They should then quantify the internal and external expenses to create, produce and distribute these documents on an annual basis.

Total Breakdown of Print and Non-Print Costs

  Avg. Costs 
for 500
     % of Total
  Avg. Cost for 500
Creative (internal) $707 8.6
Creative (external) $1,045 12.7
Editorial $2,691 32.8
Project Management $657 8.0
Warehousing/Archiving $37 0.5
Shipping/Distribution $236 2.9
Printing & Finishing $2,843 34.6
Total $8,214 100

“Companies should determine the level of savings that could be achieved by outsourcing to the right service provider,” says Steve Adoniou, director of InfoTrends’ Consulting Group. “They should consider a supplier that not only could save money on printing and related services through operational efficiency gains, but could also provide services beyond printing to reduce the costs of non-print related activities by delivering improved and consistent product quality, quicker turnaround times, and enhanced performance to service level agreements (SLAs).”

Regardless of whether someone is printing just one copy or more than a thousand pieces of a certain document, the costs associated with non-print activities and services is significant. With this in mind, print buyers and document owners need to be aware of the magnitude of these non-print expenses when choosing service providers. “The True Cost of Business Communications” study  explores these options and provides a detailed breakdown of both print and non-print costs.

This report is available immediately for purchase. For more information, please visit our online store or contact Stephanie Tose at (781) 616-2103 or

About InfoTrends
InfoTrends is the leading worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the imaging, document solutions, production print, and digital media industries. We provide insights and advice to help clients understand market trends, identify opportunities, and grow their business.

Source: InfoTrends.



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