InfoTrends Calculates the True Cost of Printed Business Communications

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
Function 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).”