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Cost-Saving Measures — Save a Buck, Save a Job

January 2008 By Erik Cagle
Senior Editor
UNLESS YOU are willing to pay three easy installments of $99.95 to receive “Shortcuts to Easy Street,” a six-hour seminar with 100 hot tips on how to trim 30 percent from your cost structure, no one is likely to deliver money-saving ideas to your front door. Apparently, the printer down the street is hoping to outperform your company, and would consider any advice to be providing comfort to the enemy.

In fact, about a dozen companies contacted by this magazine responded to a request for money-saving ideas by saying, “We’ll take a pass this time around.” That’s a fairly strong indication of the economic climate surrounding the commercial printing industry today. Growth is slowing, according to PIA/GATF statistics, and those who have found an added edge are keeping it to themselves.

But take heart, we managed to locate a number of printers and related businesses to go on the record with their ideas for innovative ways to reduce costs without impacting either your workforce or menu of products and services. Here are some of their random thoughts to help you shave a few cents off that cost structure.

So take notes.

Perhaps your trash is the first place to look for money, so to speak. Brian Peck, general manager for AMF/Coughlin Printing in Watertown, NY, found that centralizing refuse and recyclables to one location was an effective way to cut down on overhead.

“We have four locations and a delivery vehicle that goes around to each location,” Peck explains. “Many times the vehicle was empty on the return trip, so we had garbage and recyclables sent to the main production facility and one garbage pickup instead of four. The garbage amounts at the other locations were light and the cost of pickup was much greater.”

AMF/Coughlin has also found renting part of its facility’s parking lot to neighboring businesses to be another way to generate profits during slow seasons. The renters insure the parking lot for liability and help with the cost of maintenance and snow plowing, according to Peck.

PRINTING IMPRESSIONS/RIT Printing Industry Hall of Famer Jim Hopkins, president and CEO of Columbus, OH-based Hopkins Printing, has found that some up-front investments have more than paid for themselves and have benefitted the workflow. A Kodak NexPress, he says, has been a bonus in more ways than one.
 

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