Sheetfed Offset, Web Offset, Digital : Defining Crossover Points
"We're a customer-driven company," says its president, Bob Anderson. "The project, time frame and what's happening with the job determines where it's going to run. We may select a job that normally would have run on one of our digital presses to run on our sheetfed offset perfector. Or, for a mailing job we ran on our sheetfed perfector, take it over to our digital press and slug in all the PURLs, mailing addresses and calls to action that are variable for that project, rather than moving it to the mailing department to be inkjetted."
Run lengths and cost per piece come into play, but because Prisma Graphic functions primarily as a supply chain manager, those factors are largely incidental to the main marketing event, Anderson notes. "We may propose running fewer pieces, doing more customization, or buying better lists," he explains.
"Or, we may be able to take a job that would normally be sheetfed and run it through a digital press. We've had a lot of crossover when it becomes more cost-effective, for example, to do a short-run book on a web press equipped with in-line folding and gluing, rather than on a sheetfed press with off-line folding."
Given that the company takes so many orders online, he adds, gang-printing possibilities are a major consideration. "That's why the option is not always fixed on price, but on what will be the best and quickest solution for the customer."
Crossovers, click charges and estimating represent the smallest aspects of an overall picture that asks what a job is going to do in terms of triggering other elements of a marketing plan, Anderson says. "It's not about the click charge," he contends. "It's about becoming a true supply-chain marketer to my customer. Solution-based selling is the future of our business."