ROI on CTP--To Buy or Not to Buy?
According to Heyman, ROI on the first system was estimated to be about three years. However, since the payback occurred in under two years, Lucas was able to upgrade earlier this year. Since an ROI was done on the first system, Heyman says a second ROI wasn't really necessary. After all, the first computer-to-plate system had already proven itself.
Just to be safe, Heyman says the company took another look at all the new CTP products on the market to see if there was anything better being offered. Company executives decided to stay with Screen equipment.
While thrilled with the speed and efficiency of CTP, Heyman says the best thing about the computer-to-plate technology is the quality product it produces.
"Just about every customer we have mentions quality," he explains. "And that's a major part of the value—what you give the customer. The customer doesn't care how you get there, but we're able to get there quicker with a better product. And that's what it's all about."
Risk vs. Value
Determining the return on investment (ROI) on a big-ticket technology like CTP can be a scary ordeal for any printer. When the investment involves hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars, printers need a reliable gauge to measure the value—and risk—of their investment.
That tool is ROI, and learning how to use it correctly isn't as difficult as it may seem, according to Efrem Lieber, Presstek's director of sales and marketing, and a "guru" in calculating ROI on CTP.
"An ROI scares some people. They think it takes an accountant or an MBA to do it right. Nonsense!" exclaims Lieber. "There are really only two measures that make sense in calculating value—total cost to print and time to print.
"A printer worth his salt knows the costs of each area of his operation," Lieber continues. "If CTP suppliers can show you the elimination of steps in that operation, it isn't difficult to subtract the cost of those steps. The key is to include the total cost of the production process, including prepress, plate preparation, operating overhead, materials and labor expenses right up to the first usable press sheet."