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The print shop ping pong. Quote jobs strategically.

Ever feel like you’re in a game of quote ping pong with a client? They send specs, you send a price, and back and forth it goes, with the final price feeling more like a lucky shot than a strategic win. But for printing plants, this isn’t random – it’s the complex choreography of the internal quote process.

Just like a thrilling ping pong match, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Here’s why that seemingly simple flyer quote can feel like a price rally:

  • The Material Match-Up: Glossy or matte? That’s not just an aesthetic choice. Different paper stocks have different costs, and selecting the right one impacts the final price.
  • The Quantity Quickstep: A high-volume order lets you score bulk discounts on paper, but throws a scheduling curveball. Fitting it into production without bottlenecks takes finesse.
  • The Ink Interplay: Full-color graphics are a CMYK symphony, while black and white is a solo act. Each adds a note to the pricing melody. Don’t forget the finishing flourishes – folding, perforating, and die-cutting all add to the cost.
  • The Press Play: High-speed digital or slower, higher-quality offset? Each press has its own cost structure, impacting the final quote. It’s like choosing the right paddle for your playing style!
  • The Turnaround Time Tap Dance: Need those flyers yesterday? Expedited jobs require juggling production schedules and potentially incurring overtime costs, affecting the price tag.

And just like in ping pong, there’s always the ever-present ghost of competition. Knowing ballpark competitor prices adds another layer to the game, requiring strategic pricing that balances profitability with staying competitive.

Winning the Quote Rally

The goal isn’t to be the cheapest printer, but to be the best value. Printing Management Information Systems (MIS) can be your game-changer. These tools provide real-time data on average costs per unit based on various factors, like material, ink usage, and press time. Imagine an MIS as your coach, whispering insights about industry benchmarks and competitor analysis to help you inform your pricing strategy.

Think of a system like PrintGizmo developed by eLynxx Solutions that suggests an average cost of a product (ACP) based on historical data. This can be a powerful tool for developing a baseline price during the quote process.By leveraging a tool like PrintGizmo, printing plants can move beyond the internal quote ping pong and develop a pricing strategy that wins more jobs and keeps the presses humming.  Isn’t it time you stopped playing ping pong and started playing to win? With PrintGizmo and the right strategy, you can turn every quote into a victory.  What will you do to elevate your printing game?