How Much Printing Do I Need?

Deciding how much printing to order is not always an easy task. Sure, sometimes it’s as simple as looking at the size of a mailing list, but other times it can get tricky trying to balance the price savings of bulk ordering with limitations in storage space, long-term usefulness, and overall need. As you plan your printing purchases, consider the following:

Shelf Life
Will the piece need to be updated frequently, or will it remain as is indefinitely?

For some items, such as business cards, you might consider ordering preprinted “shells,” which contain all of the static design elements common to all versions of that item, with space left open for more dynamic (variable) content. That way, when you need business cards for a specific employee, for example, it’s just a matter of dropping in the appropriate contact information and cutting the cards down to size.

Preprinted shells allow you to take advantage of bulk discounts, and many printers (including us) will even store them for you onsite and help you manage your inventory, so you don’t run out at inopportune times.

In addition to business cards, shells may also be useful for letterhead, manuals, and even certain brochures or other promotional pieces that have common designs but dynamic (variable) content.

The Aging Process
Paper ages, and it doesn’t always do so gracefully. Storing your printing in a cool, dry place helps, but it will only slow the process. As your printing gets older, it can fade, warp, and dry out. Carbonless paper, for example, will lose some of its transferability as it ages. If you have forms you use infrequently, consider ordering them in smaller quantities.

If you have any documents you know you’ll want to keep on hand indefinitely, consider acid-free paper. When properly stored, acid-free paper will resist fading, yellowing, and becoming brittle much better than ordinary stock.

Past Experience
If the item you’re printing is a reorder, look to the past to determine how much you’ll need to order this time around. If you can’t remember how much you ordered last time (or when that was), give us a call. We can check our records and help analyze your needs to determine your best strategy for future purchases.  Our Estimation program can even track when it is time for reorders, once an agreed time line is decided from you, we can program it to bring up the order and we will call and confirm that you are running low, so you won’t run out.

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