In the grand scheme of a launching a terrific business idea or product, print run management can easily take a back seat to sexier tasks like label design or shelf placement. Indeed, most people might not think about their print runs at all but this is an area, in fact, where small tweaks can add up to big benefits. Read on to learn more about three types of print run, and when to use each.

#1. Single large order, delivered directly to the customer

With this kind of print run, you’ll order a single very large quantity of identical labels to be delivered to your warehouse.

Pro: You could receive a significant discount based on a bulk purchase
Cons: You’ll need a significant outlay of capital up front to make purchase which could cause cash flow problems, there could be additional costs associated with warehousing the inventory, and you’ll be risking losing money if there are changes to the product which render the labels obsolete.

#2. Label company prints the large run and ships to customer every few weeks

In this set-up, the customer involves the label company to print the large quantity of labels and ship out a smaller batch on a regular schedule, such as every few weeks.

Pros: As with the first option, this arrangement could result in a price break on the large print run and the customer may not have to absorb the warehousing costs.
Cons: The customer will need to enter into a contract with the vendor to ensure they are not going to be left with unpaid labels or extra warehousing costs, and the risk of obsolescence remains.

#3. Print what you need, when you need it

This strategy involves printing exactly what you need, when you need it.

Pros: A smaller print run will clear up cash flow issues and spreads print costs across the fiscal year. Also, a small run drastically reduces the risk of obsolescence and allows for small tweaks or changes which may be part of a seasonal or periodic campaign. Finally, there are no warehousing costs.
Con: This flexibility comes at a cost. You can expect to pay more per unit for a smaller volume purchase.

If you’re like most businesses, you’ll probably find one style for your print runs that works best and stick to it, at least most of the time. By staying aware of the options you can plan for times of high volume, seasonal campaigns, or variable cash flow and make the most of your orders.

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