When you are printing a mission-critical document like marketing collateral or training workbooks, you are probably not calculating your environmental impact. If you have to print it, then on-demand print or offset print are the same level of waste, right?
The truth is a little more complicated. Each printing technique has its advantages, but on-demand is the only technology that strategically reduces the waste created by your essential documents. Read on to find out how to assess your current waste footprint, what print on-demand is, and why print on-demand makes your projects more sustainable.
How Much Waste Do Your Documents Create Right Now?
The first step before making any change is evaluating your current state. You may not even be aware of how your documents currently create waste. So, take some time to review what documents you print regularly, how you print them, how you transport them, and what happens to them at the end of their life.
For example, if you print all your marketing brochures at the beginning of the year using an off-set printer, there are many areas of waste, such as:
- Excess, since you are forced to make an educated guess on quantity. For example, you may expect to need four thousand, but to hit a volume discount, you order five thousand copies.
- Obsolescence. After printing a large off-set run, if a product specification changes or you release a new product, all of the brochures you printed are outdated and unusable.
- Wasted ink and paper. You may not realize this, but because of the set up and calibration process – each time you tell your printer to print 5,000 brochures they actually print MORE! These are called ‘Overs’ and they a required most times to ensure the press is properly calibrated.
- Shipping. When you order in bulk quantities, that usually means you have to store your print until it is ready. In other words, your printer ships the documents to your office or warehouse, and then you ship those items again to your events or regional locations at the time you need them. That is a minimum of two shipments for one project.
Let’s not forget about the cost and the energy it takes to maintain your storage space. That wastes environmental and organizational resources. (However, did you know that some on-demand printers will handle your warehousing for you? At Mimeo, we offer warehousing to solve your print and storage needs in one partnership. Simply select what you want to store and when to ship, without using your valuable real estate. And with one warehouse managing multiple clients, the waste is minimized.)
What Is Print On-Demand?
On-demand printing uses modern print technology to produce as few as one copy at a time of your document, at the exact time that you need it.
Traditional, off-set printing requires individual set-up for each project. Because of this, most off-set printers require a minimum quantity for each project.
In comparison, on-demand printers, like Mimeo, use laser-jet technology to transfer a digital file onto the page. Because it doesn’t require any set-up and uses standard paper sizes, it costs the same per unit to produce one copy as one thousand. That allows you to be more nimble with ordering projects. So, your department doesn’t need to order one thousand extra copies because of a minimum order requirement or to get a better per unit price.
How Does Print On-Demand Reduce Document Waste?
Since on-demand print makes you a more efficient print customer, it ends up reducing your document waste in several ways. Let’s look at the previous example.
- Rather than ordering all of your brochures at the same time to meet a volume discount, you can instead order brochures for each event individually.
- This flexibility allows you to be more accurate in your document order. After all, in December, you probably don’t have a good idea of how many people will show up to your annual June event, but by the end of May, you have the final RSVPs.
- On-demand print reduces your shipping waste. Since you are ordering the exact moment you need it, you can ship directly to each event location. One shipment per project means your environmental impact shrinks.
And, let’s not forget the cost- and space-savings benefits of on-demand print. Take a look at all the print collateral you’ve stored on-site (or shredded or recycled) in the last year. Those are dollars you could have spent elsewhere and an office closet you could have liberated. Now you can, simply by switching to on-demand printing. If you’re ready to get started with a new printer, we’re here to help! Set up a free print consultation today.