It’s nearly 600 years since the invention of the printing press in 15th century Germany but, as technology continues to evolve, many companies are now incorporating digital printing machines into their label production, alongside analogue presses.
While it’s difficult to compare digital print solutions with conventional systems, cost pressures are likely to be uppermost in the mindset of most purchasers as they will want to achieve a balance between their investment, the output quality, and long-term cost savings.
Nobody likes to be disappointed, particularly when they’ve sunk money into replacing outdated or inefficient equipment, so asking the right questions of your chosen digital printing solution provider can help you to make an informed decision that squares with your business’s needs and priorities.
1. Can we calculate an individual job cost?
Most digital printing systems will feature a tool to calculate ink usage so that you can see the cost of a job at a glance. While this will provide you with a valuable insight into the projected costs, bear in mind that the price of the substrate may not be included. Also consider service & other ongoing consumable charges within your cost of production per hour.
2. What is ink consumption monthly/annually? How much will the ink refill cost?
Knowing how much ink you will use for each job will help you to calculate the potential cost of digital printing on a monthly or yearly basis. You can use this information to estimate your annual expenditure and profit margins, and to identify other areas in which you can reduce spending to ensure you benefit from a maximum return on investment on your purchase. Bear in mind that ink costs are usually higher for digital than analogue printing.
3. Are there any hidden costs?
No-one likes hidden charges, as they can make it difficult to predict your expenditure and profit margins. Always check with your chosen provider if there are charges that haven’t been mentioned, such as a cost per print, click charge, or monthly service fee.
4. What is included in the service charges?
Service charges vary between companies so it’s always advisable to find out exactly what is included in a service plan. Some digital print specialists may provide on-site servicing only, with parts and consumables charged separately. Others offer a fully inclusive service plan, so you can be reassured that you won’t be hit by unexpected fees for which you haven’t budgeted.
5. Do I need to purchase additional computer hardware or software?
A software interface is needed to enable the digital printing machine to operate to its potential; however, some printing packages aren’t supplied with the best software, which could affect performance. Check whether you need to invest in additional software to ensure that your business’s needs are met, and whether the software will integrate with your existing workflow platform. Software applications may have a one-off, monthly, or annual charge, so these should be factored into your pricing.
Contact us to find out more
At Focus Label, our team are on-hand to answer all your questions about our digital print solutions, and we also offer a free downloadable guide to digital label and packaging printing. To find out more, please call us on 01949 836223.
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