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5 Tips to reduce your paper costs..

My friends, it is official, all paper mills have announced rate increases effective 4/1/2011 of an additional $2 per CWT. If you are wondering what compromises you can make to not only budget for this rate increase, but possibly reduce your paper costs, then this blog is for you!

  1. Look at backing off on the brightness of the paper. Let’s say you are printing on a 60# No. 3 gloss with a brightness of 87, well there is also a 60# No.3 with a brightness of 84 that will offer you a savings. You can also look into #4’s with brightness of 76 or #5s which are typically around a 72 Brightness. The bottom line here, if you are willing to compromise on the brightness of your paper stocks, you will reduce your paper costs. In addition, this is an effective method that doesn’t scream “I changed my magazine” to your readers and advertisers alike. Subtle changes like this can save you money in a big way.
  2. Look at reducing your basis weight of your paper stocks. You might be thinking to yourself “I can’t do that, everyone will notice” then my question to you my friend is how serious are you about reducing costs? The key here again are subtle changes to keep it as unnoticeable as possible. For example if you are on a 70# paper, look to a 60#, if you are on a 50#, look to a 45#…I think you get it….. Keep in mind too, the less your publications weighs, the more savings you will see in postal costs as well.
  3. Remove your cover! I know this one isn’t going to be for everyone, I realize this. But if you are willing to make a drastic change to reduce costs, then this one would be right up your alley. Many publications have a 4 pg cover over the inside pages. Get rid of it! If your inside pages are on a lighter basis weight paper stock such as a 38# and you are utilizing a 80 or 100# cover to protect it, look to bump your inside pages up to a 50# or 60#, you will still see a savings. I know many advertisers pay top dollar for positioning on the cover, they can still have quality positioning within the publication, and with the amount you will be saving you may be able to offer them two ad spaces at a discount to keep them happy. Based on your print quantities, savings can be enormous.
  4. Change your trim size. I love big, and truly believe the larger your publication the more readers and advertisers you will attract. HOWEVER, I realize this is a very simple way to reduce paper costs and mailing costs. Again subtle changes such as 10×13 print in 16 pg forms, at a 10×12 we can print you in 24 pg forms. 10×12 prints in 24 pg forms, at a 9×10 7/8 we can print in 32 pg forms. The more pages in a form, the less your paper and press costs. From there, you can look to reduce your trim to whatever compromise you are willing to make because most printers tap out at 32 page forms. Changing your trim size to reduce your paper consumption can yield a very nice savings depending on your print quantities.
  5. This one I was on the fence about, but am going to put here anyway. You may be able to reduce your paper costs by supplying your own paper. Printers typically purchase paper directly from the paper mills. You can look to paper brokers to see if you may be able to find a better cost on your paper stocks.Here is the caution, this paper is sometimes a “secondary paper” meaning there are imperfections in the paper. In addition, printers typically charge a paper handling fee if you are supplying your own paper. The amount you are saving by supplying your own paper may be eaten up by the handling fee, and now you have one more thing on your plate which is the paper broker. If you are going to supply your own paper, make sure your printer is involved with the process. Get samples of the paper, send those samples to the printer so they can evaluate it as well. I would suggest allowing the printer to supply the paper, however, I wouldn’t be completely honest with all of you if I didn’t recognize that this was another way to reduce your paper costs.

In case you didn’t notice, the theme was subtle changes to reduce costs. I can think up some very drastic changes to reduce costs such as going from gloss to newsprint, going from heatset to coldset ect….. I believe protecting the integrity of your publication while doing everything possible to reduce your costs will lead to your longterm success as we fight through these tough economic times and rate increases.

Talk to your print rep, I am more than just a salesman. Without you there is no me, I will be here to help in anyway that I can be which is more than just providing you numbers.

February 27, 2011 Posted by | Mailing, Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Could paper prices be on the rise….AGAIN!?

Ok, make sure you are seated and hanging on to something because this announcement is sure to make you fall over…..

Two paper mills (Verso and Kruger) have announced paper price increases effective 4/1/2011. They will be increasing prices on all coated paper grades by $2.00 per cwt. We will have to wait and see if the other paper mills join with this push to increase paper costs…. I wouldn’t hold your breath, they usually stick together on this type of thing.

Ready for even more worse news? Here is a title of an article and some main points that will affect you if you are on a Supercalendar paper stock:

Fire at Norske Skog’s Saugbrugs SC paper mill in Norway causes longer-term production cutbacks

“All production facilities at the mill were stopped due to the fire. Normal production has subsequently been started at one paper machine (PM4), which produces about 10 000 tonnes per month. Norsk Skog Saugbrugs will have a loss in production of about 30-35 000 tonnes per month (PM5 and PM6). Normal production from these machines is not likely until the end of June.”

FYI Norske puts approx 100,000 MT per year into North America of their 550,000 mt from this mill. Point being; availability of this grade (SC – supercalender) could be a problem.

So there you go, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in order to keep you ahead of this I thought it to be appropriate to let you all know. Expect a rise in paper prices on all coated stocks. Since we at JB Kenehan don’t just buy our stock from one supplier, we are able to provide a wide variety of paper grades and basis weights to economically help you work through this uncertain and ever changing paper market. Talk to your representative about how this will affect you and what solutions are available.

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Publishing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Web vs Sheetfed? Which is best for you?

First and foremost, I’m baaaaack…..! I have some up coming blog’s that will be the best yet. An interview with a well known and respected executive in the publishing industry as well as an overview of the IMB vs Postnet, and what you need to know. I’ll also have a very special give away that will be coming in a few short months. To my friends like Paul Castain, Jeff Zuelke (a mentor, friend, and father in law), Bevery Sturtevant, and Sandy Hubbard, thank you for continueing to inspire me,  I highly suggest getting to know these people if you haven’t already!

Now lets get down to business!  You have heard of sheetfed presses, and have heard of web presses, but don’t know the difference and how it effects you both in cost and in quality.

First, let me give you a quick overview of the two. Sheetfed presses print on actual sheets of paper. Typically, there is much less waste with a sheetfed press. As well, the quality of printing is higher as compared to a web press, which means you are being printed on one continous paper roll. In printing with a web press waste is typically much higher, however the quality is good, and it gives you the ability to print in a higher page form count.

Currently there seems to be positive signs in the market, and publishers are looking to grow. As of late, I have been speaking with several publishers with circulations under or around 10,000 whom are looking to double their quantities. I have also been speaking with publishers whom have started off as a digital magazine, and are now looking to test the waters with a printed publication.

My advice, once you reach the thresh hold of print quantities over 10,000, look to see if a printer with web presses is going to be more economical for you. On average, you will see a nice savings due to less setup costs. Keep in mind though, page counts vary when going from sheetfed to web. On average, web presses print in 16 and 32 pages forms, and if you don’t stay in these breaks, you are not maximizing your efficiency. Compared to sheetfed presses that can print in page counts of four’s efficiently. Finally, make sure to compare the web samples to your sheetfed product. You may notice a slight difference in the quality of printing, but chances are they will not be enough to give up the savings of a web.

That all sounds pretty good, so I’m sure you’re wondering what the advantages of using a sheetfed press are.  The advantages of a sheetfed press over a web press come in to play with run quantities under 10,000. If a publisher is looking to test the waters with a printed product, and looking to start off around 3-4M with lower page counts, my advice is sheetfed. With less waste, a sheetfed press is going to be the most economical choice for your pocket book at these quantities.

I have spoken to publishers with print quantities well over 10M, and found out they are printing sheetfed. Vice versa, I have also spoken to publishers with print quantities well under 10M, and are being printed on a web. Printers aren’t going to turn down your business, and if the printer doesn’t have both sheetfed and web capabilities in house, you are only going to get the one option they do have which may not be the best for you.

My best advice to you….get to know your printers capabilities and equipment, it does affect your bottom line. There are advantages and dis advantages, and you need to take action to maximize all the advantages you can to continue to produce the best publication possible.

So now you know what web and sheetfed presses are the best fit for, evaluate what you are doing and take action!

February 13, 2011 Posted by | Digital Magazine, Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments