A small offset duplicator with a T-head costs about the same to run as a half size two-color press, but the half size press can produce five or 10 times the revenue. I am not advocating incurring all sorts of debt, but if you are going to be in this industry, get in the game and invest in your company and in yourself.
People vs. equipment. A few years ago we purchased a DI press. The lease payment was going to be around $5,000 a month. We agonized for weeks and weeks about encumbering the company with a $5,000 monthly lease. However, we have often hired people without anywhere near that level of introspection. But almost any employee will cost a company $5,000 a month ($60,000 a year) with benefits, Social Security, workman’s comp, vacation time, etc.
Be much more reluctant to add staff than to invest in equipment. Do you think, for example, that it is a cost savings to punch coil bound books by hand rather than investing in an automatic punch? Employ fewer, more productive workers because running more productive equipment is the way to go.
Feedback is very welcome. I have been in this industry for more years than I care to count, and think that productivity is the key to running a profitable, successful print operation. However, I would love some feedback from fellow printers because I am still trying to figure things out.
Jim Corliss, with 30 years in the printing industry, is a co-founder of Braintree Printing in Braintree, MA (www.MyPRINTResource.com/10168270). Corliss, a lifelong resident of the Boston area and a US Army veteran, has degrees from Boston College and Brown University. Contact him at email@example.com.