Print Estimating: Resisting the Race to the Bottom

by | Mar 4, 2022

Estimating is at the heart of your print business.

To be able to fulfill each job to the customer’s satisfaction and to do it profitably is the cornerstone of your business, yet the print estimating or quoting process often remains a struggle.

Margins are notoriously low, and the competitive landscape can be difficult to navigate as things continue to evolve so quickly. In order to secure more business, printers may feel the urge to ‘just say yes’ and under-price their work with the thought that they will make it up in volume. This is risky, and simply not true.

If you are not fairly or adequately pricing your work, you are actually an unwilling participant in damaging the already fragile margins all printers are working with.

Offset and hybrid is still a big force in the market, but as the world continues to adopt the ever-evolving digital transformation, the ability to estimate accurately is now more important than ever. Runs are shorter, print-on-demand is a reality, and the job turnaround times are tighter.

Leaving the most important part of your business and profitability to chance or hope are not legitimate business strategies. There are tools that will aggregate the information you need and provide the visibility required in order to correctly quote your jobs, with an understanding of where exactly your break-even point is.

A Management Workflow System (MWS) is one of those key tools.

Before any print job goes into production, a full review of the end-to-end project should be done, from onboarding to fulfillment, in order to understand what is required to deliver. Your capabilities, inventory and capacity planning all factor into the equation.

At printIQ our IQcore – Quote Intelligence module takes a different approach than the traditional print estimating software offered by the competition by understanding and respecting the end-to-end production process. The integration of all business rules within the pricing logic engine, along with all of the pricing rules based on your component inputs – labor, machines and materials – IQ provides a map of all alternative outcomes of each job.

The end result: a simplified pricing tool that everyone can use by removing the bottlenecks and the technical jargon. The estimating process adds a layer of control so that even those with little to no experience can produce a detailed customer quote on what you are able to deliver with an eye on profitability and capability.

At printIQ our components are seamlessly integrated and scalable as your needs grow. Quote your work fairly and correctly without racing to the bottom of your profitability.

This text is reproduced with kind permission of printIQ, you can read the original article first published here