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  • #16
    We bought ours mainly to play with and see how it worked. I figured it was too early to spend a ton of money on something that will be obsolete in a year. We jumped into desktop publishing too soon, dropped hundreds of thousands on a Linotronic back in '89. We fought with postscript errors, and spent many late nights working with problem files.

    Being first isn't always worth the grief.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by kdw75 View Post
      Being first isn't always worth the grief.
      Love being a heat-seeker, but I try to keep on eye on the rearview mirror: Pioneers are the guys with the arrows in their backs!

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      • #18
        I sit here reading this in one of the last offset shops in the area with no work at all for the last 2 weeks now and it's been like this for the last 5 years. Busy for a week or two, then nothing for weeks. We have no sales people, don't advertise because we have been here for 51 years with established customers and the owner doesn't think any of that works, even though most of those customers either closed up business or now do everything online. We farm out all our digital work, because bossman doesn't want to bill people for $50 jobs. The worst part is there isn't many places left to go to and none of them are hiring anyway. At 57 years old with 37 years in prepress, I feel like I've been left out to dry. I should be getting ready to retire, but instead I wonder if I'll even have a job next year.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by kdw75 View Post
          Being first isn't always worth the grief.
          The "early bird" may get the worm, BUT, it's always the 2nd mouse that gets the cheese.........

          -MailGuru
          Last edited by MailGuru; 04-20-2015, 01:33 PM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by almaink View Post
            I sit here reading this in one of the last offset shops in the area with no work at all for the last 2 weeks now and it's been like this for the last 5 years. Busy for a week or two, then nothing for weeks. We have no sales people, don't advertise because we have been here for 51 years with established customers and the owner doesn't think any of that works, even though most of those customers either closed up business or now do everything online. We farm out all our digital work, because bossman doesn't want to bill people for $50 jobs. The worst part is there isn't many places left to go to and none of them are hiring anyway. At 57 years old with 37 years in prepress, I feel like I've been left out to dry. I should be getting ready to retire, but instead I wonder if I'll even have a job next year.
            Good grief, Almaink, you sound like you could be my twin. Same situation exactly, boss won't advertise because he doesn't like "little" jobs but we don't have salespeople, our bread and butter jobs went to Mexico. Same age and job situation also. I don't fancy flipping burgers to supplement Social Security.

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            • #21
              I'm that guy sitting here taking all your "little jobs" and making a a pretty good living at it!

              Sorry about your narrow minded bosses that can't see their business plan is failing. What difference does it make if you have one job for $500 or 10 jobs for $50.00? On an offset it would be a huge hit in overhead, in the digital world it makes zero difference, especially if you upgrade your finishing equipment!

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Craig View Post
                I'm that guy sitting here taking all your "little jobs" and making a a pretty good living at it!

                Sorry about your narrow minded bosses that can't see their business plan is failing. What difference does it make if you have one job for $500 or 10 jobs for $50.00? On an offset it would be a huge hit in overhead, in the digital world it makes zero difference, especially if you upgrade your finishing equipment!
                There are some issues with smaller jobs and their impact on the bottom line not everything is the same, It costs you the same amount of money to write the job and invoice the job so assuming its $5.00 to write it up and $5.00 to invoice it (I heard somewhere an invoice costs $7.00 but?) anyway thats 10.00 that comes out of the bottom line on every job so those $50.00 jobs just became $40.00 jobs while the &500.00 job became $490.00 . . .

                just my 2 cents . . .
                "If you think you are too small to be effective
                you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by dabob View Post
                  There are some issues with smaller jobs and their impact on the bottom line not everything is the same, It costs you the same amount of money to write the job and invoice the job so assuming its $5.00 to write it up and $5.00 to invoice it (I heard somewhere an invoice costs $7.00 but?) anyway thats 10.00 that comes out of the bottom line on every job so those $50.00 jobs just became $40.00 jobs while the &500.00 job became $490.00 . . .

                  just my 2 cents . . .
                  In our estimating software we account for each touchpoint like consultations and job ticketing, etc.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by arossetti View Post
                    In our estimating software we account for each touchpoint like consultations and job ticketing, etc.
                    So do we but having 10 "touchpoints" still costs more than 1 . . . . therefore a larger impact on smaller jobs

                    just wondering how much harder it would be to handle 1000 $50.00 jobs a month (50 jobs a day) or 100 $500.00 jobs a month (5 jobs a day). . .

                    just thinking out loud
                    "If you think you are too small to be effective
                    you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by dabob View Post
                      So do we but having 10 "touchpoints" still costs more than 1 . . . . therefore a larger impact on smaller jobs

                      just wondering how much harder it would be to handle 1000 $50.00 jobs a month (50 jobs a day) or 100 $500.00 jobs a month (5 jobs a day). . .

                      just thinking out loud
                      A lot harder, it is one of our biggest challenges. We do 200-300 jobs a week with an average ticket of $200. Additionally we have 300 "walk-in"/"while you wait" customers a day. Trying to separate out our large accounts from our casual print customer is challenging.

                      100 business cards is my favorite order. Takes 10-15min of consultation, 5-10 minutes of file prep/job submission, 5 minutes to run and cut, and 5 minutes to box, call, and close out the ticket.

                      So for a job that takes 5 minutes of actual production we have 25 minutes of administrative work.

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                      • #26
                        One other note, as much of a pain in the ass it is to manage all of those jobs, enter all of those tickets and consult all of those customers the benefit is that I don't have a top 10 customer base that accounts for 80% of my sales. We are so diversified that if one customer goes out of business or finds a new vendor it is disappointing but it never means that we just lost a huge chunk of our revenue.

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                        • #27
                          Don't forget that the profit margins are MUCH higher (at least for me) on the little jobs when printed digitally. You certainly wouldn't want to do a few dozen set-ups on a press every day! Even though we are a digital shop we have a fair share of short and long run jobs. We really don't see much of an issue with the additional touch points on the jobs, maybe that's because we've been doing it for so long. We have also taken the additional step of scheduling jobs on our finishing equipment much like we used to do on a press for Pantone color changes. Anything you can do to streamline production, even if it means re-laying out your shop to reduce steps.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Craig View Post
                            Don't forget that the profit margins are MUCH higher (at least for me) on the little jobs when printed digitally. You certainly wouldn't want to do a few dozen set-ups on a press every day! Even though we are a digital shop we have a fair share of short and long run jobs. We really don't see much of an issue with the additional touch points on the jobs, maybe that's because we've been doing it for so long. We have also taken the additional step of scheduling jobs on our finishing equipment much like we used to do on a press for Pantone color changes. Anything you can do to streamline production, even if it means re-laying out your shop to reduce steps.
                            Yeah . . I get that but I was working with the numbers presented $50 vs $500 - we have both digital and conventional workflows and we do a lot more 250 and 500 business card orders today than we did 10 years ago. Now we are working with an average ticket of $200 thats a bit different than 50. And from what I gathered from one of your previous posts you handle 300 "walk-in"/"while you wait" it seems to me that would be a cash register type of transaction similar to a Kinkos or Office Max type of transaction - or do you run receivables on those customers also?

                            We were the first shop in our area to offer a digital workflow in our area back in 2001 so we are not newbies in this.

                            The big question I have is would you want a 50% margin on a 100 dollar job or 15% on a $5,000 job - we like both sides of the fence on this one . . . the grass is green on either side
                            Last edited by dabob; 04-03-2015, 11:51 AM. Reason: a little more to say
                            "If you think you are too small to be effective
                            you have never been in the dark with a mosquito."

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              arossetti is the lucky (or unlucky) one who has 300 walk-ins, not me. Like you, our average ticket is around the $175 mark, but we do a crap load of business cards, which brings that average down a bit. One thing I have found with the short work, is it tends to lead to larger stuff. We don't have outside sales here so everything is word of mouth or counter sales. We also do a lot of social printing, which has lead into commercial work as well.

                              I agree with the margin comment. We swing both ways here, we just farm out the offset work when needed!

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                              • #30
                                Hey mailguru....send your work to us!!!

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