Print on Demand: An Earth-Friendly Printing Strategy

May 21, 2020 by Leslie Barton

Decades ago, futurists predicted that widespread use of computers would usher in a paperless society. They were wrong.

In this digital age, businesses still use some 21 million tons of paper each year, and 50 percent of all business waste is paper.

Print materials aren’t going away any time soon, but there is an earth-friendly printing process that can save your company money while helping the environment. That process is digital print on demand (POD).

Digital vs. Offset Printing

earth friendly printingTraditional offset printing is a labor- and resource-intensive process that requires a host of make-ready and setup tasks before the first sheet rolls off the press. These setup costs are the same whether you print 5,000 or 50,000 copies. That being true, it makes sense to print larger quantities to reduce the per-piece cost – but only if you can use that many copies.

With print on demand services from a company like Amware Fulfillment, images are created and saved as digital files. No printing plates, no ink adjustments, no make-ready at all – and no setup costs to amortize. Small runs are economical, so you can print just the quantity you need, when you need to. In other words, on demand.

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Print on demand is earth-friendly printing because it:

  1. Saves trees. Instead of printing 5,000 pieces to lower your per-piece cost, then discarding 2,000 because you really only needed 3,000, you can print just the 3,000 you will actually use.

  2. Doesn’t require water or chemicals to clean presses between jobs.

  3. Makes obsolescence obsolete. Studies show that some 20 percent of print materials are thrown away because they became obsolete before they could be used. If you print a piece only when you need it, you aren’t storing any physical copies. So there’s nothing to become obsolete – and less waste to send to a landfill.

Additional Benefits of Print on Demand Services

Print on demand is more than an earth-friendly green business strategy. Used appropriately, it’s also a good general business strategy, offering benefits such as:

  • Quick turnaround. Orders can be printed and on their way in 24 hours or less. And you can update, substitute or even customize and personalize marketing materials on the fly. Just edit the digital file and your document is accurate, up to date and ready to print.
  • Prototyping. Using print on demand services is a great way to go if you’re not sure about the look or content of a new marketing piece and want to test it on a small audience before launching a complete campaign. Ditto if you’re not sure how many copies of a new piece you’ll need over time. Once you have sufficient usage history, you’ll be able to judge whether it makes sense to switch to offset production or continue printing small quantities digitally.
  • Eliminating backorders and rush reprint charges. With an earth-friendly print on demand piece, you’ll never run out of stock or have to pay for rush reprinting and shipping.
  • Improving cash flow. By reducing costs for sales literature fulfillment, print on demand puts more money back into your budget for other revenue-producing initiatives.

Of course, not every piece is right for print on demand. But the right marketing literature fulfillment partner can help you assess your current inventory and weigh in on any new pieces you’re thinking of creating to ensure that you get the best return on your printing dollar – and that you are considering the environment and adopting earth-friendly printing strategies.

If you’d like to explore whether print on demand services could be right for your business, contact Amware Fulfillment today.


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Filed Under: Marketing/Sales Literature Fulfillment