Published in Proceedings of SPIE: Document Recognition and Retrieval XIV: San Jose, CA, Volume 6500, January 30, 2007.
Copyright © 2007 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.698411.
The purpose of this study is to document current cost-estimating practices used in commercial digital printing. A research study was conducted to determine the use of cost-estimating in commercial digital printing companies. This study answers the questions: 1) What methods are currently being used to estimate digital printing? 2) What is the relationship between estimating and pricing digital printing? 3) To what extent, if at all, do digital printers use full-absorption, all-inclusive hourly rates for estimating? Three different digital printing models were identified: 1) Traditional print providers, who supplement their offset presswork with digital printing for short-run color and versioned commercial print; 2) "Low-touch" print providers, who leverage the power of the Internet to streamline business transactions with digital storefronts; 3) Marketing solutions providers, who see printing less as a discrete manufacturing process and more as a component of a complete marketing campaign. Each model approaches estimating differently. Understanding and predicting costs can be extremely beneficial. Establishing a reliable system to estimate those costs can be somewhat challenging though. Unquestionably, cost-estimating digital printing will increase in relevance in the years ahead, as margins tighten and cost knowledge becomes increasingly more critical.