The Cost of Print Rework
And How to Reduce Those Costs.
In the printing industry, there are many causes of rework, and the associated costs can vary greatly. Most issues have monetary costs and many will cause customer relation issues. If not caught early, rework can cause a job to miss its deadline or force you to push back other jobs, in order to complete the rework.
A Pareto analysis is a technique in which the minimal action can be used to reach the maximum benefit. The idea is that 20% of the causes or rework are responsible for 80% of the cost. Concentrating on putting systems in place to minimize that 20% of causes can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
A Pareto chart is a great way to visualize the causes and associated costs, so you can clearly see the causes on which to focus.
1) Track the causes of every rework.
Categorize the causes of all your rework. You should have a short list of problems that cause rework.
2) Estimate the cost of each error.
You are likely already tracking the cost of rework weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.
3) Chart these issues in order from most expensive to least expensive.
Now, you have a Pareto Chart.
Initially, concentrate on fixing the issues that cost the most. Solving the 20% most costly issues can often save you 80% of your rework costs. Fixing the issues can include better training for your staff, systems for communicating with customers, reworking procedures, or implementing new procedures or software into the process.
That is a huge first step which can greatly increase your profit margin and allow you to price your print jobs more competitively. You can then gain happier customers and staff and save yourself from some light gray, CMYK(0%, 0%, 0%, 17%), hair.
This is a continuous cycle of aiming for perfection, which in all likelihood is a rare achievement. But, hey, perfection is a great goal, and it doesn’t hurt to improve your bottom line in the process!
How Does FlightCheck Help?
Since 1995, FlightCheck has been the essential preflight and packaging tool for graphic design, publishing, and print professionals. FlightCheck is a stand-alone macOS application that checks native and PDF files for printing quality.
Using FlightCheck early on in the process (usually, as soon as the customer supplies you with their print work), allows you to minimize the costs and time delays caused by rework. Simply run the DTP file through FlightCheck, and it instantly will give you a report of any potential print problems.
FlightCheck will catch anything from a simple problem to more complex problems. This means it can detect a low-resolution image (e.g., a 72 dpi image that looks great on the computer monitor, but looks pixelated when printed), as well as detect if ink density is too high. FlightCheck has hundreds of preflight checks, which can be customized to your specific needs.
Issues caught early can be reported back to your customer for them to fix. Or, you can turn this into an additional revenue stream, by providing the preflight report and your costs for resolving the issues on their behalf. Either way, you'll reduce or eliminate the chances of rework caused by problematic print files.
You could even share your customized Ground Controls (preflight checks) with your customers. Many good and great designers already use or would love to use FlightCheck; some just need to a little education on the importance of preflighting.
"I receive PDF magazine ads from sometimes questionable designers, which I use it to quickly verify resolution, color setup, and fonts. I have to be careful as bottom feeder advertisers can use the smallest problem as an excuse not to want to pay the bill. It’s a complete time saver, and I sometimes use it to spot check my own PDFs, and even graphics."
- Aaron M., American Legion Auxiliary
The cost of rework can really hurt your company's bottom line. Going through cycles of tracking, the causes of rework, then implementing changes to reduce the rework, can greatly benefit your company. A Pareto Analysis and Pareto Chart can be great tools in helping to identify the most important focal points. The FlightCheck preflight tool is used by many print industry members, to help eliminate the chances of a problematic print file reaching your presses and causing expensive rework. Download a working, full-version!