What is Print Now?  It’s a Distributed Print Solution that saves you time and money!

A Common Problem

Expensive print runs and delays getting to store

Most businesses try to save money on printing costs by taking advantage of the cost economies that come from large print runs.  While this approach may save money on printing costs, these savings are often diminished or eliminated by inefficiencies in the distribution channel and wastage from printed product that is never used. 

For example, a retail chain can save money by mass printing in-store signage at a central location, but lose more money and time in freight when these are distributed to retail store locations.

Some businesses prefer a de-centralized approach, controlling artwork at the corporate level and then emailing final artwork to store staff for printing.  This solution comes with two inherent issues that affect cost or quality:

  1. If there is no on-site printer, staff need to make trips to suppliers such as Officeworks to print the artwork, adding cost and time to the project.
  2. For branches that have their own printer onsite, this is usually a cheap inkjet model that produces low quality print.  Additionally, the store experiences lost time in maintaining the printer, and increased cost if staff purchase incorrect toners, or printer break downs due to misuse.

The New Solution

Marketing promotions executed in near real time

Mulberry Tree Media in partnership with Efex Group has created the cost-efficient new Print Now solution.  Each retail location is supplied with a high quality, small footprint laser printer that can be controlled from a single central location by the head office marketing team.  In-store marketing promotions can now go from conception to completion in minutes, with shelf top displays in all retail locations completed virtually with no third party print or delivery costs.

A head office team member simply uploads and prints the file to any or all store locations – and it’s as easy as sending an email!  All that’s left for store staff to do is collect the artwork off the printer, and then install it into the shelf top or other advertising display, executing the new marketing strategy close to real time.

The printer hardware is installed and supported by the Efex Group, whose nationwide support means any hardware issues are addressed within 24 hours. Even better, proprietary software monitors each machine, identifies when toner is getting low and dispatches replacement toner to the site before staff even know they need it.

The printer can also be used locally by store staff for any general print requirements.  Equipment is financed through an Efex Group 5 year lease.  You’ll also pay a small fee per print but there are no other costs other than the paper you print on.   All toner, hardware and software service is included in the fee structure.

This decentralized solution will lead to substantial cost and carbon footprint savings for a nationally distributed retail brand. A hypothetical chain of 100 stores distributed per capita around the 10 largest cities in Australia, printed and dispatched from Sydney, will produce a carbon debt of around 1,500 tonnes from the transport alone. (how rate of deliveries weekly monthly)

The system also puts the retailer in a position to sell print to their own suppliers who want to run their own brand/label specific promotions. The retailer will be in a position to charge a very high margin on their print as they are competing with print + freight costs, not just print costs.

Case study: The potential of Print Now

It’s going to be a busy week for the team.

Monday: The Visual Merchandising team approves a promotion all stores. The artwork is processed through Print Now, and prints at all stores almost immediately and is on shelves generating sales.

Tuesday: A supplier wants to run a promotion for their product in the store. Head office charges them for print and distribution at a high margin rate (as they are competing with print + freight so can charge a premium.) The promotion is put in place the same day and is on the shelf increasing sales on top of generating revenue through a new income stream.

Wednesday: A major competitor launches a new promotion. The marketing team crafts a response and within minutes it is on the shelves keeping the store current with a shifting market.

Thursday: Queensland floods hit again. Artwork is produced to raise awareness for charities that support people in evacuation centres. Improving the company’s public image and responding to current world events in near real time.

Friday: A local event is happening on the weekend. Artwork is sent to is sent to selected stores only to promote the event.

The team has rolled out 5 promotions in one week: Two planned, two responsive and one targeted cross-promotion.

Print Cost: $225

Freight Cost: $0

Print income:$1,000
Carbon cost:0

Response time: Under an hour

The same sequence of events done in the traditional manner of centralized print and distribution.

Monday: The Visual Merchandising team approves a promotion all stores. The artwork is dispatched to the printer, who prints and dispatches same day. The prints arrive at store across the next day.

Tuesday: A supplier wants to run a promotion for their product in the store. They are directed to the printer who prints and dispatches same. The printers arrive at store across the next day. The marketing team spend an hour of their day chasing up stores to confirm delivery of Monday’s promotion. They then chase Proof of Deliveries from the courier, then chase stores again.

Wednesday: A major competitor launches a new promotion. The marketing team crafts a response. The artwork is dispatched to the printer, who prints and dispatches same day. The prints arrive at store across the next day. The marketing team spend an hour of their day chasing up stores to confirm delivery of Tuesdays promotion. They then chase Proof of Deliveries from the courier, then chase stores again.

Thursday: Queensland floods hit again. Artwork is produced to raise awareness for charities that support people in evacuation centres. The artwork is dispatched to the printer, who prints and dispatches same day. The prints arrive at store across the next day. The marketing team spend an hour of their day chasing up stores to confirm delivery of Wednesdays promotion. They then chase Proof of Deliveries from the courier, then chase stores again.

Friday: A local event is happening on the weekend. It is too late to send the artwork to the printer, so nothing is done.

The team has rolled out 4 promotions in one week: Two planned, and two responsive.

Print Cost: $1,440

Freight Cost: $7,4400

Print income:$0
Carbon cost:6,000 tonnes

Office time:4 hours

Response time: 36 hours

Based on 2 tickets per store per promotion to 100 stores.

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