How print on demand works

  • How print on demand works - Burnt Toast Solutions

If your business involves any kind of printing or personalising of products, it’s likely that a vast amount of your resourcing goes towards the ‘three Ss’ – stock, storage and sending out.

Here’s the good news – there is a way to cut down the time, energy, and budget spent on those ‘three Ss’ helping you to provide a faster, more cost-efficient service.

What is print on demand?
Innovation in printing technology means modern equipment can print much more quickly, minimising time and cost. Print on demand simply means working with a supplier to customise and print products for you ‘direct to garment/product’ which are sold to order. This means an individual product is not created until it’s actually been ordered and paid for by your customer.

What is the benefit of print of demand?
Traditionally, a business would place a bulk order of printed products and store them themselves before going on to sell them. This requires upfront costs, space to store the stock and time spent on delivery fulfilment – packaging them up to send out.
But it can also involve a certain amount of guess work, especially if you’re a new business or trying out a new product. You can’t always be sure how well a particular item might sell, or in the case of garments, which sizes will be most popular, which could mean holding a large amount of inventory for a long period. Worst case scenario, it never sells and has to be written off at a loss which no business wants to do.

With print on demand, everything from printing to delivery fulfilment and shipping – even down to branded postage labels is automated and taken care of by your supplier. Items can be produced and sold on a per order basis, meaning no upfront costs for expensive bulk orders, no risk of wasted stock and no parcel or box-filling.
It can also integrate with online selling channels such as Etsy, Amazon, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento. The order will come in then it will be fulfilled without you needing to do a single thing – it’s automated to go straight to your print on demand supplier for them to organise for you.

What’s more, without the need for large storage space, it could even allow you to consider downsizing your business premises, saving on overheads.

When should I use print on demand?
Quite simply, whenever you are selling a customised product – anything from clothes, books, stationery, ceramics, to name a few.

It’s a particularly useful service if you are offering personalisation as it allows for printing of one-offs and unique items. It’s also great for testing a new product idea without the risk of holding a large amount of stock.

Is print on demand expensive?
The price per item is slightly higher for print on demand but this can be offset against the time and cost involved with storage and delivery fulfilment associated with traditional printing services.

Also, it’s important to consider how many items would need to be printed to achieve a lower cost per product – it could be thousands, far exceeding the quantity you actually need or are likely to sell!

If you have any questions about how print on demand could help provide a faster more efficient service for your customers, get in touch.

Burnt Toast Solutions
Michael Humphrey-Smith