Apr 22 2022
As companies struggle with the effects of inflation, managers must look for ways to reduce overhead and the increasing financial burden that is deteriorating their bottom line. Through no fault of their own, the cost-savings opportunities that are right in front of them are sometimes overlooked.
The purpose of today’s blog post is to reacquaint you with a term that many of you might not have thought about since your school textbook days: “just in time printing.”
Just in time printing can help you reduce the upfront cost associated with printing large quantities of materials or inventorying a surplus of product that is costing you money, while supplies sit idly on a shelf taking up valuable space. In today’s post, we will show you how it might be just the right time to introduce your procurement manager to this long-standing inventory method.
What Is Just in Time Printing?
Just in time (JIT) printing is a form of inventory management in which products or materials are received right when they are needed. Though just in time printing has been around since at least the 1970s, more and more companies are now adopting it.
In an ideal just in time scenario, a business will have just enough of a particular item on hand to meet demand at any given time, without a lot left over that will then need to be stored.
You might also hear just in time printing referred to as “print on demand” (POD). The main difference between JIT and POD is that in a true just in time scenario, the supplier will have a small quantity of product available to ship when it is needed. A print on demand supplier, on the other hand, will only produce products once they are ordered. Otherwise, JIT and POD production work in much the same way.
What Are the Benefits of Just in Time Printing?
There are numerous ways that just in time printing can benefit your business as you grow and expand. Here are a few of the most significant reasons to consider this form of inventory management:
When you over-order an item, you risk ending up with a lot of stock that cannot be used or sold. This is tremendously wasteful and has an impact on both your business’s bottom line and on the planet.
Just in time printing allows you to receive only the amount of product you actually need, reducing or eliminating waste caused by over-ordering.
In addition, just in time printing helps to reduce losses caused by defective products. If you receive an item that is not quite right, scrappage and reordering costs will be much lower if your print runs are small.
Save Storage Space
While bulk ordering can lower the per-unit cost for many items, it often comes with the steep cost of storing thousands of pieces of inventory. Just in time printing frees up space and keeps your warehousing and storage costs down. If you order items only as you need them, they will not end up sitting in a warehouse taking up space and costing you money.
Just in time printing enhances your business’s efficiency by reducing the time and resources invested into ordering product. It minimizes the waiting time between ordering and receiving your items.
Once you have built a relationship with a supplier and developed a system that works, just in time printing also saves staff time and resources by streamlining your ordering processes. You may even be able to entirely eliminate the need for in-house inventory management or at least reduce the numbers of people and staff hours required to manage it.
Customer needs are not static and demand is likely to shift, ebb and flow over time. Just in time printing allows the manufacturer to respond to these realities, quickly increasing or decreasing production of items based on market demand.
If you find that you are busier than usual, you can easily order more inventory to keep up. Conversely, if the need for a particular item dips, you can easily reduce the quantities you order to eliminate surplus.
Fast and Cost-Effective
With modern technology, just in time printing is more viable and cost-effective than ever. What would have once taken weeks to produce can now be turned around in just a few days or, in some instances, even overnight.
Implement Changes More Easily
Do you need to change an aspect of a product’s design or a piece of information on your printed materials? With just in time printing, you can implement any changes easily without excessive wastage of the old or obsolete product.
For example, if your company undergoes a rebrand, you may wish to order new promotional products with its new logo and color scheme. Just in time printing allows you to make these types of changes at any time.
How Hygrade Can Help
A great just in time printing system requires a strong, collaborative relationship between the client and the supplier. Here at Hygrade, we are proud to be able to offer printed materials and promotional products to our clients on a just in time basis.
Each client relationship is unique, and we will work with you to create the system that works best for your business. We can produce items and store them for you, shipping them out to your locations as needed, or we can print your items and deliver them on demand. Either way, you will save on warehousing costs and be sure to have exactly what you need, when you need it.
If you would like to learn more about how we can work together, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat about your needs.