at work worldwide

Understandable, because even our Free Edition works at the speed of light compared to pencil and paper.

Some years ago I discovered a well-preserved copy of R.T. Porte's "Estimating Hints for Printing" in a second-hand bookstore. Here is what the acknowledged father of systemized print estimating shared in the opening chapter:

"Ask any ten printers the cost or the selling price of any piece of printing and you will secure ten answers, no two of which are apt to be alike. The reason for this is that the average printer has in some way hit upon a certain sum - or has a peculiar method of his own - by which he arrives at a price, and applying that method reaches a result wholly different from that of most other printers. The cost system was at first hailed as the corrector of all such evils, but it was soon discovered that results from cost systems varied twenty-five percent on the same work when reproduced at intervals in the same office."

Porte published his little book in 1923. The sad part is, it could have been published yesterday. Except for the inconsistencies with work reproduced at intervals, it's hard to see where the embedding of computers has led to noticeable progress in the nearly one hundred years since. Prices quoted, for offset in particular, are still all over the map. With that in mind I thought it only fitting that we should open our workshop with making price adjustments.

Customer Discounts

Even with Cost-Plus pricing, it's never a good idea to treat all buyers the same. Learn how to apply surcharges for high maintenance customers, and give loyalty discounts to long-time patrons you don't want to lose.


Product Price Adjustments

Morning Flight comes with a predefined letterhead item. If you're selling stationery, one of the first things you'll want to do is create two more: One plain and inexpensive, the other premium and up-scale.


Paper Costs

Since we can't possibly know what you're paying for paper, be sure to check the default paper prices that come with the program against your vendor's price book - before you use Morning Flight for live quotes.


Virtual Presses

What is it, and why do you need one? A virtual press is an imaginary clone of a real press you have in your shop. The two share physical properties, but on the virtual press you use a different hourly rate.


Adjusting Prices in Estimates

Program-generated prices can't be altered. That's so you can look at a Morning Flight quote and know there's no question who calculated the price. Of course, you can adjust that price up or down in the final estimate.


Optimizing Click Charges

Just because your vendor charges you the same click rate for 11 x 17 as they do for 8-1/2 x 11 doesn't mean you should pass every penny of those savings on to your customers. Adding 30% would be more than fair.


(to be continued)