UV flatbed printing is a comparatively new technology in relation to established printing technologies such as litho, screen, toner or roll-based inkjet printing. For that reason, many print providers considering entering into the flatbed printing segment are rather unsure as to what to expect in regards to costs and profits.
A Return on Investment (ROI) “calculator” is a commonly used tool to determine the costs to produce graphics, what amount of print volume produced at a specific cost and sold at a particular price is required to pay off the capital investment, and what amount of profit can be realized on a monthly basis. Canon Solutions America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon U.S.A, outlines how print providers can use this tool to determine whether a UV flatbed printer is a profitable investment.
Determine Cost and Benefits with an ROI Calculator
An ROI calculator is only as good as the information entered. There are a multitude of variables involved in the price and cost of printed graphics. Prices charged and the costs of producing those graphics can vary significantly due to local market conditions, the type and complexity of application being produced and the substrates used, and area competition. The more research done to find out what the going rates are in an area, the more valid are the results generated by the ROI calculator.
There are additional overheads and one-time expenses besides the equipment, ink and media costs. Consider the per square foot cost of floor space, any building modifications required, the electrical requirements, the cost of adequately skilled labor to run the printer and shipping costs.
Four Components of ROI Calculators
A good calculator should be simple to understand yet provide flexibility to enter the wide variety of variables. It can also serve as a tool to determine job costs, cash flow, production time, etc. An ROI calculator can be broken down into four key sections that each allow for the entry of data:
- Gross Revenue: Allows for entering the price per square foot that the printed piece is expected to sell for and adjusting the “hours printing per day” value to what it would take to accomplish a specific volume of work shown or match to the availability of staff to operate the printer. This feature also allows providers to input print speeds, wastage value, and other calculated values that are useful in determining how much blank substrate is required for a specific volume of work and what would be invoiced per month for the total printed work.
- Material Costs: The calculated value of all material costs, including substrates and UV lamps. Depending on the substrate type and sheet size, the amount purchased, and the vendor, the total cost can all vary considerably.
- Overheads: The amount paid to operators per hour and the amount of time allocated to an operator to run the printer and conduct related tasks, such as maintenance, calculates the daily cost for the operator to run work on the printer. This gives both the calculated monthly labor cost and combined monthly labor and materials cost.
- Investment and Return: The total amount of the printer purchase and related items including: starter kits, options and accessories, training, delivery and installation, etc. Payback in months represents how long it is necessary to print before the investment in the system has been covered based on what was entered for Revenue, Material Costs and Overheads.
The ROI calculator is simply a tool and in no way guarantees success. However, by using these calculations, print providers can gain insightful knowledge of both expected costs and profits and decide how UV flatbed printing can best benefit their business.
To learn more about how to determine the ROI of new equipment and match the right printer to your needs – and get a valuable edge in today’s highly competitive marketplace – download Canon Solutions America’s UV Flatbed Buyer’s Guide.