How Printing Training Materials On-Demand Can Lead to Big Savings

Our latest Training Trends report highlights the fact that continuing education professionals expect the number of training programs they offer to increase over the next year. At the same time, budgets are projected to remain flat. Organizations are increasingly looking for ways to deliver their programs more efficiently, without sacrificing the overall experience for their learners. Switching to a print-on-demand (POD) model for course materials is one strategy that is often overlooked.

Many organizations assume they don’t produce enough volume for POD to be economically feasible. It is true that in general, POD can potentially be more expensive on a per-piece basis than opting for a longer print run. But that all depends upon how your POD strategy is executed, and what your ultimate goals are.

Rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach (large volume print runs vs. one-at-a-time), it may make sense to think about printing a micro-inventory—smaller quantities of your educational materials that can satisfy a few months’ worth of demand, instead of anticipating your annual order volume. In doing this, you only pay for the materials you sell, giving you volume pricing without paying for excess inventory, which ultimately frees up cash flow for your organization. At the same time, it minimizes spoilage should your content need to change during this time, while giving you more flexibility to monitor and manage changes in demand as the year progresses.

One organization in particular, (ISC)2, switched to a POD model, eliminating the need to print, ship and store large print inventories around the globe, resulting in a 60% cost savings. Read the (ISC)2 Customer Profile to learn more about the benefits they experienced by switching to a print-on-demand model.

POD isn’t the right fit for every organization, but don’t be too quick to rule it out until you’ve run the numbers. It could lead to some significant savings while, at the same time, making it easier to manage your content.

How Print-On-Demand Reduced One Association’s Shipping Costs By 60%

 

International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. (ISC)2® is the global not-for-profit leader in educating and certifying information security professionals throughout their careers. The organization provides Gold Standard credentials to a membership of nearly 90,000 certified industry professionals in more than 135 countries through instructor-led training, live online training and one- and two-day educational seminars.

Challenge: A Large Up-Front Financial Investment

To deliver course materials to more than 135 countries, (ISC)2 was printing a 6-12 month supply of course books, and then shipping and storing the materials in four locations around the world. This print and inventory model required a large up-front financial investment and decreased the profitability of its courses. Additionally, maintaining inventory in multiple locations made it more difficult to track and measure costs.

Solution: A Print-On-Demand Model

Recognizing these challenges, (ISC)2 reached out to potential third-party solution providers. Omnipress performed an evaluation of the organization’s complete print and fulfillment process. Together, they were able to help (ISC)2 quantify the true cost of printing and shipping their materials and develop a print and fulfillment model that balanced cost-per-piece with appropriate inventory levels. Omnipress was able to migrate (ISC)2 to a print-on-demand solution that eliminated the need to print, ship and store materials in multiple locations around the globe.

“Working with Omnipress is more than hiring a print company. They are a partner that cares about providing a quality product and upholds the old-world thinking of customer service.” – Dave White, Product Development Manager, (ISC)2

Results: 60% Reduction in Shipping Cost

By switching to a print-on-demand model through Omnipress, (ISC)2 reduced the cost of shipping materials for their instructor-led courses by 60% while at the same time increasing cash flow. The organization now pays a monthly cost based on known receivables rather than investing up-front in a year’s worth of material.

6 Reasons You Should Print Training Manuals on Demand

When you prepare to print training manuals for your association’s continuing education courses, do you struggle with choosing the number of initial copies to print? All the historical data in the world can’t ensure that you won’t waste time, money, or paper on books that no one will use. Choosing to print training manuals on demand, however, can solve these problems.

When you print training manuals on demand, you can rest assured that amount of that waste will be kept to a minimum. Here are six reasons to choose print-on-demand for your organization’s continuing education materials:

Update content easily

How long does content in your industry remain current? Some organizations can effectively use large print runs because the content in their training materials doesn’t change much year-to-year. For other organizations, particularly those in highly-regulated industries and in STEM, content is updated more frequently, meaning the potential for material waste increases.

Lower overhead costs

Start-up costs for large print runs can be prohibitive or, at the very least, frightfully expensive for some organizations. Print-on-demand requires a smaller initial investment, keeping overhead low. Having less of your budget tied up in printed materials also leaves you free to spend capital on other projects to improve your continuing education programs.

Reduce guesswork

Inventory management becomes easier when you keep a smaller number of books on the shelf. Print-on-demand solutions often create a micro-inventory that feeds orders as they come in, and more books are printed as needed. You’ll know exactly how many books you have in-stock, removing the guesswork from the process.

Minimize waste

When you keep a micro-inventory instead of a large quantity of books on the shelf, you reduce the risk of having to toss out hundreds of materials when content is updated or a class is canceled. And, even better, your organization is only charged for the number of books that were sold from your micro-inventory, saving you extra money.

Eliminate back-orders

Learners can get frustrated when they are unable to order materials they need for a class because you ordered too small of a print run initially. Using a print-on-demand model eliminates this scenario entirely, saving you from the trouble of dealing with back-ordered books.

Improve turnaround time

Even when dealing with the most experienced print vendors, large print runs require a certain amount of lead-time to complete. Print-on-demand requires less set up and fewer resources, making turnaround much faster.

No two organizations are the same—your reasons to print training manuals on demand may differ greatly from another organization’s. What is clear, however, is that print-on-demand works well for many organizations offering continuing education courses, and it might by the right choice for you, as well.

How Print On Demand Helps Your End-of-Year Planning

 

During the last few months of the year, many associations will be planning which continuing education courses they’ll offer in the new year. Not only that, but they’ll probably be looking at ways to update their existing training course materials to reflect new developments in the industry.

If your association is looking to refresh your course books and other materials next year, you might run into a problem; you’ll need to use your existing course books until the new ones are ready for publication. So what do you do if your course book inventory is running low?

Doing a large print run in this situation just doesn’t make sense. In a few months, you’ll be ready to print and distribute the new books, and the old ones will be discarded, costing your association money for wasted product.

But there is a solution for this: Print-on-demand! People typically think of print-on-demand as a smart way to keep inventory costs down, but this isn’t the only way to take advantage of it. Print-on-demand can also be used as a stopgap for your training materials while you prepare new course material. This model lets you keep the inventory you need in the short term without wasting money on a large print run that will become obsolete in the near future.

How print-on-demand can work with your course updates

Print-on-demand may not work the way you initially expect it to. When you need a course book order fulfilled, we don’t print one single book at a time.

Instead, we create a micro inventory for you that allows you to fill your customers’ orders without committing to a large quantity. This may entail printing 10 books initially, then printing a few more as orders are sent out. What’s even better is that you only pay for the books that are actually ordered by your learners!

By using this solution, your association can save money by not wasting a large inventory of old training course materials as you prepare to update your content. You can continue to grow and evolve as a continuing education provider without the stress of wasting course books.

As you prepare material for your new courses, you also need to think about how you’re going to promote them at the start of the new year. Download our free whitepaper to learn more about how content marketing can help you promote courses online!

Inspiration and Integration: ASAE Annual Meeting 2017 Video Recap

 

A number of Omnipress employees made the trek across the border to participate in this year’s ASAE Annual Meeting in Toronto. As usual, it was an event full of informative sessions and great conversations.

Two members from the Omnipress Print and Fulfillment team that attended the meeting, Tracy Gundert and Janel Savich, talked with Dan Loomis about their takeaways from the week and about two themes that came up repeatedly in their conversations: Inspiration and Integration.

Watch the video below to learn a common challenge that all associations face, and how association staff can use “integrations” to make their jobs easier.

 

ASAE Annual Meeting 2017 Event Recap Video Transcript

Dan: So what was the number one thing that you heard from people stopping by, visiting the booth, or just networking and general sessions. What was everybody concerned about or inspired by?

Tracy: I think they all want to provide, all the different associations, no matter if it’s a trade association, a professional association, they all want to continue to improve the benefits for their members. What more can they give their members? How can they really become part of the value that their members receive from being a part of the association? They want to be sure that they are providing that.

Janel: I think that collaboration, getting together with our clients, hearing how our service fits in to meet the educational goals of their members and the people they serve. It’s inspiring!

Dan: ASAE Annual Meeting always brings people together to talk about innovation, and technology, they always do a good job with that. What types of things did they talk about with integration this year, anything in particular?

Janel: They want that ease to have their systems integrated together so they can talk to one another. Make their jobs easier. Pull the information together; get the reports in one central location.

Tracy: Along with talking about multiple partners, that is certainly one thing we heard, even with print and fulfillment vendors is that they want to have one source. Right now, a lot of them have multiple sources where they are printing at one facility and fulfilling out of another facility and it’s just, you know, its not very integrated in terms of the data. And it also creates a lot more time that they have to spend coordinating it, so they are really looking for that all-in-one type of solution.

 

Important Things to Consider When Designing A Training Program

 

Kirk Sundling, Director of Training Development at International Food Protection Training Institute talked to Omnipress about some of the challenges that arise when designing a training program.

Watch Kirk discuss his organization’s approach to translations, versioning and incorporating learner feedback into their course materials.


Dan wraps up the video by suggesting a way to manage inventory risk when the popularity of your new course is unknown.

Video Transcript:

Important Things to Consider When Designing A Training Program

DAN: Last week we were privileged to sit down with Kirk Sundling of the International Food Protection Training Institute to discuss some of the things they consider when they develop a new course.

KIRK: The process for launching course all starts with regulation and the implementation of FISMA.

And the big one was preventative controls for human food.

That was our largest. And versioning is kind of the process for keeping up to date.

Obviously, there’s always changes in regulations and what those stipulations are. And that kind of drives the versioning.

But obviously you print something the first time, it’s not going to be perfect.

So what you have to do is you have to understand that going into it and create an appropriate timeline for those changes to get the next version.

So going from version 1.0 and then going from a version 1.1.

The same thing with even translations. From going from an English version of preventative controls for human food to a Spanish version.

You’ve got to be very careful on that versioning and also on the translation.

DAN: Kirk, thanks for sharing. Some really good information for organizations to consider when they’re developing new course material. I think all organizations are challenged with similar things.

You have to consider your version control, when is content going to change? Is it based on regulations or is it based purely on attendee feedback?

Then you have to consider language—are you going to need to do translations for your content?

The most important part of all that then is making sure you select the right print model so you don’t overproduce and have a bunch of unnecessary spending.

It’s always kind of an unknown world, you’re not sure when things are going to change.

So maybe out of the gates with a new course, you don’t want to take advantage of a large print run and the cost per unit, only to throw things away.

So maybe print-on-demand is the right model out of the gates until things get solidified.

Kirk, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and information. I hope other organizations can find this beneficial.

How to Reduce Your Risk When Creating a New Training Program

 

When your association implements a new continuing education course, one of the major challenges you’ll face is deciding how many copies of training materials you need to print. You may be tempted to use the same length print runs as your existing courses, but this might not be the best decision. Common challenges with new training programs can leave you with too many copies of outdated or ineffective course books, forcing you to use less-than-stellar materials or waste a lot of money.

A print-on-demand solution for new course materials is a great way to minimize the risk of being left with a lot of waste or incurring major costs to re-print. Here are three common challenges associations face when implementing new training programs and how print-on-demand helps solve them.

3 Challenges That Print-On-Demand Can Solve:

You can’t predict the course’s popularity

When you initially offer a course, you know that there will be some interest, but you can’t predict how many people will actually sign up. You don’t want to invest in a long print run only to have a fraction of the enrollment you printed for. Use print-on-demand to generate a small number of course books to start, then have more printed as more people enroll.

Your content changes

After you run the course once or twice, the content you include might change, which means your old course books won’t be useful. Instead of printing 500 copies of the course book right off the bat, print-on-demand lets you order smaller quantities, giving you the flexibility to change your content as much as you need to provide the maximum amount of value.

You want feedback after the course

Once the first course is completed, you’re going to want to get feedback from your instructors and students. This feedback matters—and so does having the ability to act on it. If you receive feedback on the usability of your training materials, print-on-demand can help you minimize waste while you make changes, like switching up the order of the information or changing the binding type.

 

Establishing a new training program is already difficult without the anxiety over wasting hundreds of old course books from a long print run. Your established continuing education courses are the workhorse, and if the new course isn’t proven yet, print-on-demand is a good solution to minimizing waste and spending. Once the new program is set in stone, you can go with a longer print run. If your association is implementing new courses, consider working with a print-on-demand provider to save money in the long run.

What kinds of challenges does your association face when implementing a new training program?

 

Training in the Year of the Rooster

It is now 2017, and with it comes new challenges and opportunities on the training and development front. New budgets, new titles, and new publications, yet, still only twenty-four hours in a day. So how do you plan on staying on top of it? You can do it by planning for 2018. Wait, did you hear that right? Yes, you did!

This year is known as the Year of the Rooster according to Chinese astrologers, and we all know roosters are known for waking the world up with their early morning crow. That means you should act like a rooster and start early. Obviously, I’m not suggesting that you completely ignore planning for 2017. What you need to do is to plan your 2017 efforts while keeping your 2018 goals in mind. So as you plan for 2017, act like a rooster and start your 2018 early.

All your initiatives in 2017 should have a purpose and measurable goals that you can either reach or build on in 2018, as well.

Here are three examples of how you can “act like a rooster in 2017”:

  • Are you planning on moving a majority of your training materials to digital by 2018? Start planning for the migration by preparing your 2017 materials for digital purposes. This will give you an idea of how many resources and how much time it takes to complete this so you can plan for it in 2018.
  • Is one of your goals to move to a print on-demand model to save on overhead costs? Make it a goal of yours in 2017 to start measuring which titles would be the best fit for this type of model so you can move to a full-scale print-on-demand system in 2018.
  • Are you going to expand the courses you offer in 2017? That’s great! Keep in mind that this will affect your budget and resources in 2018, meaning you may need to hire a new vendor in order to be able to handle the materials and be as cost-effective as possible.

So as you are planning for 2017, remember to start 2018 early and be 100% prepared. Go ahead, act like a rooster!

Print on Demand Checklist: Is POD Right for You?

Here’s the scenario: Your continuing education materials are print-ready. Instructors are ready to go and learners from your association are already signed up for the new course. Everyone involved is excited to get started.

It’s time to decide: How many books should you print? Is it better to choose a large print run or produce books as they are ordered?

Print on Demand (POD) means that printed materials are produced on an as-needed basis. The opposite of POD is a large print run, where hundreds or thousands of books are produced at one time, in the hopes that someone will purchase them. The per-unit price is lower with large print runs, but producing more inventory than you might need can lead to waste and a need for a large warehouse space.

Is POD right for your organization? Consider these questions:

  • How many learners do you expect will enroll for the course? The higher enrollment is, the more likely it is that a larger print run will work. If you’re unsure, POD is the smarter choice.
  • How often does content need to be updated? Associations that operates in an industry with frequent changes driven by legislation or credentialing requirements are best served by POD because changes can be made before new volumes are printed.
  • Do you have room (in a warehouse or your office space) to house books from a larger print run? Which is more cost-efficient for your association: Doing a large print run and then having to give up office space (or, worse, renting warehouse space) to handle the inventory, or printing fewer copies and not having to worry about creating space for extras?
  • Are you confident that your printer can turn around new orders quickly? If you print on demand, but your provider doesn’t take the time to respond to requests in a timely matter, that has a negative impact on your association’s reputation. Alternatively, would your printer be willing to house a few extra copies of each title on your behalf, to fill orders easily (known as a microinventory)? While not true print on demand, using a microinventory is more efficient than POD and less wasteful than large print runs.

One question that might have been included in the checklist a few years ago—are you willing to compromise on quality? Print on demand has a bad reputation of creating a poor product, but the technology has improved to the point where it’s difficult to tell the difference between a book produced through POD from one that was part of an offset print run.

POD is considered by some to be friendlier to the environment than long print runs. It can be more cost-efficient, too. If you produce 500 books and content needs to be changed when half still sit on the warehouse shelf, 250 books will go to waste. The per-unit price break you got for a large print run becomes a moot point.

Looking through the questions on the checklist, did you determine that your organization should consider POD? We should talk! Check out print on demand page on our website and contact us to get the conversation started.

No Crystal Ball? Then Try Print on Demand!

Do you ever wonder how meteorologists get away with being wrong so often? Their weather predictions are usually in the ballpark, but sometimes … well, sometimes it’s a very big ballpark. It doesn’t take too long for a forecast of 3-5 inches of snow to become 1-3—or 4-7, for that matter.

Sometimes it feels the same way when you’re predicting print quantities for your association’s continuing education (CE) program. You have a basic idea of how many people will probably sign up for a class that’s in its fifth year, so your guesstimates might be fairly accurate. But what if a new class is unexpectedly breaking registration records? Or a course that has had consistent registration numbers in the past suddenly drops by 20%, for no apparent reason?

Even with the best Doppler radar or finger on the pulse of the state of CE in your industry, no one can predict the future flawlessly. So give yourselves—and meteorologists—a break. The easiest way to manage your printed CE materials without wasting time, money, and resources is to choose print on demand.

Some people are hesitant to try print on demand because of the higher cost per unit, but the truth is that you may save money if your content changes frequently. Say you print 1,000 books, in a single print run, at a per-unit cost of $2.50 ($2,500 total). You sell 600 books ($1,500 worth) before content changes need to be made, rendering the last 400 books useless. That’s $1,000 left on the table! If you have multiple titles with content changes, the waste is even greater.

If the books had been printed on demand, on the other hand, just 600 books would be produced and distributed before the content changed. Even at a slightly higher per-unit cost of $4.00, that comes to $2,400, with no books or money wasted.

Omnipress has helped dozens of associations move to print on demand for their CE materials. Talk to us and we’ll help you get to the number that’s just right for you.

How to Manage Content Updates with Print on Demand

Your association’s industry is in a continuous state of development and progress. That’s great for professionals in the field—members of your association—because that means the field is constantly evolving. Engaged professionals are curious about this forward movement; they’re not stagnant or bored.

Regular change is a risk for printed continuing education materials, though. Printed books on a shelf could become obsolete before they reach your learners’ hands.

Print on demand helps you manage content updates and minimize loss. A small number of extra copies are kept on hand (a microinventory), but there aren’t dozens of boxes full of books no one will ever read. To make matters even better, you only pay for course books that learners order.

If frequent content changes are needed, this can lead to major cost savings. Say your industry releases standards every six months. With print on demand, you won’t have to toss hundreds or thousands of books that become outdated, literally overnight.

If you need to change content because industry standards have changed, you can use the opportunity to update other parts of the content as well. Perhaps the course book cited 2013 statistics, because those were the most recent figures available when the content was written. Do a bit of research to get 2014 numbers and you’ll have more accurate stats to go along with the fresh content. Print on demand allows you to manage content updates by keeping your information current and complete, without the risk that come with larger print runs.

One association switched to print on demand and saved 60% on print and fulfillment costs. Read the case study to learn more! Then leave a comment. We’d love to hear what you think!

7 Reasons You Should Print Training Manuals on Demand

When you prepare to print training manuals for your association’s continuing education courses, do you struggle with choosing a number of initial copies to print? All the historical data in the world can’t ensure that you won’t waste time, money, or paper on books that no one will use. Choosing to print training manuals on demand, however,  can solve these problems.

When you print training manuals on demand, you can rest assured that amount of that waste will be kept to a minimum. There are many other reasons to choose print on demand for your association’s CE materials, including:

  1. Frequent content updates: How long does content in your industry remain current? Some associations can get away with large print runs because not much changes year to year. Others, particularly in highly-regulated industries and in STEM, must be updated more often.
  2. Reduced overhead: Start-up costs for large print-runs can be prohibitive or, at least, frightfully expensive. Print on demand requires less initial investment, keeping overhead low.
  3. Improved cash flow: Having less of your budget tied up in printed materials that may never be delivered to learners leaves you free to spend capital on other projects, like online training materials.
  4. Less guesswork: Inventory management becomes easier when you keep a smaller number of books on the shelf (a micro-inventory) and print more as orders roll in. You won’t have to toss hundreds of books, which cost you plenty, if content changes make the titles obsolete, or if a class is canceled.
  5. Minimum waste: When you keep a micro-inventory instead of a large quantity of books on the shelf, fewer books have to be tossed when changes are needed. Even better, your association is only charged for the number of books that were sold.
  6. No back orders: Avoid the embarrassment of back orders. Learners feel irritated when they can’t order the titles they need for class because a printer ran out. Print on demand takes this scenario off the table completely.
  7. Quick turnaround: Experienced printers can balance their workloads to get your larger print runs done without too much lead time. Print on demand requires less set up and fewer resources, so turnaround is even faster.


No two associations are the same; your reasons to print training manuals on demand may differ greatly from another similar organization. What we know: Print on demand works well for many associations, and it could be the right choice for you.

If this list makes you think it that sounds about right, contact us today! We’d love to help you bring educational resources to your association’s learners—and save you time, money, and resources at the same time.