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.

Training Materials From the Mother“ship”

When organizations use a printing partner for their continuing education training materials, many of their issues, from titles taking up residence in their much-needed office space to countless hours spent away from mission-centric work, are resolved. Learners receive the correct materials on time, whether they live down the road or halfway around the world.

When learners receive the shipment, though, often they wonder what in the world they ordered from Omnipress. The name doesn’t look familiar to them because they feel a connection to the association, not its printing partner. Once the box is opened and the contents are revealed, all is well.

More than once, however, we’ve received return shipments of materials sent to the learner, correctly. Because Omnipress is an unknown commodity, the package was not accepted.

Maintain your branding and limit confusion with a new offering available to Omnipress customers! Organizations can now add a logo to the shipping label of materials printed, fulfilled, and sent by Omnipress. Learners will know the books they receive have come (though indirectly) from a source they recognize. Your brand will extend to the outside of the packages learners receive. This is what we call win-win.

To get started, contact Omnipress to discuss print and fulfillment for your continuing education materials. If you already work with Omnipress, contact your project manager and ask about adding your logo to the shipping label for a low, one-time set-up fee.

Shipping continuing education materials with your logo for quick and easy recognition, while still not having to deal with printing, filling, or shipping your orders, sounds like the best of both worlds to us, and to many of our customers. Join them!

For more information on this new offering, contact Omnipress today.

The Importance of Brand: A Lesson From the NFL

Brand is everything, and if you’re like most organizations, you spend countless hours and resources protecting and building your brand.

Whether you’re a football fan or not, you may have heard about what’s happening in the NFL this year with replacement referees. Admittedly I’m a huge Green Bay Packer fan, so there’s a bit more passion around this topic.

The situation: The NFL’s officiating crew is on a lock-out (mainly as a result of money issues). No huge surprise. The season is underway with replacement refs who don’t have adequate experience refereeing in the NFL.

The controversial results: In last Monday night’s game the Packers lost by a last second touchdown pass by the Seattle Seahawks. The replacement refs made a bad call (in many people’s opinions), which impacted the outcome of the game. The Packers’ Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, didn’t blame the referees. Rather, he spoke about how the referees and the quality of officiating is an important part of the NFL brand. He added, the officiating by the replacement refs has been an embarrassment to NFL and its brand.

[Read the full article]

Your Organization’s Brand is a Shield

Your organization’s brand is important, and it must never be taken for granted. It takes time and effort to build a strong brand. It’s like a marriage; it takes effort to continuously foster strength and growth. For your organization, the marriage you continually build upon is between you and your members or employees.

Your brand is like your shield; it can help protect you from volatility in the macro economy as well as your market niche. It’s important to make organizational decisions that protect your brand.

If the NFL could start the season over, would they make a different decision to protect brand?

3 Ways Organizations Can Protect Their Brand

Often times, organizations think of building their brand after there is already a problem. Remember, it takes time and effort to grow your brand. If you act late, don’t expect immediate results.

Here are a few ways you can protect your organization’s brand:

  1. Budget. Money has a tendency to trump all decisions. Make sure you’re allocating appropriate funds to grow your brand and strengthen your shield even when your brand is strong.
  2. Relevant Content. Continuously update educational content. Don’t let excess inventory levels of printed content prevent you from updating your continuing education content. Content is king, but only when it’s relevant and timely.
  3. Presentation. If you ship printed materials to instructor-led training or face-to-face events, evaluate the entire package of contents. Do the printed covers look fresh and relevant? Is the shipping package representing your brand? Do you have custom boxes or poly bags with your logo?

Have other ideas on how to protect or extend your brand? Please leave me a comment below!

Quality Print-On-Demand: 3 Questions to Ask

I talk to a lot of customers about how to manage print production for training and educational manuals.

Most of the time the discussion centers around production run lengths, inventory control and content changes. I can’t help but feel sorry for association and institute staff members who are trying to manage this decision-making process on their own. Here at Omnipress, we have a whole division dedicated to these services, and it has taken us a long time to understand the complexity of balancing per unit production cost with inventory expense and timing of content changes.

Modern Printing = Less Inventory = More Flexibility

With current digital print technology, this decision-making process may be a lot simpler than you think. It’s certainly a lot simpler than it was five years ago. The new production-level digital print engines now make it possible to print short runs (less than 100 units) at a very reasonable per-unit cost. This means less inventory, greater content flexibility and, if you’re working with the right production house, high-quality print.

Short-Run Printing “Is” Quality

When I talk to publication managers, they sometimes tell me they’re skeptical about digital print quality. Many managers still feel that if they move to digital print engines and away from offset production, they will sacrifice quality in order to get to cost-effective short-run production. This does not have to be the case. With today’s technology, there is no reason why short-run digital print quality cannot be as good as (or better than) longer-run offset print quality. You no longer have to trade print quality when going to shorter run lengths. The key is finding the right vendor with the right equipment.

Without the right production house, their fears may be justified. Many print houses do not use production-quality digital print engines for print-on-demand production, and this has given short-run digital print production a bad name. Quality issues may come in the form of tracking marks, missing pages, poor page orientation, curled paper or poor resolution. These problems are all symptoms of not using a production-quality digital print engine. If you’re working with a true production house and not a quick-print shop, most of these problems can be eliminated quickly.

True production-quality digital print engines avoid many of the above problems by allowing you to insert covers, tabs and color pages inline without disrupting the production cycle. With inline insertion, you eliminate the need for collators and manual insertion, which is where many of the quality issues arise.

Questions You Should be Asking

When looking for a print-on-demand company to print high-quality publications, be sure to ask these three questions:

  1. Is the print engine a duplex printer? Duplex printers print on both sides of the paper at the same time, thus improving print consistency and preventing paper curl.
  2. Can paper can be loaded and unloaded without disrupting the production process? If print engines stop and start during the production cycle, you’re introducing print quality variation into your project.
  3. Will special pages, tabs or colored dividers be inserted inline or collated offline? Like I mentioned before, inline insertion cuts down on quality issues.

Just remember that you don’t have to give up quality to get cost-effective short-run production, but you do need to work with the right vendor. It’s worth your time to check around and find the right vendor for your job.

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