A question that I find in the marketing world that is constantly missed is “What are the most cost effective ways to purchase marketing products”.
When people look at what they need tomorrow, they say “hey I need 50 pens to hand out at my conference so that is what I am going to order” but they aren’t thinking about the fact that they have three more conferences this year and in the long run are going to need 500 pens. As with most products the more you order, the per piece price goes down, so if you are going to end up ordering the same pen 2 or 3 different times in one year, it makes the most sense to order them all in one go.
The reason that is the case is because the money is not necessarily in the product, or ink itself, but typically the most expensive part of the job is the set ups. So if you have to pay the set ups 3 times in one year as opposed to one, and the per piece price is higher for ordering less, it makes sense to order it all at once.
This is the same idea for printing as it is for marketing materials. Setting up a press takes time, effort and money. One of the things I recommend to customers for print in order to save money is when they are doing a small run, to use a gang run style of printing. This way they are sharing the set ups, and paper costs (which are also pricey) with other people, so that they alone are not incurring the most expensive part of the job.
So when it comes to being cost effective there is always the general minimum, and the cost effective minimum. Look what works best for you and see how you and your business can save money!