If you are looking for ways to save money on your NCR printing, a great place to start is by reviewing your existing print specifications. Here are some ideas you might want to consider:
- Look at how many copies you really require. Review the form distribution carefully to see if any recipients can be eliminated or combined. This will reduce printing and administration costs. I know it sounds silly but I’ve known some form recipients to throw away the copies they receive because they are not required. Ask yourself whether you really need a 3 part NCR set when a 2 part NCR set might do.
- Review the size of your forms. There will be significant savings from dropping down a paper size, if it is practical. For example an A4 size NCR form is twice the size of an A5 form, so if it’s possible to downsize it would reduce the paper cost element by 50%. Obviously this may require the form to be redesigned, but this can present a great opportunity to simplify the layout.
- Challenge how many colour inks you are using on your NCR sets. Is it really necessary to use corporate pantones colours? Even multinational companies simplify their print processes by using a single print colour on their forms, with good resultant savings because the form only needs to pass through the press once.
- Do you need to print on all copies? On simple forms it may be acceptable to have blank internal copies. For example, a restaurant order pad may just print on the first page, as the second copy is only needed for the chef to know the customer’s order.
- Do you really need to print on both sides of your form and on all copies? For example, examine whether it is necessary to print terms and conditions on the reverse of all parts of your NCR form. T&C’s usually only need to be printed on the customer’s copy of the form.
- Consider if your forms need to be padded together. By default NCR forms are supplied as separate multi-part sets, but you have the option of specifying whether you want them padded together. For example an order of five hundred 2 part NCR sets could be supplied as 10 pads, with 50 sets per pad. The gluing process represents extra work and time for the Printer therefore costs can be eliminated by excluding this process. As a general rule, if the form is used irregularly and / or by multiple users, it probably isn’t necessary to pad the forms together.
- NCR pads are often supplied with wrap around covers which prevent what your writing on the top form going through to second and subsequent sets. This works by the cover being inserted after the top set. Wrap around covers, also known as writing shields, look professional and do the job well, but they add to the cost. A cheaper option is to insert a piece of reusable card under the top set.
- NCR sets can be individually numbered if required; this process is known as crash numbering. For example this is sometimes useful for sales orders or invoices, but there may be other forms where the requirement for numbering has become obsolete. This is another tactic to chip away at the overall cost of the form.
- Do you ask for your NCR forms to be drilled? If so, make sure the forms are actually filed on lever arch files otherwise you could be wasting your money.
- When forms have a tear off slip, they are often specified as requiring a perforation. Check the design of your forms to confirm your current processes haven’t rendered the detachable part as obsolete.
I have given you some ideas on how you might reduce your NCR printing costs, simply by questioning and amending your existing print specification. Next time you order NCR forms, ask your Printer to supply two quotes; the first as per your original requirements and the second with your newly slimmed down specification. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how much money you could save. Always remember that any savings you secure will not only apply to your initial order but all future orders. If you apply this technique to all your forms, the savings in the long run could be substantial.