Prices are going through the roof!!

14th May, 2008

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We have always been told that the paperless office is just around the corner however I have been in the business since 1974 and we are selling and using more paper than ever.

As a full service agency we are always thinking of ways to help our clients with their campaigns but this often includes some form of printed item whether it be a direct mail piece or an exhibition graphic, paper is a product that surrounds our lives in many different aspects.

Paper can often make up the bulk of many campaigns and in some cases can make up as much as 80% of the cost and as a consequence we are always looking to ways that we can keep these costs to a minimum for our clients. Being an independent agency means that we can make demands on our suppliers to find paper products which have come from sustainable sources, take one tree down and plant two in its place. The Northern European paper mills are the market leaders in this type of paper production so it is always good to know that the tree used for your paper came has 2 new trees planted to help continue the circle.

Paper prices have been on a steady climb over the last few years as the paper mills have suffered from soaring energy costs and the need for huge investment to maintain their competitive place in the world markets. The laws of supply and demand have had their impact where we are now seeing longer lead times for materials and difficult and arduous paper price negotiations becoming a regular pattern in our busy schedules here at Nexus.

 

Every day we are having to talk to our suppliers to negotiate better prices to always ensure that our clients' budgets can stretch as far as possible.

 

Nexus is heavily involved in the continuous stationery market from some long established clients who still use this very economic way of producing multiple copy forms. The price increases coming through over the last 12 months are over 10% which makes a considerable difference to their budgets. The materials are produced in large reels and have not followed the same timing pattern of price increases for litho printing so we are having to be ever vigilant and feeding back the crucial data to our clients to keep them up to date with these changes which will ultimately affect their bottom line.

 

The year ahead looks very uncertain and more price increases are loomimg. In reality the base price for paper has remained reasonably steady over a 10 year period and today we are seeing a sharp rise to which there is no real control, other than a major reduction in demand. From our experience and an ever increasing world population and some very hungry countries in the world racing ahead to bring their economies up to the standards of the West then I fear that we are on a steady upward course for the next few years.

 

Paper AeroplaneSo what can you do to minimise these rising costs? Well its not going to go away, so planning ahead and allowing your agency a longer lead time will always help. So many times we take a call and have to drop everything to help sort out an urgent project. Well that's fine but if you can plan ahead then this will allow us time to search effectively for the best all round package for the client. If you have a regular campaign then order ahead and we can do some amazing deals with the paper mills and our printers when we can dangle the promise of some regular work. Talk to us – If you are not happy with a costing - tell us and let's see what we can do to help you. Too often people shop around for the cheapest deal but today its the total package that counts. We can ensure that your project will be looked after from start to finish and delivered on time. We regularly hear from clients who have been let down and then it turns into a blind panic.

Paper prices are set to rise but with a little forethought and planning we will be able to make your budget go as far as possible.

Steve Wadman

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