To Outsource or In-source: With Binding Machines, Time is Money

Even today in this digital era of iPads, Nooks, and Kindles, ad agencies, law firms and CPA firms, a binding machine still supports hard copies of presentations, training manuals and books.

There are three types of binding used regularly—wire binding machines, coil binding machines, or the version most of the world is familiar with – the comb binding machines. As every company looks at cost savings, they must weigh whether or not it’s cost effective to do the binding internally or to have it outsourced. Let’s look at costs.

Let’s say you’re a marketing firm.  To outsource a traditional quill-binding job for a 40 to 60-page book in a larger quantity with a decent lead time, you’re probably spending  $1.50 per book and charging your client $3 to $4 per book. Industry standards dictate that you can add a standard 20% to 40% markup. In today’s economy, you’ll find a 20% markup is a more accepted standard.

If you took this 40 to 60-page book to Kinko’s as a short turnaround, print-on-demand project and you were doing a short run of 10 books, you’d probably expect to spend somewhere around $70.

If you are a printing company handing your binding in-house, you will probably spend 20 cents for coil binding for a 40 to 60-page piece, and the double loop wire will be 70 cents. You will also have to add the time and cost of actual equipment and the cost for your employee’s time to handle the assembly. If you can justify filling time for employees who aren’t running some other piece of equipment, it may be sensible for you to invest in a binding machine.

For printing companies like Kinko’s or P-I-P, the best binding equipment investment is the VersaMac. As the name implies, it’s a versatile machine that offering binding with four different methods on just one piece of equipment. Even better, the training to use a binding machine is straightforward and quickly learned.

For a marketing firm who prefers to bind their books internally, the UniBind is best because it’s a nicer presentation. It’s easy to replace pages as it uses a heat element to warm up a glue based bind in clear cover or book format.

Law offices and courts--from the Appeals Court on down—require comb binding. It’s the easiest for quickly and easily swapping out documents. It’s versatile to open and close again.

For companies binding thousands of books a week, the Rhin-O-Tuff is the heavier commercial machine robust enough to handle that level of engagement day after day.

Paper still has value in business. It’s the one medium that continues to be easy on the eyes. Outsourcing or in-house is a question of time, resource and volume. Bringing it in-house is easy as many options are available for it to be cost effective. The return on investment can be immediate.