Cutting Costs or Cutting Quality? Advice on ink

Award-winning author and international speaker Jimmy Lamb has over 25 years of product decoration business experience. Mr. Lamb has extensive knowledge in many facets of digital decorating and embellishing including business startup, applications, techniques, marketing, sales, mobile, production and management. He has owned and operated a successful production facility, started a retail franchise operation and has provided production solutions to a variety of Fortune 500 corporations involved in customization, decoration and embellishment. His articles appear regularly in various industry magazines in the United States and Europe. In addition, Mr. Lamb is a frequent speaker at Industry Events and Trade Shows domestically and internationally. Currently, he works with Sawgrass Technologies as the Manager of Communication and Education, where he has been instrumental in developing their educational seminars and webinars. 

When you have an expense of several hundred dollars, that can seem like a great place to cut costs. But the reality is that reducing the cost of ink makes a negligible impact on profit margins given the small amount of ink that is actually used to decorate an individual product.

For example, if you had an order of shirts that needed an 8.5-inch X 11-inch full bleed print, and you used an SG800 with Extended Capacity Cartridges, your ink cost per shirt would be $0.44. If you cut your ink costs by 50 percent, it would save $0.22 per shirt in production costs but will cost much more in waste and rework with lower quality ink that does not have the desired consistency.

—Jimmy Lamb, Sawgrass