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Thread: Comp plan printing expenses

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Comp plan printing expenses

    Scenario: In 2006 we completed a Comprehensive Plan for a 36 square mile Township. The contract was on a "lump sum" basis, and included a set number of full color bound plan copies. The document is about an inch thick.

    Fast forward to April 2007. The Town Chair calls and leaves a voicemail requesting 10 more copies. Our production center completes the prinbting and binding and sends them on their way.

    Now in May 2007 the invoivce goes out. The production room charged $0.75 cents per page (remember this is an all color document), and one hour of labor, for a total of $1,038.79.

    The Town Chairman calls me absolutely shocked at the cost (they never saw a breakout of printing charges on thier original lump sum invoices).

    We checked around, and to send the document to a commercial printer like FedEx / Kinkos would have cost about $1,200.

    So I ask the Throbbing Brian of Cyburbia - What do you do about Com Plan printing?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    So you were the consultant on the project? Is that right?

    If you originally bid the project based on a set number of copies, the cost of additional copies should be negotiated. A typical scenario would be to provide the additional copies "at cost," meaning on a reimbursement basis. But you probably should have checked the actual cost beforehand...

    Another alternative is to provide the Town with an electronic copy of the plan to reproduce as needed.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    So you were the consultant on the project? Is that right?

    If you originally bid the project based on a set number of copies, the cost of additional copies should be negotiated. A typical scenario would be to provide the additional copies "at cost," meaning on a reimbursement basis. But you probably should have checked the actual cost beforehand...

    Another alternative is to provide the Town with an electronic copy of the plan to reproduce as needed.
    Yes, we consulted on the project. Another alternative - CDROMs are $0.89 each

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Still another alternative? .pdf the darned thing!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    We typically require a set # of printed copies (20 to 25), as well as a digital copy. The digital copy goes on the website for all to view/print as needed. If they want to purchase a copy, it is $35. It usually takes a few years to even sell out of the 20/25 because it is available on the website.

    I've been in my current job for two years and we still have hard copies from the 2002 Plan.

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post

    Another alternative is to provide the Town with an electronic copy of the plan to reproduce as needed.
    This is what we arranged at a prior job so we wouldn't have to pester our consultant down the road for copies and could avoid this situation.

    Did the Town Chair request a quote from you on the cost for the 10 copies? If not, then that's his problem. Sure, you could have sent a quote before printing, but he knew there would be an extra cost for copies beyond those originally included in the lump sum and should have known to ask.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Still another alternative? .pdf the darned thing!
    Thats what the CDROM is

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    We have been going through a simialr thing and now require as part of the deliverables a "print ready" document so we can print as needed.

    If it was me, and unless it was a really good client, I'd politely explain to them that colour prints cost money. If it was a really good client I may reduce printing costs a tad, but still cover base costs.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    I had that happen once, but we had sent them a CD and when they asked for more printed copies, we sent them a quote. They didn't like the price and took it to a local printer. Later I found out it was close to the same price we had quoted.

    Biggest thing is to let them know upfront what its going to cost. In your case, I'd meet with them and show them the Kinkos quote. Knock off $200 from your bill (I'm assuming you made some profit) and say we should have communicated up front. If you want to work for them again it will help.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  10. #10
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    Is your production center your own government?? Our printing cost (color) is $0.17 a face page (per side) I just sent down a 206 page plan.... needed 100 copies... will be about $3,500. 250 copies of the plan will be distributed on CD only. (this is a plan that covers about 10 towns.)
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

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  11. #11
    I'd have sent a ballpark estimate to let him know it wasen't free or cheap, which people sometimes do.

    Along with posting a copy to the website you can also have a link to the printer who did the original publication and costs for color/bw prints.
    In my life, I have met men both good, and evil. I defend my self against them all...

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Its hard to say without knowing a lot more about the project- the budget, how much work it was, etc. But assuming it was a relatively large contract (>$50K) and you found the client to be less than difficult and you want more work from them, you should consider charging less than your costs (maybe split it 50/50?). Regardless of whether they SHOULD pay the bill its more important to think about whether its worth your long term relationship to MAKE them do it.

    When we ask for more copies than are in the contract, I make sure to ask how much $$$ it will cost us. If I forget, good consultants remind me to find out how much it will cost. If we both forget, well, we're both partially to blame...

  13. #13
    1. CD Rom what can the cost be? 500 buy if you buy the stuff
    2. Post is online and make it available free
    3. Negotiate the price increase the volume and make a copy available to the public for a small small fee
    4. Produce a B/W version that is probably not useful
    5. Negotiate with fedex/kinkos or whomever and seek a sponsorship


    In our city, we just completed the 1st comp plan in a while and through several drafts we were able to get it right. We ordered initially about 1200 copies. Enough for key people in the city and enough to make available to the private sector and public for $50 a copy. Color ain't cheap!!! even if we only sold about 200 we were ok with our printing cost because the revisions and amendments have yet to be made!

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