We have new information to share with you as a follow up to our May 15th Alert on paper price increases and longer lead times on paper orders.
Today, we want to make you further aware that in some cases, paper stocks are now taking two or even three months to reach printers. And paper prices, particularly for specialty stocks, will experience another bump this fall.
Recently, one of our long-time suppliers provided very helpful information in the July issue of the DMAW newsletter, Marketing Advents. Here is what Jeff Davis, veteran direct marketer and President of West End Printing, reported:
In an effort to stabilize the supply/demand balance, paper manufacturers have already moved to what are called “allocations.” Which means the mills will continue to supply their loyal, long-term partners with the paper they need and will allow them to buy what they historically purchased over the last couple of years.
Most printers can still get the paper they need, but the challenging issue we’re seeing is turnaround time to receive paper once it’s ordered. White offset mill direct orders are anywhere from six weeks to three months out, depending on the mill. For non-white stocks (e.g. colors, hi-bulk, special sheet or roll sizes), the turnaround time has gone from three to five days to five weeks to three months.
So in summary…You should be able to get the paper you need, but plan ahead! If you know a job is coming and it is produced on a special stock or unique size, contact your supplier of choice and communicate your need. Most of the time, stock can be purchased in advance and be there or on the way when art is released. But expect to pay more than the last time you mailed it.
Those are some pretty striking increases in lead time for even ordinary paper stocks! Your PMG production representative will continue to advise you on these timelines (and will ask you to commit to your paper stocks for a job ASAP). The good news is this is also the best way to keep your paper cost increases to a minimum.
If you would like to read Jeff’s article in full, please click here.
And if you would like to get answers to any of your specific questions on paper pricing and lead times, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your PMG production partner – this is what we do!