Last year we went from a partial chargeback process to a 100% chargeback process and the transition was daunting, to say the least. First I had to price all of our products based on materials-only (we do not charge for labor) and gauge print allocations for our 33 institutional departments. Pricing was relatively easy to determine as a dollar amount that covers our fixed and variable operational costs, but print budget allocations were a nightmare. We previously had one set account that was to be used by all 33 departments and shared by over 1,000 faculty and staff members. It was a huge undertaking to come up with a reliable guesstimate of how many impressions were ordered by each site (department). In order for the print budgets to be allocated, the college was relying on me to provide accurate numbers so departments would not run out of print money throughout the year, or be provided too much of a budget.
After running hundreds of pages of click summary reports, and some good advice from Chuck Bailey of edu, I was pretty confident that the numbers we came up with would be a reliable forecast of print consumption by the 33 institutional departments for the upcoming year. After the allocations were determined, department print budgets could be developed by multiplying the cost per impression by the forecasted number of impressions. A lot was riding on the numbers that I provided. If I underestimated then I would run out of operational funding and would have to raid my retail account to make up the difference. If I overestimated then the integrity of my Print Shop Pro® (PSP) reports and my competence would be in question. Needless to say, I was anxious when examining the monthly PSP Sales-by-Account-Number report that I gave to each department that detailed their chargebacks for the prior month.
All this happened in June of last year, so I am happy to report to you the results from what I predicted aligned closely with what actually happened. The total college chargeback amount based on the data described above was $200,000 for 2017/18. At the end of the year, Campus Graphics billed over $230,000 in chargebacks, which is 14% higher than budgeted. Campus Graphics can now prove it recoups its operational costs by charging an appropriate dollar amount for its products.
What is amazing is that despite PSP not being set up for chargebacks for our clients originally, the data it did provide allowed us to successfully design and implement a system that has proven to work. The moral of this story is to over-engineer your data collection in PSP, gather more than you need because you will never know when you may need it.
Next month I will go over the 25% decrease of our toner-based products and our 35% increase in wide format sales…