What are some creative ways to cut AA costs?
Answered by Suzanne Morgan

What are some creative ways to cut AA costs?
Judy Amann

For most companies that buy printing, AA (author’s alterations) or CO (change order) costs account for 3% to 15% of the total cost of the print project. These costs are charged for any changes to the job after the job is sent to the printer. The source of the AA costs can vary widely, but here are a few typical causes and tips on how to avoid these additional costs.

Begin by identifying the sources of these additional costs. These may vary widely depending on the types of print that you are buying and, perhaps more importantly, your company’s project development, design, and production workflow. There are two ways to track down the source of these costs:

  1. Check past invoices for a history of additional costs. This works well if your printers have adequately described the reasons for the charges, as opposed to simply listing a line item for "AAs" and then a total cost. (Of course, I strongly recommend that you require your printers to detail these costs in writing – either on a change order form or the final invoice.) If your printer has not provided a good description of the costs, at least you can begin to see how much these AA and CO costs add up when you review the past three month’s work, for example.

  2. Ask your core printers to provide a summary report of all AA and CO charges on any job over the past six months. Then ask for suggestions as to how your company can avoid these charges.

When you review the summary of these additional costs over a length of time, you’ll probably see a lot of repetition of the source of the problems. While you’ll be able to fix some of these problems, you may not be able to correct others.

Common causes for additional costs:

Keep in mind that these are just a few ways to reduce costs. The goal is to discover:

Members, I’d love to hear your advice on this matter. If you have more ideas on how to reduce AA and CO costs, please send your tips to share with the e-community. Please send me an e-mail at Suzanne@e-pbo.com and title your e-mail "Avoiding AAs and COs."
© Copyright Print Buyers Online.com, Inc.