Pricing Questions


Using Out-of-the-Box Prices


Posted: 09 Oct 2005 04:43 pm


All estimating software is essentially cost-plus. The only other pricing strategy is what the market will bear, and I haven't found a program yet that will canvass your competitors, tally their prices, and then quote accordingly.

Morning Flight, too, is cost-plus out of the box. Once you've tailored the program to your local paper costs, Morning Flight prices will be reasonably close to the national average. That's not a bad thing if you're just starting out and you're located in the United States. Won't help you much if your shop is in Singapore.

It's even less helpful if you've been in business for a while. At that point, using out-of-the-box prices (of any pricing system, not just Morning Flight) can just as easily break your company as make it.

There are now more than 400 registered users of Morning Flight, approximately 100 from outside of the United States. I'm asking all of you to please share with us some of your experiences. What steps did you take following the installation? How did you make Morning Flight work for you? And if you couldn't, what was the main obstacle?

No need to register to add a new post or reply to one here. You're welcome to contribute as a guest. My aim is for a lively discussion on this topic. Because everyone will benefit. Everyone can learn from someone else's lessons.
. . . . .  Hal Heindel


The first step taken was to "play" with the press pricing to adjust them to fit our needs. Then I entered the paper prices to match what we are currently paying. After all that I entered the pre-press and post-press pricing. It was pretty straight forward, with a few bumps along the way.

I would pay attention to the fine adjustments with-in My Products, there you can fine tune each item by adjusting the properties. The only thing I would wish for is for the "default" Products to have adjustable properties.

The more I use MF the more I like it, I add products on the fly to meet whatever it is the customer needs. Adding paper is just as easy.
. . . . . Craig Hofer
Loris Printing  Joined: 05 May 2005  Posts: 79  Location: Sandusky, Ohio


The only thing I would wish for is for the "default" Products to have adjustable properties.

Thanks, Craig. If we did change Morning Flight to allow for adjustable properties (on Letterheads, size 10 Envelopes, and Catalog Sheets), would you need to adjust all specs are just the run properties (spoilage, makeready, run speed, etc.)?
. . . . .  Hal Heindel


I would think just the run properties would work. For now I am making a "new" letterhead, #10 ... and using those as my "default" products. It just seems kinda redundant.
. . . . . Craig Hofer



You're right, it does seem awkward to have to make three substitute products just because you can't change the properties of the defaults.

As you know, Letterheads, #10 Envelopes, and Catalog Sheets are the three standard products that serve as templates for hourly press rates. They're the anchors that keep the rest of your pricing ducks in a row. That's why we recommend precisely the route you've already taken: make not one new letterhead product but several, each one with a different makeready (and possibly other properties as well).

If we did decide to allow property adjustments, we could either (a) maintain the original defaults just for setting the press rate, or (b) black-box the adjustments to where they could only be made with a "wrench" (TBA). I'm going to take another look at business cards and other default products. There may not be a compelling reason why those couldn't be edited by the user.

Maybe the easiest work-around would be to just rename the standard products to something like X-LET, X-ENV, and X-CAT, then make three new products named Letterheads, Envelopes, and Catalog Sheets. This would allow you to adjust the specs of the new products to suit your needs. (To copy the specs of the original product into the new product, highlight the original in the My Products pick list before you click the Add New button.)
. . . . .  Hal Heindel


I did just that. Maybe the default products should be the way you have them now or in a "black box" so that they couldn't be changed without a password or something to make them secure.
. . . . . Craig Hofer