What is Print-on-demand manufacturing?
Print-on-demand (POD) is the process of manufacturing printed products individually or in small quantities. This removes the need to print in bulk, which saves you from some of the problems of mass manufacturing, like paying large upfront costs, buying more stock than you need due to minimum order quantities, and storing inventory. With POD, your product is only manufactured when a customer places an order.
Traditional materials, non-traditional technology
POD uses digital printing technology, which saves money on overhead costs associated with traditional printing methods, including long calibration times, creation of offset printing plates, and high wastage of ink and paper. POD also eliminates the need for warehousing and inventory storage, as products aren’t printed until a confirmed demand exists for them in the form of an order.
POD for Game Designers
Game designers also stand to benefit from the high flexibility and scalability of POD. You can print as few or as many copies of your game as you need. This allows you to create and sell your work without first finding a traditional publisher or a physical store to stock your products. Conveniently, you can update and revise your game at any time, and experiment with new ideas and designs, all without worrying about making costly mistakes or ending up stuck with a pile of out-of-date games. POD gives you the power to change your approach at any time, risk-free.
No minimum order quantity
For game creators starting out, or those catering to small niche markets, using POD can save you money in the short term. Traditional game manufacturing methods require large print runs of thousands of units, which is a substantial upfront cost, and risky if you’re not sure how much demand exists for your product. With POD, you only need to pay for the production of each item, which can be far more cost effective for small orders. These savings give you the freedom to test the market and gauge customer response without investing a huge amount of money up-front.
Make and ship only what you need
Reduced shipping costs are another benefit of the POD approach. Because products are printed only as ordered, and shipped directly to the customer, you’ll save money on storage, transportation, and handling costs associated with traditional inventory management. These reduced costs are especially helpful for anyone who lacks the resources to manage a large inventory.
In all these ways, POD breaks down barriers to entry for new designers, ensuring everyone gets a place at the table.