What is Print on Demand or POD?
Print on Demand or POD is a modern business model based on an order fulfillment method. Different blank items are printed once an order is placed for a print or a custom design. These blank items can include plain white T-shirts, tote bags, mugs, notebooks, journals, water bottles, wallets, etc.
By adapting to the Print on Demand model, small or newly emerging businesses no longer have to make massive investments to create an inventory of their printed stock.
Instead, businesses can connect with a third-party vendor or supplier that operates on the POD model. These vendors usually have a variety of plain, blank, and unbranded merchandise.
To better understand the POD model, here’s an example:
Company A and B sell custom printed T-shirts that are designed by a team of professional artists. While company A has purchased a bulk stock of one thousand plain black T-shirts, company B has instead signed a contract with a vendor that follows the POD model.
Apart from the high investment costs of buying the bulk amount of T-shirts, Company A also has to now invest in warehousing their inventory. They must also hire an inventory specialist to manage the T-shirts and the overall order outflow until their stock is sold out.
On the other hand, since company B is using the POD model, they do not have to buy a single T-shirt. Instead, they contact their vendor when they get an order from a customer.
As a result, they do not have to make any significant initial investments nor do they need to worry about warehousing or managing their inventory. Furthermore, they don’t have to stress over unsold items.
The POD model has allowed Company B to create profits while enjoying significantly lower annual costs compared to Company A.