Disc Duplication: The Make or Buy Decision

Optical media and its respective duplication equipment is no longer a lofty technology operated strictly by professionals. Duplication is within reach for countless purposes. It's for the videographer with a growing customer base, for the local musician with a budding career or the corporation that wants to send its employees a video presentation on a DVD.

Moreover, falling prices plus the increased ease of use and demand for technology have opened the door for everyday consumers like you to consider a make-or-buy decision when it comes to CD, DVD and even Blu-ray duplication. Make-or-buy means the choice between sending out your media project to professional duplication services (outsourcing) or producing disc copies with your own equipment and facility (in-house duplication).

Several variables need to be considered to measure qualitative and quantitative factors of disc duplication. Qualitative factors include items such as product and equipment quality, supplier relationships, creative control et cetera. Quantitative factors include cost and volume requirements. Inherently, there are benefits and disadvantages to both in-house duplication and its outsourcing to professional services. Among these pros and cons the duplication decision inevitably narrows down to your personal desires and how much you're willing to take on.

CD Label ApplicatorConsider in-house disc duplication (make) if:

In-house duplication puts you at a disadvantage if:

Consider outsourcing (buy) if:

The buy decision, or outsourcing puts you at a disadvantage if:

Pricing considerations are at the core of the make-or-buy decision. Depending on which avenue of duplication you choose, each decision has unique and specific costs.

For the "make" aspect, you must take into account the costs of: a duplicator tower, a printer, consumable ink, recordable media and packaging. You must also budget for the maintenance or repair of broken duplication equipment-will you fix it yourself, outsource the repair or permanently employ someone to keep the equipment functioning? The cost of capital, manpower, delivery and replenishing inventory are other realities. Warehouse or factory overhead are also a part of the "make" price.

The "buy" decision has fewer individual costs, but they still must be calculated over the long-term to compare with the feasibility of in-house duplication. To outsource duplication, there are setup, artwork and shipping fees in addition to the standard purchase order. More importantly, you must consider the incremental costs from future duplication orders.

When you assess these costs individually and as a whole over the long term, you can more easily identify which business model will optimize your needs.

Related Articles:
Home Use Duplication
In-House Duplication
The Make or Buy Decision
Professional Duplication Services
Duplication Presentation

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