The following is a white paper from the Banta Corp.
Printing is unusual in that it is virtually the only manufacturing industry in which the customer sometimes takes responsibility for providing the primary raw material -- paper. Though there are various reasons for this phenomenon, many center on the fact that paper is the most significant cost component in a printed piece, typically accounting for 40 percent to 60 percent of the total cost of production.
Similar to other types of manufacturing, the process efficiency, and ultimately the cost of production, depend directly on consistently high-quality raw materials. Papermaking, printing and binding can be viewed as different steps in the process of manufacturing a printed product. To achieve maximum efficiency at a minimum cost, each step must be synchronized and in alignment with the overall process.