Companies with a large backlist of publications usually find that printing their orders when they come in is the most inexpensive way to go. There is no large inventory to maintain, meaning that they do not need as much space to keep books, catalogs, or manuals. This can save a company hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in operating costs each month.
On-demand printing has become the norm for many companies since digital printing was developed. It is almost as quick to print a publication on-demand as it is to walk through a warehouse to find it. This results in a swift, convenient turnaround of product and also allows them to frequently offer the products at reduced prices to their customers.
Printing-on-demand is often used by smaller, specialty publishers who do not always know how many copies of a book they will sell on any subject. Authors also use print-on-demand to control the distribution and printing of their own books rather than going through a publisher. Companies that do not usually sell their publications to the public can also use the method for such things as a one-off special commemorative volume to celebrate an upcoming anniversary.
On-demand printing also lets companies offer a variety of different formats, such as large print and hard or soft cover. It is one of the printing services provided by most professional print companies, who will hold onto the master copy and provide copies whenever they are needed. This saves even more money for a company than if they have to maintain the equipment themselves.