dkelsMany ski companies list their ski length as the length of the material before it goes into the press. Depending on the rocker profile of the ski, a 188cm ski (length before the ski goes in the press and the length the manufacturer will claim) will come out of the press at ~186cm. ON3P is one of the few companies that lists the length of their skis by their true, post-press length.
In my ski building experience, a 183cm unbent presses into a ~180cm ski with lots of tip splay. Especially for a small operation, measuring pre-bent is just simpler for the design and production (2d sketches only, better idea of how much material you are using, etc). Obviously it's pretty useless for the consumer though, so I side with ON3P on this.
I think that saying 2-3cm shorter isn't a bad rule of thumb (obviously this changes with rocker/camber profile). Better still is to look up a third party measurement (such as SoothSKI, NS roofbox reviews, Blister reviews) for an unbiased measurement. If I remember correctly, SoothSKI found out that lots of manufacturers measurements aren't really as accurate as you'd expect, such as waist width being a few mm's narrower.
I think 1000 skis also measures post-press.