In print, mistakes happen, but you can reduce these, however, the process must be enforced even if the job is a rush and the client is screaming as it’s a costly mistake getting it right the second time around.
The adage of “there is always time for a re-print” still rings in my ears.
The principle seems that those mega-urgent, ‘have to go out today,’ no fail jobs are always the ones that go wrong! No matter! Somehow, there will be time to rectify and reprint or rework. So, the job is dispatched late, the customer is still happy, and your team have pulled it out the bag again, but at what cost?
Where do we start….
Bypassing best practices drives up costs
The re-entry of the correct data to remedy the initial mistake? Probably not a massive cost but while the individual is doing this they are not being productive elsewhere and they’ve already completed this task once. This would have been costed in the original quote, but now they are having to do it again, taking them away from what they really should be doing.
So, a single mistake – even at this level – is costing you double the actual cost of the job going straight through without issue.
Consider this same idea across all departments and processes, leaving out the cost of materials and possible third party costs…suddenly, the term ‘costly mistake’ makes complete sense.
Enhancing your processes to reduce mistakes can pay dividends. The few minutes it takes to review documentation is worth every second. We recommend processing it, putting it in a workflow to sign it off, even (and especially) in the case of rush orders. Missing a processed workflow will evoke errors and will take a lot longer to resolve than the additional minutes you thought you would save by skipping it!
Where are your employees trying to save time?
Time-saving habits also lend themselves to inducing errors, if not closely managed. When employees copy, recycle, or build jobs through old templates, this causes a high percentage of Job Bag errors.
While no one goes out of their way to create an error, we see it time and time again when customer service, for example, generate job bags with old customer colour references. The issues are only highlighted either when a job goes wrong or if you’re lucky, it is picked up and amended manually during production. However, this information never gets pushed back to the original production order or the CSE, and in 6 months when the re-order arrives, the same issues are pushed through to production again. if you’re lucky, the person who spotted the issue initially is on shift again. If not, this time you’re looking for a full reorder – this time, off your bottom line!
Standardize your workflows with ERP/MIS
Using an ERP/MIS system such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV PrintVis, enables you to put controls in place that will help you avoid costly errors. You can manage templates through permissions and work in tandem with workflows to control when a document can be released from its status to the next with automatic validation of data. This limits the amount of errors slipping through the system.
With a single view of a job, all departments are viewing the same data source, so any and all changes are live and instantly visible by all concerned. This reduces the risk of out of date data being used by production.
If mistakes do happen, recording them in the CRM module to hold all customer errors or complaints will ensure all users can see what has been discussed with each account. If a client has complained of an out of spec colour match, then you can make this visible to all production users. Sales personnel can check the open complaints on a customer so that they can go into conversations prepared, rather than stepping over the threshold in to a torrent of blind issues.
Mistakes happen, but when you consider the costs that accumulate (even with minor errors) the value of getting serious about rigorously monitoring your processes is clear.
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