Process improvements enable companies to gain a competitive advantage. One underutilized process improvement? Print production. Yes, you know all that time you take when a new hire starts? When you need to print out employee handbooks and new business cards? Streamlining print production organizes that process for you.
Streamlining print production in your company keeps costs as low as possible while maintaining high productivity. Although trimming time and costs from the print production cycle can seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be.
In today’s post, we’ll look a more effective way of streamlining your printing efforts moving forward.
1. Organize Relevant Procedures
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking of all of the tasks, timelines, responsibilities, and resources used in print production. Because of this, it is important to separate these tasks into sections. We suggest starting with general procedures and underlying tasks.
To begin, document all of the relevant procedures needed in print production, organized in chronological order. Then start filling in specific tasks that you will need to complete these procedures.
For example, a procedure could be something along the lines of “Obtain a Quote from Print Production Company.” The tasks under this procedure may include items like figuring out the shipping date, reviewing the proofs, deciding on the stock weight, size, and color, and so forth.
After this, you should have access to a detailed list of all procedures and tasks from start to finish.
2. Set a Timeline
The next step in streamlining print production at your company includes setting a timeline. While referencing the detailed list of procedures and tasks, determine which tasks require a specific finish date.
Where applicable, all tasks should have a due date. If the tasks do not have a specific due date, take note of the length of time the task should take to complete.
If you are having a hard time setting a timeline for certain tasks, you might want to create a process flowchart. This will give a visual representation of the sequence of tasks, connected with directional arrows and lines. You can then start to estimate the amount of time that each task will take and add it to this chart. This will give you a better idea of any bottlenecks within the overall process and where you could better optimize time.
3. Determine Responsibilities
After setting a timeline, it is now time to determine who will be doing what. Refer to the chart you have created and make a note of which individual will be responsible for the completion of each task.
An organized delegation of responsibilities will increase effectiveness in communication and accountability. In addition, each employee will have a heightened understanding of the responsibilities of their role and a detailed timeline to follow.
Perhaps this goes without saying, but documentation is one of the most important parts of streamlining print production. To support the list of procedures and tasks created earlier, documents should give a step by step description of how to do each task.
The purpose of documentation is to increase efficiency and consistency with each task. Regardless of the individual, these tasks descriptions should be easy to understand, follow, and replicate. Optimally, there should be enough detail to where a new hire could walk in and complete the task as efficiently as whoever came before them.
5. Find a Production Partner
Although some companies use more than one niche printing partner for all of their projects, most find it easier to hire a specific full-service printing production partner to handle all printing. This will ensure consistency and efficiency between different projects. It is especially useful to work with a printing company that handles both graphic design and printing fulfillment.
Another perk to look for is on-demand fulfillment, offered by companies like The Print Authority. Rather than printing an unnecessarily large quantity of documents for storage and long-term distribution, they print documents on demand for immediate distribution. This flexible model is able to lower costs, eliminate waste, and speed up turnaround.
With that being said, making a detailed list of procedures, tasks, timelines, and responsibilities is a great way to go about streamlining print production. After completing these steps and partnering with a reliable business printing company, you are on the right track to cut down overall costs and time!
Ready to streamline your printing process and work with an experienced printing partner? Give us a call anytime at (615) 468-2679 or email us at CustomerService@ThePrintAuthority.com. We’re looking forward to working with you!