This post was submitted by 2017 Continuous Improvement Conference sponsor, Heidelberg.
Today, most print shops have an up-to-date estimating system and prepress workflow. However, many are not taking full advantage of its capabilities. How is your workflow utilized?
Consider this scenario:
A request for quote (RFQ) comes in with some major information missing such as delivery date, color, or even the exact quantity. Your sales representative promises to provide the information at a later date.
The estimator provides a quote based on the information given. Later, the sales representative gives the OK for production and provides updated information for the delivery date and quantity. The estimate gets converted, and a job ticket is written.
In theory, the job should already exist in prepress through the connectivity between estimating and workflow. In most cases, however, the job is manually created again. Then the job flows through the shop in many manual steps depending on the degree of automation of the print shop's system.
This example is just one of many. When a print shop implements a new system, they typically want it to replace their old software plus provide additional features and benefits. In order to fully utilize the system to its best ability, the print shop will likely need to change some internal processes to match the automation of the software. If done correctly, you could ideally achieve a zero touchpoint process from RFQ through to platemaking.
Take a look at your own print shop to see how often someone touches a job (beginning with estimating). How close are you to zero touchpoints?