Having the latest commercial flatbed cutting system and other equipment doesn't automatically mean your printing operation is running as effectively as it could. Your workflow, overhead costs and more can all create waste you didn't know existed. Streamlining how you work can protect profits and lead to more satisfied clients.
Here are five tips for optimizing your business:
1. Get all of the informationWhen you first book a client, it's tempting to push through the onboarding process to seal the deal. However, in doing so, many businesses miss valuable information that affects their timelines and budgets. Essential information includes things like colors to be used, the size of the print, the number of pages, the surface on which you'll print, the due date, and the client's budget. Ensure your customer provides all of these details before you start working. Doing so will cut down on wasted time and, potentially, product. Essentially, these steps prevent extra processing, which occurs when you have to re-do print jobs.
2. Maintain your equipment
Equipment breakdowns cost time, not to mention money to repair. Using top-of-the-line printers and cutters certainly helps - such equipment lasts longer and holds up to heavy loads better. However, simply owning good printers isn't enough; you also have to take care of them. Ask the manufacturer how often you should perform inspections and tune-ups, and follow these guidelines. Additionally, carefully read your user manual so you don't accidentally try to perform something the equipment can't handle. You should also ensure your staff reads the manual and follows best practices.
3. Make the most of your staff
People make a business stand out and prosper, so make the most of your staff. If you discover they have unique skills you can use at work, help them use those abilities. Creativity, ingenuity, and personability are all traits that come in handy in different parts of your business. What's more, taking advantage of your employees' strengths and interests keeps them engaged. A passionate staff will work harder and produce better work.
4. Eliminate bottlenecking
Bottlenecking can occur for several reasons. First, having not enough staff or equipment to keep multiple projects moving means one client will have to wait until you finish work for another. Secondly, bottlenecking can come as the result of overproduction. Spending too many resources on a product anticipating need may not always pay off. Instead, you could be holding up more sure projects. Take a look at your workflow to spot backup points. Then find out what's causing them. This can help you form a plan of action to address the issues.
5. Standardize your process
In addition to ensuring your staff all know the proper way to use your equipment, you should standardize operations. From getting project information to workflow to delivering the final product, each step should be done the same no matter who is doing it. This will prevent inconsistencies, bottlenecks, and mistakes.
Streamlining your printing operations with these tips can help your bottom line.