By Mark Porter
Post Press companies and Die Making companies work under tremendous time restraints and deadlines. Post Press companies are the last in the Production Processes and are ususally the final stages before delivery to the customer. Diemakers provide dies to very expensive presses that when sitting idle waiting for a die are costing the company a great deal of money and leading to potential production delays. We are all constantly racing against the clock to meet the next deadline.
Software and Systems provide many ways in keeping delivery dates on time and ensuring customers are happy.
1. Customer Profiles
Mistakes result in additional costs and missed deadlines.
Typically only the CSR or company owner knows exactly the ways a customer wants their jobs produced. By creating a company profile you make this information accessible to all employees 24/7. This ensures that jobs are produced correctly and on time.
2. Customer Logos
Anything that can save time can help you meet a deadline. If you can ship direct to the end user by-passing the shipping back to the printer you can save time. To ensure that the delivery looks like it is coming from the printer you can place the Printer's logo on your packing documents. This can save on time deliveries resulting from your mistake or the printers mistake.
As with most problems or situations - communications is key to keeping the situation under control. Systems can provide key employees with information updates that ensure nothing is missed or falls behind. Systems automatically generating emails when
A. Jobs are opened - this ensures that the customer is made aware of your understanding of the specifications and requirements of the job so we base our delivery on correct information.
B. Jobs are changed - Any change from the original specifications can cause possible missed deadlines. Ensure all key employees within your own organization and your customers are made aware of changes and their effect on the delivery date.
C. Goods are Received - To meet tight deadlines there can be no wasted time. The delivery of printed sheets or punches that are simply taken off the truck and placed on the shop floor represents the loss of valuable production time. Systems that notify key employees as soon as goods enter your company can keep jobs on track.
D. Goods are Shipped or are Ready to be Shipped. Notify your staff and the customers the minute a job is ready for shipment.
E. Display Expectations on documents. For example on your job ticket display the hours you have allowed for each process. If you estimated a 1.00 hr makeready and 4.50 hours in running time let the production employees know this so they can be aware if they are exceeding the requirements
4. 24/7 Customer Service
Using the internet you can provide customers with 24/7 access to your company. This allows customers to do many things themselves to ensure on time deliveries.
A. Check Job Statuses - At any time the customer can see the status of their job so that they can make decisions for themselves 24/7.
B. Pre Open jobs themselves. If it is 9pm and the printer is finalizing a job they coulr pre open that job so that you are made aware of that job and receiving specs to begin work immediately and this can provide valuable extra hours to meet a tight deadline.
C. Customers can pre enter materials bein sent to you. Even saving the 1-2 hours of time between the time the customer loads the materials on his truck and they are delivered to your door can allow you to make better production decisions to meet a customers delivery.
5. On Going Customer and Employee Educaton
Constantly educating your customers and employees as to the ways to best produce work in the fastest most economical way can help you meet more deadlines. By monitoring problems by job, customer, employee, process, vendor etc you can identify constant or potential road blocks to an on time delivery. By recording these issues you can sit down with the customer, employee, vendor or plant manager and discuss issues and how to rectify them
6. Monitoring Actual vs Estimate
It is vital that you are aware of the actual production standards that you are achieving on the shop floor and applying them to your estimating process. If you are estimating a process at 5000 per hour but are only achieving 4000 per hour on the shop floor then your schedule is off as soon as you win the job.
7. Accountability on the Shop Floor
By tracking employees time, both chargable and non chargable, and the materials they use you are demanding accountability on the shop floor. The minute a person as to be accountable whether it is the President or the Floor Sweeper they will be more productive. More productive employees will get jobs done quicker and with higher quality.
8. Monitor Success
Track on time deliveries and analyze the results daily, weekly, monthly. Use the other tools listed above to find out why deadlines were missed and take the appropriate actions.
Following these steps will help keep your company on track for a reputation of on-time deliveries.