By Mark Porter
As companies continue to look for ways to cut costs and become leaner it is more important than ever to have information at your finger tips.
With less staff to do the things that need to be done - any search for information or dcuments can take away from important production tasks and may result in costly mistakes or missed delivery dates.
If you can reduce the amount of time you spend answering the same questions for customers each day your productivity and savings would dramatically increase.
Having information at your finger tips is great but sometimes the customers questions require access to the original documents and paper work. At that point you must get up and find the actual job bag and hope the documents have been correctly filed.
With scanners today it can be quick and affordable to store original documents in your computers for future access.
Ideas of documents you may want in your system are
Quote Sent to the Customer
It is great to know the price you sent the customer but if the customer calls with questions you will want to be looking at the same document he is looking at when you answer his questions.
Customer Fax and other Material You Based Estimate On
We all get the hand written drawing faxed or emailed to us which we base our estimate on so it would be great if the drawing was electronically attached to the estimate file so it could be referenced easily when questions arise about the quote
Original Customer PO
Questions arise regarding the customers original specifications or requirements that can only be answered by the Purchase Order supplied to you by the customer. Allowing access to the original purchase order on the screen without having to find the physical job bag can save time and avoid mistakes
Signed Packing Slip
Customers always want to know when and how their job was shipped but often they need to know who signed for the job. When your driver returns from his deliveries the signed packing slips can be entered into the system for easy reference later on.
Append Images in one PDF
You can add many images into 1 PDF file so that you do not have to search through many files. This is very convenient and saves a great deal of time.
As they say a picture is worth a 1000 words and therefore it can be very beneficial to include images of other parts of the Production Process.
Other images and files that you should consider for quick access are die images, finished product images and video documentation of problems and training material.
Access images from your CAD/CAM system or scanning images of the die into the system gives all employees access to the specific information they need to produce the job correctly.
Images of the finished product can help in the production of job.
Video of problems encountered in the past and video of ways to preventing the same mistakes can reduce costs and keep schedules on track.
Making Videos of difficult job setups or less used features of equipment immediately available to employees can save vital production time.
Therefore we can see that technology that allows us to add or scan images into our computers and allows employees to quickly find those images can help companies save time and money.