• Aug
  • 12
  • 2013

8 Steps to a Better Workflow for Print Management Companies

As printers, mailers, and agencies grow their business, their business processes need to grow too.  Procedures such as print estimating, ordering and quality control need to evolve as volume increases. In order to maintain growth and profitability it is important to review your workflow with fresh perspective regularly.  In reviewing process and procedure you can uncover missed opportunities for improvement as well as identify areas of strength that need to be capitalized on.  The challenges of running an operation day to day can make workflow review difficult.  Just like a car your workflow needs a check-up regularly to make sure the engine is running at optimum condition.

The first time you go through the process it may seem daunting but the benefits will soon be evident. In order to be successful a champion must be chosen to lead your team through the process.  Key people from each area of the business should be selected to participate in the process, not only managers. It is important to create the most accurate picture of current practices to identify the low hanging fruit, easy to implement changes.

Consider the process below as a working model to get your analysis underway. Each step can take as much or as little time as the team deems necessary.  A timeline should be set to keep the project on track too much or too little time spent can also hurt the process.

  1. Document the workflow – put together a team from all areas of the business to create an honest diagram of current workflow
  2. Identify bottlenecks- find the places within the current workflow that are creating bottlenecks
  • Communication
  • Equipment
  • Technology
  1. Identify improvement goals
  • Identify what is needed to achieve the goals
    • Technology
    • Capital
    • Resources
  1. Map out improved workflow
  2. Prioritize the necessary changes
  3. Create an implementation plan timeline with assigned tasks
  4. Hold team members accountable
  5. Review your system regularly to stay on track

Improved business processes and streamlined workflow contribute not only to the bottom line but also to the team. Going through a workflow review will also give the business an opportunity to recognize key team members. Team members are equally as important as the process. People that work to create a process are more likely to “own” the process when it is implemented. Through understanding the role each area plays to keep the engine running the team will be stronger and so will the business.