Chief Changes: Are You Ready When Key People in Your Print Production Move On?

June 30, 2019
CRO Adventure

As some of you may have heard or read by this point, I am starting a new adventure into retirement. Well…almost. I can hear people saying now, “Dan, what will you do with all your spare time?!?” Don’t worry, both my wife and I are retiring at the same time and have many plans to travel and experience the world. However, I know I will get a little restless; which is why I am also staying on as an RC for Solimar Systems.

RC? Relationship Consultant. And no, this doesn’t extend beyond the challenges and issues we face in the print and digital communications industry. I will leave other relationships to those experts!

This personal process got me thinking…how many of our clients are ready for one of their key people to move on to other adventures?

When it comes to print production workflows (not to mention the digitally delivered aspects of today’s communications) there are many critical people. As you look at your team makeup, it would behoove you to consider who is getting ready to retire, who is high-value and could be offered a new opportunity for more challenges and what would happen if someone had a life event that took them out of the workforce. Many call this succession planning, but it is also a little bit of disaster recovery.

Over my time in the industry I have seen people move on and the knowledge they carry move on with them. Especially those environments where there are custom coded processes for onboarding and processing jobs through the print and digital delivery system. Moreover, some of the early e-presentment solutions were also a bundle of joy—or custom code. You need to know if you have the knowledge on staff to continue to run and maintain these systems if someone leaves your organization.

If you would allow me to offer some advice from the years of experience I have helping organizations, large and small, around the world, this is what I would suggest:

  • Think about moving away from the custom code to a supported and productized workflow
  • As my friend Pat McGrew, Keypoint Intelligence, would say, “Walk your workflow and document it.”
  • Know what it will take to continue to run if key people are suddenly not available. And think disaster recovery…as in here today, gone tomorrow. Not two weeks out.
  • Lean on your vendors for support whether that be the folks providing your hardware solutions or relationships I hope you have (selfishly) with Solimar Systems.
  • Finally, come up with an action plan. Make things better starting today and not when the change hits.

Now is the time to act and our team is here and ready to help. Whether you need assistance starting an assessment of your current processes and workflow makeup or would like to talk through how a different approach or system would work, we are ready to start a discussion.

Hindsight really is 20/20. As I work less and see the world more, I am excited to still be a part of the team as the Relationship Consultant (RC) for Solimar. And I am leaving our current clients and partners in good hands with Jonathan Malone-McGrew taking over many of my day-to-day activities along with the continued support and attention from Mary Ann Rowan, CSMO, our long-time evangelist of our Chemistry workflow platform. Truly the chemistry we have with our clients and partners is what makes it hard to leave and a joy to keep interacting as I am needed.

So, take my sage advice and get ahead of changes that are…as they say inevitable. You can reach me anytime at dan@dadigital.com as well as Jonathan and Mary Ann at Jonathan.McGrew@solimarsystems.com and Mary.Ann.Rowan@solimarsystems.com. We’d love to hear from you.

For more information, call the Solimar Sales Team at +1.619.849.2800.