Are You Paying the RIGHT Amount of Attention to Your Print and Digital Processes?

April 3, 2018
Pay Attention to Workflow

In previous posts here on our SOLiblog, we have talked about the importance of Client Assessments. It is a process that incorporates our ability to understand our client’s print and digital communications process. And it always incorporates a workflow review of the end-to-end process of the print and digital output process. The question is, can you walk your workflow from beginning to end and explain how it functions?

If you answered, “Yes”, you are already ahead of the game. However, in most cases—due to the complexity of printing and digital communications creation and delivery environments—it is hard to explain the entire process. For many, they have knowledge about a specific piece of the production process or the set of steps that makes everything happen; a process many of us in the industry call workflow.

If pieces of how things happen are a bit fuzzy, don’t fret. This is completely normal, especially with the speed at which the print and digital industry has continued to change. BUT, you need to make sure you are paying the right amount of attention to your print and digital workflow. So where do you start?

Pat McGrew

Thankfully, we can share some tips from one of the foremost leading experts in print and digital workflows, Pat McGrew from KeyPoint Intelligence, from a recent trade show keynote. Take a look at the 10 Things You Should Be Doing for Your Workflow:

  1. Live Workflow Best Practices: You should be able to walk your entire workflow, talk to it and train others on it. It is KEY to your business and business decisions.
  2. Embrace Industry Changes: Is someone in your organization reading the industry trade papers and website? Who has the job to tell your groups internally? Do you have regular briefings with vendors? These are important to keep up with the industry.
  3. Cross Train for Efficiency: Everyone on your staff should understand the workflow in your shop. It prevents promises from being made on work that can’t be delivered.
  4. Build for Scalability: Remember things won’t stay the same. Make sure you can handle a 200% increase in your business. And prepare for what happens if job deadlines get shorter. PLAN for it!
  5. Get Jobs Onboard Efficiently: There is an opportunity for web-to-print in this area despite the horror stories you might have heard around web-to-print. It enhances customer engagement and the experience, so do some more research!
  6. Build Smart Print Manufacturing: The use of advanced technologies and manufacturing processes to streamline inputs and optimize every stage in order to eliminate or minimizing manufacturing inefficiencies and errors will maximizing uptime. Again, you need to plan for this.
  7. Identify Your Bottlenecks & Touch Points: Do you have a production dashboard? In many cases, it is installed and not used or maintained. (TIP: We can help here at Solimar! SOLitrack and our new SOLitrack Mobile are productized and ready to get you going in this area).
  8. Identify Owners for Every Process: You want to know who is accountable for each part of your workflow process. Software, Accounting, Licensing, SaaS, etc. You need to write this down for future team members.
  9. Document Your Workflow Paths: You have the big picture…now document the actual paths of your workflow in relatively simple language so everyone can gain understanding. This INCLUDES the Sales Process!
  10. Map Your Workflow Architecture: You need to know the architecture of your workflow and what needs to be reviewed, kept current and replaced. (TIP: Solimar helps our clients through our Client Assessment Process and workflow review process).

Now you know “The 10 Things” you need to do to pay the right amount of attention to your print and digital output workflows. Whether you are processing thousands of statements, invoices, insurance cards or printing retail promotions—even packaging or commercial print—the knowledge gained from knowing your workflow is what will set your organization apart from the competition.

Need help getting started? Our team at Solimar is ready to hop a plane and come visit you. Using our proven process, we are able to start with an exploratory meeting to understand what is important to the business, your team and your leaders. That exploration can easily turn into a client assessment where you gain a comprehensive view of your workflow environment with our help to guide your through the process.

Take a listen to our Client Assessment SOLicast and then drop us a line to learn how you can have one of our experts become a strategic and important partner to your team!

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