To maximize profitability, we find many businesses focus solely on minimizing the costs of their equipment and software expenditures. However, the productivity achieved from those systems is the true driver of profitability – most often by at least a factor of three, if not more. Therefore, to drive both profitability and market share, the goal of businesses should be to achieve the most efficient, productive manufacturing process possible, thus, minimizing their cost of finished sheets.
The question is then asked, “Which factors are going to truly impact my productivity?” And at the end of the day, the answer all starts with estimating. While the pricing is important, the more critical role from estimating is about defining the production process steps. It is about the complete production in your facility, not the individual jobs. Mess up the production steps in the estimating process and gone are your profitability and ability to fully utilize your assets.
Let’s consider how production processes can be impacted by estimating:
Three or four folding schemes being used at different times on each folder means more set-ups.
Differences in imposition can lead to a new cutter set-up.
Spot color sequence changes lead to longer makeready times and extended press wash-ups
Small sheet size changes on the press, and now there’s a lengthier makeready.
The list can go on and on…
To compound this, your productivity is impacted by the substrate and consumables defined in the estimate. All consumables need to be optimized for your production, and the effect of any changes evaluated for their impact throughout the entire process. While a different paper may save you a fraction of the job purchase costs, it’s not optimized for the press; production suffers, makeready is longer, and there is more waste generated. The cheaper paper has now made the job more expensive and eroded your profitability. With the wrong inks, the job will not be able to be processed in finishing and must wait for another day – creating a ripple effect in your scheduling.
In order to ensure productivity and reduce cost, production needs to perform at all times in the following four mindsets:
Run optimally at the highest rated speed with the matched consumables and substrates, ensuring the highest throughput
Minimize the transition between sequential jobs with effective scheduling and optimized job transitions – across all areas of the business – from the initial customer interaction, through the workflow, printing, postpress and on to delivery
Maintain the optimal, repeatable quality to reduce makeready, waste and maximize productivity
Standard color management practices throughout the workflow and printing
Utilizing Prinect software to collect and manage your data from a business and production perspective allows all of these to be quantified. This enables fact-based decision making – letting you manage and optimize the whole of the production cycle. Most importantly, the data collected by Prinect will enable you to understand the business performance of the whole facility down to individual customers or sales staff.