Food for Thought:

By | February 28, 2012

Two years later – have you gotten up to speed?

Almost two years ago American Printer published an article titled “Get up to Speed”, written by Kenneth Rizzo at PIA.  This article contained some information that really challenged the status quo within our industry.  What have we learned over the last two years, and where are we today?  I’d like to share some thoughts upon re-reading the article.

Technology and productive innovation have continued to accelerate and are often still perceived or presented as the solution. Operations are still too often treated as process siloes, with metrics based on faulty assumptions or poor data collection and analysis.   In some cases, there are no actionable metrics at all.   The most knowledgeable staff members have dwindled with attempts at cost reduction through downsizing or attrition, and the ones remaining are fighting more fires than ever.  The staff is still often the focus for problem resolution “we’ve gotten more aggressive on writing people up”, is a phrase we heard recently from a manager at the end of his rope.

Mr. Rizzo puts forth several valuable recommendations on skills that printing management must learn to employ to optimize their business performance, which can be found in the article.  My take away from these is that as members of the print industry, we need to optimize the whole process and all the steps involved, from content creation to format to production through delivery in order to have the most efficient and effective offering, versus optimizing the around and for the most expensive technology or an individual function or activity.  The key principles of Business Process Improvement provide a way for each enterprise to analyze, prioritize, and implement process and organizational change, to “Get up to Speed” and be competitive within the industry delivering customer-focused solutions.  When you read this article, what are your thoughts about what has happened in the last two years, your own company’s progress, and where do you need help?  The following link will take you to the original article.

Richard J Losch
Partner, R3D2 Consulting LLC

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