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Philip Beyer

Systemic Success

By Philip Beyer

About Philip

A born entrepreneur, Philip realized his calling to business and leadership roles while still in his teens, then established his first business in his early twenties. He is the founder and president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products in Nashville, TN, a business systems consultant and analyst, author of “System Busters: How to Stop Them In Your Business,” and InterTech award-recipient for designing and developing System100 business process management software.

Does Your Business Suffer from Disorganitis?

Disorganitis? You may have heard it called Reworkitis or No-clueitis, It’s even been referred to as This-is-normalitis, within the printing industry.

It’s a disease that’s hard to cure, especially if you don’t recognize the symptoms, or are in denial that you have it.

The symptoms may vary from mild to severe:
  • HEADACHES over recurring mistakes.
  • HAIR LOSS due to losing money from wasted time & resources.
  • PANIC ATTACKS from missing deadlines.
  • ULCERS from making excuses to customers.
  • INSOMNIA from long hours training & retraining personnel.
  • RED EYE from over working and no personal life.
  • ANGER OUTBURST keeping your business clean and orderly.
  • MEMORY LOSS from constant interruptions with the same questions.
  • CONFUSION from the chaos in your business.

So where do you start to regain your health?

You start by facing the truth—recognizing you have “disorganizes” (chaos in your business), and admitting you need help bringing your business to order! Now you must make the decision to STOP the chaos…or continue the pain.

Chaos is NOT “normal”—you can GET OVER IT!

What is the cure? Systemization will heal business disorganitis!

The Prescription:
Checklists are not unique in bringing a business into order. Many of the budget-killing mistakes that risk customer loyalty can be dramatically reduced or eliminated by putting together simple checklists and having everyone follow them.

Ah, there’s the rub, you say? There is a way!

Consider the following examples of some who have implemented checklists that have saved whole companies from disaster—they have saved money and time, but also many lives.

Medical Checklists

Disturbed by the thousands of needless deaths in hospitals due to infections, a renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital critical-care specialist, Dr. Peter Pronovost, put together a simple five-step checklist in 2001 for installing lines in the human body. Almost immediately, infection rates plummeted at the hospital.

Sadly, Dr. Pronovost could not get other hospitals interested, primarily because physicians felt they didn’t need checklists to do their job. Sound familiar?

Finally, Dr. Pronovost convinced the State of Michigan to try his simple checklists in a handful of its hospitals that were among the worst in the country. Results? In December 2006, the Keystone Initiative published its findings in a landmark article in The New England Journal of Medicine:

Within the first three months of the project, the infection rate of Michigan ICUs decreased by 65 percent. In the Keystone Initiative’s first 18 months, the hospitals saved an estimated $175 million in costs and more than 1,500 lives.

Checklists for Printers

Begin creating a checklist system for all the processes in your business that need to be performed consistently (i.e., setting up a new account for a customer). How your company operates, all the processes of your business, will remain in your head if you as an owner or manager have never taken the time to download that “information” out of your head into written documents (i.e., checklists, procedures, policies and other documents). These documents should then be assembled and organized into an Operations Manual.

Quality and Service Control Checklists are crucial to any company that wants to guarantee quality and service. Every company and organization has a product it is selling or promoting. Your product may be a service, but it should be quality service.

A verbal commitment to quality and service is about as predictable as bubbles in the air. Without a checklist system, you cannot guarantee or prove quality or service. Human beings are fallible, and you can’t remember to complete every process consistently every time.

Have you ever read something and it turns out you’ve read it wrong? Or, you were supposed to do something and it turns out you didn’t, but you “just knew” you had? My point exactly!

We’re human, and we don’t see or do things the same way every time. Our mind may be thinking about numerous things, or something major, and overlook something “small” that turns out to be important.

Imagine your next business trip, and how the airline pilot might be focusing on the weather or passengers and miss a small light alerting him his landing gear isn’t down. Thankfully, airline pilots use detailed checklists that keep you and me safe from such mishaps!

• The Daily Routine Checklist is like the job description, developed into a detailed checklist of duties in the order a person performs them, from the time they arrive at work until they leave. Such checklists should be prominently located for easy use, either on employees’ desks or on clipboards by their workstations.

In this document, you—the owner or manager—also have for your reference a list of everything each employee does. Daily Routine Checklists are your eyes to see every task and duty performed in your organization, from taking mail to the post office to mopping the floors. These checklists, followed correctly, one step at a time, stop errors from being repeated and virtually eliminate procrastination and chaos.

Did I mention…Great systems work!

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