CTP--New Tools, Old Theories
The traditional definition of value-added is "selling price minus production costs." An emerging definition of value-added comes from business magazines such as Business Week and Forbes. This theory talks about value-added as "the strategy to help differentiate your company from the competition." It talks about not competing with the same products and services on price. Rather, it advises competing with different or better products and services, and preferably charging more.
Using this definition, one could argue that you need to add value to remain profitable. If you accept this theory, then it follows that your value-added is added at certain steps in your workflow. Therefore, your value-added perception could be created in such departments as estimating, sales, scheduling and customer service.
And it may be maintained in other departments such as preflight, production and finishing. In fact, we could create a value-added chain that says the perception of value-added is created and maintained in certain departments and by certain equipment. The perception of value could result from improving your services, such as faster turnaround times, higher quality or "under one roof" services.
For a high-quality, fast-turnaround company, the value-added may come from first-time bids, sales, CSR and production. For one company, the value-added chain might be estimating, sales, CSR and production, with the value-added service being high quality. For another printer, who may accept finished film or "print-ready" digital files and create reprints, the value-added chain may be CSR, preflighting, manual stripping and printing, with the value-added service being "under one roof" convenience.
This demonstrates how equipment utilization rates may not be the critical determinant of a purchasing decision. If equipment, or the quality or productivity associated with that equipment, creates your value-added, then utilization rates may not be that important. The equipment may be needed for departments that create value-added or to help provide the value-added services.