Peter Doyle

OF THE MANY insights that stand out in Eli Goldratt’s book, “The Goal,” one of the most memorable is the plant manager’s frustration with a machine operator reading a newspaper while on the clock. Like most of us, the plant manager thought that working harder or faster would naturally generate more money for the business. That’s pretty straight forward, right?

BY MARK SMITH Technology Editor From start to finish, the printing process traditionally has had a split nature. Digital technology initially increased that divide, but now promises to tie all of the process steps together. On the front end, prepress has been as much about art, or at least craft, as it has been production. It's also where the digital revolution began, bringing an ever greater degree of computerization and automation. At the back end, binding and finishing operations come closest to being what people think of as a traditional manufacturing environment. It's about precise measurements and exacting specifications, as well as repetitive

Peter Doyle of Action Printing in Fond du Lac, WI, and I have concluded that printers use job costing simply for the purpose of pricing jobs. Most don't do post-production variance analysis or compare actual results with estimates. Nor do they do any variance analysis comparing actual job costs with General Ledger results. If they did, the variances would be devastating. Maybe they did so a time or two in the past but, because we're so frustrated by the differences, they just toss a dust cover over that "elephant in the living room." So why do we persist in using job cost estimates

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