Are Fires of Chaos Consuming Your Business?
On Day #1, I walked into the pressroom with the checklist and gathered everyone in production around a table for a demonstration of the correct use of a checklist. I asked a press operator to set up a letterhead job and get it ready for approval. After he made ready his press and printed the first letterhead sheet, he brought it to me to be approved.
I took the new checklist, along with the Job Ticket containing the specifications for printing the letterhead, and started reviewing the checklist one item/prompt at a time.
Prompt #1: INK COLOR CORRECT
I compared the color of ink on the letterhead with the ink that was specified on the Job Ticket. It was correct. I made a check in the box by the prompt.
Prompt #2: PAPER TYPE CORRECT
I compared the paper type of the letterhead with the paper type specified on the Job Ticket and it also was correct. So I put a check by it.
Prompt #3: PAPER COLOR CORRECT
The Job Ticket specification was for a gray color paper. So I looked at the color of stock we were about to print—it was cream colored. We had the WRONG color paper, and we were about to print 10,000 letterheads—incorrectly. You should have seen the expression on everyone’s face.
Yes, the very first time we used a checklist it saved a job from having to be reprinted, and us having a very unhappy customer—not to mention the extra expense. I didn’t have to convince anybody that using a checklist saved time and money. I believe that was providential, as we started out with our first system to stop fires at their source. It worked!
As a matter of fact, the person operating the press that day became one of our strongest supporters of the checklist system. His rework, due to errors, almost went to zero by using this Quality Control Checklist.
Philip Beyer, founder/president of Ebiz Products LLC and founder of Beyer Printing Inc. in Nashville Tenn., is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant. Author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business" and recipient of an InterTech Technology Award for the design and development of System100 business process management software. Beyer speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses. Contact him at (615) 425-2652.