Getting Started: Automation Solutions to Differentiate Your Company
With rapid technological advances in recent years, we in the graphic arts industry are all trying to adapt to a changing market. Today it’s all about the customer experience. Clients demand accurate work and fast turnaround. Thanks to many new technologies, companies are able to differentiate themselves with the efficiency and high quality attainable only through automation solutions.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This idea, in a nutshell, is what automated job management allows. You need to measure key metrics like throughput, inventory, expenses, and customer satisfaction to better manage and control your operations. Progressive companies, like our speakers from Classic in Charlotte, NC, and DME in Daytona Beach, Florida, have systems to track these metrics and quantify their impact on performance, production workflow changes, and the effectiveness of the messaging they are providing their customers. Automated systems provide the most reliable data.
So how do you begin improving your process and embracing an automated system? Here are answers to some of the common questions about implementing new automated technology in the production workflow.
My company wants to optimize our job workflow to cut costs and increase production and quality. How do we get started?
To get the greatest ROI, first take the time to look at each individual step in your workflow, from how your company acquires customers to how products are delivered and invoiced, and assess how an automated system will fit in. Go for low-hanging fruit—those areas that cause the most issues or bottlenecks.
Once we have studied our current workflow, what automated solutions are available to track jobs throughout our facility?
Tracking and connectivity can include JDF and JMF messaging, shop floor data collection, or a direct machine interface. These selections may be fully integrated into an MIS or a standalone third-party system where you decide how integrated it is with your existing production workflow.