Transforming a Printing Company Via Benchmarking
Likewise, if performance is better than estimated, the data can be reviewed as to learn why. Then those metrics or process changes can be implemented to improve performance going forward.
What is the typical consulting process when looking to initially establish metrics or improve the current ones in place to more accurately reflect estimated vs. actual costs?
Demus: First, we review the current setting and observe how the actual operations match the assumptions that go into estimating. In a second step, we review the quality of the data. Sometimes the operational structure is setup in such a way that there is plenty of room for interpretation of what is relevant for job costing. So we look for as much detail as we can gather about the structure of the print shop’s operation.
We document the details of how that data is gathered and stored manually, or we analyze the data that is reported automatically via the press’ data center or in the print shop’s MIS system. Clearly, if the data is collected manually, there is less to work with, but even then we can identify room for improvement when you know what you are looking for.
For the companies that are not able to invest in fully intergraded JDF workflows that provide post production job costing, what current technologies or methods offer a solution?
Demus: There are simple components that can help jump start job costing, like counter boxes that can be hooked up to older equipment or basic terminals to enter data manually.
What are the types of business transformations that you have seen from improvement in this area?
Demus: A good example of transformation would be cost savings—especially in the makeready area and paper waste. Usually we are able to help customers to save between $5,000 to $15,000 per month or, accordingly, $60,000 to 180,000 per year.
He enjoys sharing his insight and involvement within the industry and is always searching for new experiences. Nick’s goal is to lead his generation into the future of the printing industry.