When You Take Shortcuts You Usually Get Cut Short!

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By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!

Question:  Is getting ‘cut short’ self-imposed?

Answer:  Absolutely!

don't take shortcuts imageThe DISADVANTAGE of shortcuts is they create risk; here are a few risks to consider:

  • Discounting projects new (to the company) without experience or history as a price guide
    • The unknown is costly and may not be recouped.
  • Purchasing inferior materials to meet budget demands
    • Inferior materials open the door to ineffective ink adhesion, cutting, and finishing problems
  • Underestimating employee and manufacturing time
    • Shortcuts could add enormous hours of overtime and rush shipping expenses
  • Inconsistent processes for securing live pricing from distribution channels
    • This is no shortcut you should take – live pricing is not negotiable
  • Foregoing detailed pre-project production meeting(s) to save time
    • Huge mistake – this will cost you in ways you can’t imagine!
  • Knowingly accepting tight deadlines that are not achievable
    • This deserves a serious conversation with your client (including overtime expenses)
  • Disregarding strict Quality Assurance guidelines to move the project forward
    • You think this project is costly now – just wait!
  • Inattention to Customer Change Orders by not securing updated POs
    • Customer POs with up-to-date Change Orders avoid confrontation and payment delays!
  • Accounting for rushed goods shipping expenses
    • Avoid this problem by having a detailed pre-project production meeting
  • 11th-hour need for temporary employees for finishing, kitting, packaging, and shipping
    • Always assume the worst; equipment down, employees call out…
  • Live-wire cross-training to enhance manufacturing
    • Look, crunch time is not the way to learn – cross-training is a pre-determined commitment
  • The job jacket lacks critical billing information – everyone was too busy!
    • Last but not least – remember cash is KING – don’t mess this one up!

focus on qualityIn Closing:

When we take shortcuts, we tend to get careless and emphasize efficiency more than quality. Is it worth the risk to take a shortcut when applying best practices for our printing industry?

As a thought: The lack of understanding can be a catalyst for many shortcuts. Frequently, this results from insufficient training that didn’t fully assure our employees understood the content. As a result, employees may believe they’ve discovered a shortcut that in actuality, could be detrimental. For example, simply telling our production staff what quality - is - may not be adequate; a visual introduction with a walk-down quality lane may be necessary to help them understand the company’s expectations and standards.

Shortcuts can be both a blessing and a curse depending on how and why we approach them; following business instincts is always best!



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