Wide-Format Requires Design-Centric Thinking!

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By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!

Okay, so what is the definition of Centric?   Centric…located in or at a center:  CENTRAL

Design Thinking - Debbie NicholsonAre you a Design-Centric Thinking Organization?  If not -- Why not?

The past several months have left all of us wondering what to do -- not only to secure new business but to re-ignite what we might call ‘normal business.’ 

Now could be the appropriate time to look deeper into our organization’s strengths, knowledge, skills, and talents.  In doing so, we might uncover some magnificent and even breathtaking new capabilities that could traject a much-needed course correction.

Let’s consider the Design segment of your Wide-Format Printing.

  1. Do you offer Design services?
  2. Do you charge for Design services (if not, why not)?
  3. Do you offer Engineering Design services for your Wide-Format projects?
  4. Do you charge for Engineering Design Services (if not, why not)?

Are you aware that smart and effective design is behind the success of many wide-format printing companies?  Hiring highly skilled designers can create the look and feel of the customer experience.  Our industry should use project strategy as an exercise in design – not as a pre-flight task.

Great design and engineering can be considered intellectual property – are you securing new business because you have adapted and extended into being a Design-Centric Thinking Organization?

Strategy - Debbie NicholsonConsider this example:  Several years ago, I was included in a multi-million dollar bid project for a nationwide menu-board revamp (interior & exterior) for a franchised QSR organization.  Knowing my competition very well, it was essential that I utilized a Design-Centric Thinking process.

Here are a few soft-points of the Design Thinking Process that won the bid!

1.  How would franchise owners order their specific menu items? 

  • a customized drag and drop website was created

2.  What was the method of fielding the calls?

  • a dedicated call center was established (all time zones covered)

3.  How was that size of a project handled?

  • a detailed and extreme plan-of-action for design, pre-press, production, finishing pick and pack, shipping, tracking, notification was created for flawless execution

4.  How was the client invoiced?

  • store materials shipped were invoiced every Friday and paid within 10 days
  • this averted the customer from paying a deposit – which was required from competitors

5.  How was the delivery and purchasing of raw goods handled 

  • a pre-determined delivery date (for each vendor) was established to avoid the delay of essential raw goods.  This decision also cleared floor space for pick and pack and shipping space

From where I sit…

Without Design Thinking this massive project would not have been won, nor could it have been accomplished within the timeframe.  It is imperative to think differently and be lined up for success.

In closing…

Design-Centric Thinking should be at the center of who we are as an organization.  If not, we go in directions that are not the strategy for current and future success.

If we put a plan-of-action in place, we minimize our fruitless reactions and maximize our intentional choices!



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