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Grow Profits Through Management Practice

Posted Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by Kernin L. Steinhauer, Brand Manager JYBE, llc. - A business enhancement and PPI Member company.

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Want to learn more? Kernin is also presenting a Webinar, How Your Workforce Can Fatten Your Bottom Line.

Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm PST

Click Here for Webinar and Registration Information

Every industry endures Cycles of Influence. In the graphic communications industry the 80’s was the Quality Improvement (TQC, TOC) Cycle followed by the Pre-press Digital Workflow Cycle in the 90’s. Then the new millennium brought the Consolidation Cycle. Most recently, enabling technology investments have advanced automation in pre-press, print and finishing operations, the core operations of a printing company, which we call the Automation Cycle.

As a manager and industry consultant over the years my duties afforded me the opportunity to not only embrace the Cycles of Influence head on but to truly understand process and make a dramatic impact on profitability. Interestingly enough, the Cycles of Importance were only a part of the solution. We changed our perspective, accepted a paradigm shift, and visualized the printing company as both a job shop manufacturing environment and service provider to an unknowing and uncaring customer base.

With a new perspective and a tool belt of experience in leading pre-press, print and manufacturers we discovered the importance of achieving a Synchronous State and it’s impact on reducing defects, delays and cost.

To visualize the effect of achieving a Synchronous State first think of your company as a series of invisible conveyors starting at order entry and ending when you get paid for finished goods. On the conveyor are pieces and parts, either physical or virtual that result in billable finished goods. Now, visualize those pieces and parts as dollars.

The first premise is the faster the conveyor the shorter the cycle time.
The second premise is never work on something you cannot complete.
The third premise is the smaller the batch size the faster it moves.
The fourth premise is dependent events dictate process flow.The last premise is to manage constraints and maximize resource utilization.

Here’s an example to ponder: When labor or machine time (WIP dollars) are spent working on something that cannot be completed that time is gone from your capacity forever. It cannot possibly be recovered and is removed from the conveyor waiting to be placed back upon it when it can be completed. To add a bit of clarity to the example, assume that there were other things on the conveyor that could have been completed, shipped and invoiced, but were not.

The example provided is a very common occurrence in printing companies which results in a start-stop-start workflow that builds Work in Process (WIP) inventory ($$$ on hold). When the inventory build up is finally resolved the result is little to no work in some operations.

By contrast, a Synchronous State has every resource, human or machine, working on only what needs to be completed and placing it on the conveyor for the next dependent event to completion. The result is a perfect harmony of hand-offs, from one operation to the next, all the way to invoicing.

How do you get there? Every person in the company must know exactly what to work on and what priority it has on the conveyor.

Of course, the science is in synchronizing the rhythm of market demand while governing capacity, availability and resource flexibility through management actions.

A Synchronous State (your entire company in synch) delivers systemic efficiency, increased overall capacity and improved bottom line results.