What’s the most important aspect of your shop’s productivity? Staff? Training? Equipment? Procedures?

Written by Joel Basa
eMarketing Manager
Xerox Corporation
Howie detailed the importance of Performance Based Metrics in a December Blog Post. I was intrigued by his outline of the 4 “STEPs” to determine productivity of your shop. If you recall, the four components  were: Staff, Training, Equipment and Procedures. What are your thoughts on the importance of these 4 components? A few small thoughts.
Staff: I’ve seen a great amount of discussion on LinkedIn on the importance of an experienced operator. This is an invaluable resource and is often overlooked by many shops. I personally think this is the most important aspect of a productive print operations.
Training: This is very much tied to staff but understanding the capabilities of digital printing technology requires training. I’ve had discussions with operators that were not recently trained and some “not aware” of the full capabilities of their technologies. It resulted in some missed gains in productivity.
Equipment: This is without question the most discussed aspect of a productive print operation. However, the discussion needs to move past “speeds and feeds.” Does your digital press have features to help automate and make your press more productive? Our latest installment of YouTube Technically Speaking videos talks about these kinds of features (Full Width Array).
Procedures: Print Production = Manufacturing. If you buy into that statement then the procedures (on the press and off the press) are critical to creating a productive environment. Have you analyzed these processes? I’ve seen many print shops pay attention to every detail to maximize productivity from order to fulfillment.
I’m wondering how you would rank each of these “STEPs” of productivity. Comment with your rankings and let the debate begin!
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  1. Digital Printing Company January 25, 2012 -

    Very interesting article that raises a number of key issues in the digital printing industry today.

    • Joel Basa January 25, 2012 -

      Thanks for the comment. What do you think the most important aspect of your print shop’s operations? Productivity, Staff, Training or Equipment?

  2. Amey Alshi February 6, 2012 -

    A very nice article but I think you missed the finishing aspect of the job.

  3. David Spencer February 4, 2015 -

    Joel, IMHO there is a problem with your question: The result is like multiplication; if any of these are low, the end product (productivity or effectiveness) is low. This is borne out through data collected over the last couple of years by our SpencerMetrics tool. In one shop it’s Training, in another it’s Equipment (insufficient capability or obsolescence), in a third it’s Procedures (workflow, communication). It is rarely Staff – most operators respond to training and quality supervision (which may be the issue, not operators). The neat thing about SpencerMetrics is that it identifies the problem area, in fact in much more detail so that corrective action is easily targeted. That’s why we developed it. (Sorry fort the pitch, but the tool directly addresses your question – and Xerox has Availability comparisons by SpencerLab based upon closely related methodology.)

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