Is your team’s performance visible?

Is your team’s performance visible?

With labor being one of the 3 biggest cost structures in print on demand and also highly seasonal (is labor a fixed or variable cost?) you would think that it’s a cost that is watched super closely.

My experience is that the opposite is the case.  In most sites there is a real weakness in how cost is monitored between the press and the shipping department and so you rely on human controls and really good supervisors to keep on top of things.  

But that gets strained at peak when shifts go from 1 to 2 to 3 shifts a day.  The best supervisors continue to work their favorite shifts and the level of control in shifts 2 and 3 (and particularly  the weekend shifts) are weak.

I watched a significant player a few years back get themselves into serious trouble through not having the controls in place in their night and weekend shifts and running their business via a 3 week old end of month P&L statement (I’ll write more on learnings from this situation later).

So my counter to that is that all work conducted by people should be 1) Visible and 2) Accountable.  Visible means it has to be tracked and Accountable means you need to know the who, what, where and when of the work.

  1. Who did the work
  2. What did they work on
  3. Which station where they at
  4. When was the work performed

Knowing the who, what, where and when means that you have the data to be able to plot people, cell and shift performance over time.  

Once measured, you know…. you know the actions required to gain efficiency or strip cost – the choice is yours.

Andrew Smith

Andrew Smith is the CEO of ZenSmart, a leading workflow automation platform that streamlines manufacturing in On Demand plants across the world.



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