People: Weakest Link or Greatest Strength (Video)

People: Weakest Link or Greatest Strength (Video)

You asked for it! It’s the next video installment in our series on how to make your print on demand business work better for you. Spoiler alert: it covers people, how to track productivity and how to create performance accountability.

Watch it to discover a story about how we addressed management communication issues and cut costs. Then let me know if you have any questions – I’m always happy to help.

And if you’re interested in all the insights from our “10 opportunities to cut costs in custom and on-demand manufacturing” white paper, drop me a message and I’ll send you a link to the full document.


Anyone working in print on demand knows that getting the manufacturing process right is absolutely critical, but the volume and variety of tasks often make it hard to see which person is doing what task and on which batch. That means why you can get a general sense of who your best workers are. It’s almost always hard to find hard data to support the intuition of what’s really going on. So what does that cause? Firstly, a lack of accountability, and secondly, a lack of knowledge about production efficiency. So when you’re looking to reduce the costs of print on demand production, it’s important to know who’s doing what, when, how well, and at which workstation. Because if you don’t, well, here’s the story to explain. I was at a site the other day which had a really strong scheduling capability. The management team was hitting all of their internal deadlines, but they didn’t know where 10 to 20% of their workers were putting in all their time. And they felt powerless to take action because they didn’t have any hard data in order to guide what they needed to do. I’ve seen others do it quite differently where they do have worker scan data which shows work volume and fail rates by staff member. And I’ve seen some sites make really significant changes to the mix of their people or individual implement tough counselling and have some hard conversation that has driven significant levels of cost and pulled that out of the organisation. So taking this sort of no-islands hard data type philosophy and injecting that into your organisation, creating the ability to go and see what’s actually happening within your business. Could you, the tools of insight that an artist should have identified, what are the ultimate courses of action that you could take? We’ve got a lot of experience in this and there’s a lot of detail that sits underneath all of these sorts of concepts. So if you’re interested in having a yak, you know, reach out, happy to talk about it. That’s it for this week. Go well.

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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