By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!
When visiting with “new” or potential clients the first item on my list is to meet the entire “wide-format” production staff (one-on-one). This department is the heartbeat for your clients.
Truth: My most successful customers (sales/profit) saw the need to hire a TALENTED Production Manager for Wide-Format. Customers who have not made that change/decision are struggling from the inside-out – it is detrimental to the success of the department and the entire company to have the correct person “in-charge.”
- Let’s define Talented: Having a natural aptitude or skill for something.
- Similar: Gifted Skillful Skilled Accomplished Brilliant Expert
Hey, I am not saying it is EASY to find the “right” person for the Production Manager position – but ignoring a replacement or change in employee duties destroys your company in ways you can’t even realize or measure. This might be a stretch but placing employees in positions they are not skilled in (without continual education) undermines their success as well.
I have stated several times in my articles that there is nothing easy about Wide-Format Printing – so why make it harder by not employing the talented people in the obvious important positions.
Talented Production Manager (Short Job Description): Wide-Format (no specific order)
- Understands and can operate all equipment
- Understands the true capabilities of the production team
- Demands cross-training for the entire staff with proven skills and continual education
- Is well versed in production-flow and teaches the team better processes and procedures (daily)
- Shares a wealth of knowledge, continually, so the team works as one unit
- Conducts a 15-20-minute production meeting every morning to discuss projects and installations
- Approves all ordering of materials for working projects as well as staple inventory
- Meets with vendors quarterly to secure the best prices and discuss timeline expectations
- Occasionally, will meet with clients side-by-side sales to educate and discuss complicated projects
- Hires and is responsible for all installers and installations (tracking system should be used)
- Conducts POST project meetings with the entire staff for better understanding and leaner manufacturing. What could we have done differently? How could we have saved time/money?
- Most importantly, establishes timeline(s) for ALL production in the department.
- MUST understand all printing processes, lamination, finishing techniques, hardware, uses, and installation
- Attends Trade Shows to learn about new equipment and flexible/rigid substrates & hardware
- Monthly or Quarterly Meeting(s) should include all sales/customer service to show new products and processes learned in previous months
- Full of tips and tricks in the Wide-Format Industry – saving money and time is key
I can’t stress how important the position of a (TALENTED) Wide-Format Production Manager is to the success of your organization. Spend the money it takes to hire the right person that can take you to the next million-dollar level in sales…you will be glad you did!
Remember – my clients who have top-notch Wide-Format Production Managers are doing well and increasing sales like crazy!