Think of the most stressful fields of work. What comes to mind? Firefighting? Cybersecurity? Defense? Of all the many stress-inducing industries that could come to mind, document services are probably towards the bottom of your list. Your average document services shop is a duck on water, performing a myriad of complex printing and digital tasks under the guise of unassuming print operations; the operations look smooth above the water, while things below the surface are moving at a furious and hectic pace.
Gone are the days of the simple print shop. Today’s shops are rapidly expanding offerings to include advanced options such as digital design services, promotional marketing collateral, and off-campus mailing. These document businesses often aren’t islands but are part of an operational team within hospitals, universities, government facilities, each having unique requirements. The print shop’s tedious tasks are done by an overworked staff that knows that every action they take must be timely and cost-efficient. With many overwhelming operations taking place daily, problems are bound to ensue. Here are some common issues within the document services field and a few helpful tips to solve them.
Keeping Up With Your Priorities
Print and service tickets often come less like waves and more like tsunamis. This onslaught of tickets can overwhelm large, well-run operations, much less small shops. To deal with a ticket storm, shops must easily discern the priority level for each job they take on. Jobs may need to be sorted by the due date, arrival date, complexity, and a host of other factors. A simple solution to wading through all of these variables is to automate the process.
Automatically assigning a priority to each job as it comes in allows for a streamlining of tasks and an easing of overall staff workload, allowing the document service manager to see anything behind schedule or incomplete jobs. As requests are being fulfilled, any new incoming requests are automatically added to the work queue.
Beating the Rush
For document service teams, nothing is more daunting than a large rush job. They are often all-consuming affairs that grind other operations to a halt. That said, rush jobs don’t have to be damaging to your office, nor do they have to be executed poorly. This is another area in which automation can genuinely help. Depending on your needs, you can quickly analyze your team’s workload to see which employees and printers are available for this job. During the print process, recipients can easily track their jobs’ status through an online portal, eliminating the constant calls about the status of their rush job. Once completed, your print tracking platform can quickly notify the recipient that the job is ready for review, if applicable, or the job can be packaged up for delivery.
While making money is the primary goal of every business, that task may be a bit more daunting for the complex world of document service production. To be successful in this endeavor, shop management must have a firm grasp of the relationship between profitability and staff capacity. Maintaining a budget that stays consistently in the black requires careful staff time to ensure efficiency. This is a crucial place where managers can use their print tracking platform’s metrics. Managers can review staff performance metrics regularly to determine employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Knowing this allows managers to provide corrective feedback on weaknesses while ensuring strengths are fully utilized by assigning tasks within those areas. Tracking touchpoints throughout the printing process can also save managers a ton of time and money. By assigning jobs to specific printers and paper lots, you can maintain quality control, quickly identify printer ink or paper issues, and avoid steep costs of reprinting entire jobs. Metrics also provide insight into the types of jobs and services that yield the most profit, which managers can use to determine which jobs they need to go after. Reviewing metrics regularly is your best ticket to understanding how much work your team can take on and the best way to profit from each service.
The other side of the document services world deals primarily with records management. Managers are in charge of storing and maintaining tons of boxes of records for days, weeks, months, or even years. Upon request, they are required to pull specific records to be scanned or even destroyed. One mistake in the process could be catastrophic. Implementing a document services automation tool gives employees confidence in their actions. Not only will they have a way to streamline all incoming record requests, but they will know exactly which record they need to pull and where it is being stored.
Does your document service team have a few operational issues? Let us know. Email us at [email protected].