It’s all about the customer – and his or her current situation, pain points, production needs, and future goals, says Significans’ Michel Beauchamp.
According to worldwide industry research leader IBISWorld, there are currently over 20,300 printing businesses in the U.S. and over 5,000 in Canada. And while the owners of these print shops likely share challenges common to other North American commercial printers, one fact stands out – each business has its own unique production environment, processes, internal issues, goals, and so on. At the end of each production day, it’s all about maximizing efficiency, cutting costs, boosting the bottom line, and facilitating future growth.
Significans Customer Growth Manager and assessment specialist Michel Beauchamp, a former business owner himself, has over 42 years of experience in the print industry. His previous roles with leading companies have included Technical Sales Manager, Account Manager, and Customer Business Manager. As an assessment expert, he realizes that every print business is unique, and that the journey to full in-shop automation and integration can be complex and fraught with costly missteps. His job is to simplify the transition to full automation and integration, guide print-shop owners every step of the way, and sort out what needs to be done now, and envision what will work best in the future.
To accomplish this, says Beauchamp, you must get to know owners, management, employees, and the overall business inside-out. You need to know the people as much as the business. Every contributing factor must be considered. Here’s what he had to say about Significans’ comprehensive, customer-oriented assessment process, and what business owners might expect with a visit from a Significans Automation specialist.
Analyzing the pros and cons
“The first thing I do is listen intently to the owner’s concerns,” says Beauchamp. “This initial, detailed assessment reveals what areas need to be investigated and improved. Such areas may include job estimation, prepress (too much time taken to prepare files), automating layouts, smart ganging, proofing, project approvals, delivery, and many more. What is keeping the owner up at night? Slow throughput? Too many missed deadlines? Poor internal communications? Print quality and/or color issues? Unhappy customers? Legal compliance issues?
I usually ask the owner to complete a questionnaire outlining all his or her concerns. To further aid in the transformation, an assessment checklist detailing goals and expected timelines is utilized. I normally spend several hours analyzing all this information. Eventually, I create a map of the client’s current workflow setup. Everything I do is data-driven from information provided by the owner and his management team.
James Robinson, a key figure at Significans Automation, plays a vital role in this assessment process. As a Business Analyst, he contributes to the assessment report comparing current processes with possible future state process improvements. In other words, what does the business look like now, and what will it look like in the future; plus how much faster will the new process take? This report also includes implementation strategies, a cost-benefit analysis, and much more – and usually centers around eliminating human touchpoints and reducing mundane, low-value tasks, all while enhancing automation by way of key integration points. It concludes with a summary and recommendations of the crucial next steps to be taken.
‘Mapping’ future success
Robinson takes the assessment a step further by creating diagrams that visually map the current and possible future state of the customer’s workflow processes, software connectivity, and so on. This is usually a ‘head-turning’ point for most owners as we sit down with all stakeholders and have a roundtable-type discussion pointing out existing flaws, how to reduce labor costs, how to process files much faster with fewer errors, how to achieve legal compliance easier, how to improve the customer experience, and ultimately how to gain never-before-imagined efficiencies. Many times, we find that busy owners are so involved in meeting their day-to-day deadlines, that they are not even aware of the areas where their business is under-performing.
Then I review the Return-on-Investment says Beauchamp. My ROI executive summary takes a detailed look at the financial numbers with respect to existing issues, labor costs, organizational impacts, cost-saving improvements, and the surprising benefits of the proposed path forward. This exclusive report goes through all the numbers in meticulous detail. It compares the owner’s current ROI with the potential future ROI using automation and integration solutions from Significans Automation. Traditionally, this is also an owner’s ‘wow’ moment as they see the substantial benefits. I ultimately create a formal document outlining all promised deliverables and the approximate time for us to implement the agreed-upon changes. This sets the stage for the final ground-breaking journey to customized automation and full print-shop integration, and all the benefits it will yield.”
“Customized workflow automation and full process integration are constantly evolving, and can change with the addition of new equipment, new employees, new government regulations, and even new clients,” said Significans’ Business Analyst James Robinson. “At Significans Automation, we partner with our customers to improve print-shop processes, while using analytics and customer feedback to drive continuous improvements. We are not simply a workflow software supplier. We are a trusted advisor and long-term partner who is totally invested in the ongoing success of our clients – and always will be.”
For a review of your shop’s specific workflow automation needs, please call Significans Automation at 1-877-463-4465 or visit https://significans.com. To review the unprecedented results from printers across the U.S. and in Canada, please visit https://significans.com/case-studies/.