This year has taught us to be resourceful and resilient when it comes to running a print shop! In many ways, the global reaction to the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation—using digital technologies to redefine existing business processes and customer experiences. The need to order print online or work remotely are just a couple of examples. The coming decade will usher in the age of the smart print shop, a shop that combines advanced technologies, automated processes based on data and systems, and effective manufacturing processes to fully optimize print production. The most important step to take now on your path to building a smart print shop is to focus on your processes – the tasks required from the initial customer request through delivery of the order.
It is time to lean into becoming a smart print shop; 57% of North American printers want to improve efficiency and reduce costs as part of their five-year strategy. However, automation is not the place to start. Automation will only increase production problems if you have not streamlined and optimized your processes. Are you doing the right thing at the right point with the right people and tools? The only definitive way to answer this is to audit and document your current workflows.