Manual Production Management is Risky
Without centralized control, managers worry about falling behind schedule. Everyone has experienced times when it took an “all hands on deck” effort to meet a deadline. Those activities are often expensive and always disruptive.
Automated production control systems can monitor job progress and alert management when software predicts critical milestones are in jeopardy. With advance notice provided by the system, managers can re-balance the work and deal with unexpected events such as machine breakdowns or material handling problems. Document operations can avoid last-minute scrambles and their unpleasant effects.
With production management solutions like
TM used in conjunction with
iDataAudit™ , managers can split jobs among multiple machines without fear of missing or duplicate batches. Automated systems account for every document throughout the enterprise.
Better Data = Better Decisions
These systems also provide valuable data about employee and machine performance. Accumulated metrics will highlight when employees need more training or if equipment is running slow and not meeting throughput targets. This information is invaluable when considering decisions about replacing or upgrading shop equipment. It can also identify problems otherwise hidden from view such as inefficient material staging or excessive idle time between jobs.
Many shops use manual systems like white boards to inform the staff about the day’s work. The problem with white boards is their passivity. If workers forget to update the board or if the board is updated and no one notices, the shop isn’t prepared for the work when it arrives. In manual shops, when data files arrive late or a printer malfunctions, the staff may communicate the workflow interruption via word-of-mouth. This is inefficient and can lead to misunderstandings.
Production control systems do not rely on humans to pass the word around the shop. The system flags work units that do not arrive at job steps within pre-determined time windows. Overhead displays or workstation monitors will immediately update the staff, allowing them to make necessary adjustments and prepare to process the balance of the work.
Keeping Up with the Times
Job-level production control is even more important in today’s fast-paced production environments. A good example is when shops combine small jobs so they can run fast inkjet presses efficiently. Losing track of the formerly separate jobs or failing to notice shortages is fairly easy after work is combined. Job complexity now makes it impractical to keep tabs on the work by walking around the production floor with a clipboard.
One way to decrease document integrity errors is to eliminate chaotic conditions that set the stage for making those errors. Employees operating under stress to meet deadlines when they’ve fallen behind schedule are more likely to make errant decisions that result in catastrophic printing or mailing mistakes. When deciding how to respond to client demands for verifiable integrity and control, do not overlook the value of automated production management solutions.
To explore the benefits of implementing a production control system from DDS, contact us to arrange for a demonstration and a frank discussion about how your environment must improve to remain competitive in 2019 and beyond.