Every job order produced in your print shop is unique, with different requirements in design, paper size, print technique, quantity, cutting, finishing, and more. Successful printers need an organized workflow to coordinate various departments (sales, warehouse, production facility, etc.) and machinery (printers, folding machines, laminating machines, etc.) to get these jobs through the print shop floor and out the door on time.
In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of job scheduling and print shop production planning in the print industry and the impact that outdated and inflexible systems could be having on your people and your bottom line. From there, we will evaluate what an effective job scheduling tool looks like and 6 ways that it can significantly improve productivity and profitability in your day-to-day operations.
Importance of Job Scheduling and Planning in the Print Industry
Let’s face it, there is a lot that can happen during the print production process. When you have several jobs scheduled for completion in one day that require multiple machines and people’s input, you need a plan in place to stay organized and enable maximum output.
Job scheduling is a core activity in the printing industry that is crucial for optimizing production capacity and delivering jobs on time and on budget. A clear job scheduling system not only allows you to continuously perform every day, but it will enable you to adjust your plan in case of disruptions. Here is what a job scheduling and planning system is designed to do:
- Organize new and existing print jobs
- Track workflow and measure progress
- Optimize production capacity
- Automate work order selection
- Prioritize specific jobs
- Estimate customer delivery date and processing times
- Gain insight into job costing and profit margins
- Keep staff on task and productive
When you have to juggle multiple consecutive print jobs, availability of equipment and personnel, and deadlines, there is no such thing as “winging it” or “flying by the seat of your pants” because it won’t yield success. Without a system in place to sequence, synchronize, and manage the production flow of jobs, the process is destined for a failure at some point in the process.
Your people continuously struggle to schedule and organize jobs to meet customer delivery dates every day. This lack of structure causes many problems:
- No ability to predict when jobs will be finished leads to missed deadlines and lost customers
- No tracking of workflow means little to no visibility into job progress
- No control over machines and workers results in limited production capabilities
- Reliance on manual processes is time-consuming and riddled with errors
- Total confusion on the print shop floor reduces productivity
- Costly inefficiencies and lost business opportunities
6 Ways Effective Print Job Scheduling Minimizes Costs
A print job scheduling system can be as simple or sophisticated as your print shop needs. Whether you use Excel spreadsheets, whiteboards, or print management software, an effective scheduling system needs to capture job specifics and organize them in a way that makes it easy for your users to access information that’s required at each stage of production. When an estimate is approved, the next step should be clear to the production team, and so on.
Here are 6 ways that an effective scheduling and planning system can streamline your production processes, minimize cost, and increase profitability in your print shop:
- Accurate estimates mean fewer mistakes, less overtime, reduced costs, and happier customers.
- Capacity planning for machines and workers ensures less time wasted and better visibility into shop floor productivity.
- Automated job scheduling improves production efficiency and allows you to make manual adjustments as needed.
- The ability to schedule based on your priorities, such as milestones, bottleneck details, dates, times, and speed, will further optimize production.
- Consecutively running similar jobs can save a large amount of setup time.
- Better resource allocation increases employee productivity and limits wastage.
If your existing job scheduling system does not provide these integral capabilities, it is time to consider a more comprehensive solution specifically designed for growing print shops.
While there are plenty of modern-day scheduling technologies out there to try, we have seen the most success when job scheduling and planning functionality is integrated into your print management software. Print MIS and ERP technology provide the tools you need for complete production transparency, scheduling flexibility, and instant insight into current jobs, customers, and performance.
To learn more, please read the full Introduction to Print MIS and ERP Software white paper here.
Get Optimized and Organized with Wye Print
At Wye Print, we believe that with the right application and training, you can put the power back into your users’ hands – transforming the print experience, making people better at what they do, and driving value from every interaction. We offer a centralized cloud business platform called PrintVis that helps manage the entire print production cycle, from estimates to delivery, and gives you the visibility you need to drastically enhance your job scheduling and planning processes.
To provide some insight into how basic scheduling and planning work in PrintVis, watch the short video below.
No matter what job scheduling and planning system you have in place, almost every print shop has room for improvement. This is only an introductory video; there is a lot more knowledge that our print technology experts can provide to improve your job scheduling and planning practices and make your production team genuinely awesome every day.
Feel free to contact us directly with your job scheduling questions or book a personalized demo with a Senior Professional, tailored specifically for your print shop and specific industry requirements.