Screen Printing - April/May 2017 - 19
be burned, but also when the art needs to be approved.
Create push standards for all of your production processes. This helps move your orders along automatically. Communicate these standards to your staff and train them on what
they mean. Hold them accountable.
Simplify with puSh
You have to make it easy for your staff to do the right thing, and
a push approach is a great place to begin. The goal should be
for each crew to make the jobs of the teams downstream from
them easier. Eliminate challenges. Provide specific and detailed
information. Answer as many questions in advance as possible.
Organize the work so that there is only one correct answer
or outcome. For example, your order-entry staff compiles all
information about a job and enters it into the system. If something is missing - say, the Pantone color of the logo - their
job is to get the answer and solve the problem, not pass that
question on to the art team.
As your workflow moves, each department hands off
the order, gift-wrapped and as complete as possible. If their
chunk is due Wednesday, pushing to hand it off to the next
staff by Tuesday is even better. Monday is fantastic. The push
mentality is all about helping.
Do you have an order where the shirts are contained in individual polybags? Don't leave it to the press
crew to unwrap those. Find a few team
members to unwrap the inventory and
place the shirts on carts, well in advance
of when they need to run the job. Your
goal is to avoid press downtime - always.
underbase screens; when the art deadline is tomorrow and
you still haven't received the vector logo file; when your
inkroom tech notices that you have about a half-gallon of
black ink left: These are examples of problems that were
allowed to go too far. Instead, standardize your processes to
avoid these issues.
Your screenroom manager should be inventorying the
availability of screens per mesh count. When a count drops
to an established minimum number, he should have more
screens stretched or reclaimed. This gets them into circulation in time to prevent any jobs from having to wait because
the screens aren't ready. The same pull theory applies to your
art department and inkroom. Set up triggers for corrective
steps to be taken at the right times.
working in ConCErt
Push and pull strategies aren't an either/or decision. They
work together, not in competition. The more you create
processes and establish procedures, the easier your workflow will become. Make sure you talk to your crew about
any changes and get their input. Start small and test. Shoot
bullets, at first, not cannonballs. Tweak changes you make for
effectiveness. Then, train your team and make them accountable for adhering to the standards.
ExpEditE with pull
Push strategies will always help to get
things handled in advance. Yet, there will
be occasions where something doesn't go
as planned or you need some help. That's
where the pull mindset will save the day.
For example, your shipping manager
has a list of critical jobs that have to go
out today. As the production day moves
forward, her staff can be following up on
them. After lunch, if two or three of the
jobs haven't arrived for them to process,
that's where the pull reaction kicks in.
Questioning where the jobs are early in
the day can help get everything out on
time. If you wait until 4:30 to react, it
might be too late.
Think of a pull action as speaking up.
It's not an attack on another department or
saying, "You are doing something wrong."
Instead, it's being proactive. Identify the
challenge that may be looming and solve it.
When you are out of 110 mesh for