Impressions - October/November 2011 - (Page 58)

HANDS ON >> SCREEN PRINTING >> HANDS ON TECH TIPS HANDS ON >> HANDS ON Production SCREEN PRINTING HANDS ON TECH TIPS HANDS ON Can Your Shop Survive When You Are Gone? Train your staff well and give them permission to make decisions when you are out of town. Fig 1. Fig 2. Fig 1. My staff has been trained to call me only in an emergency. An emergency is constituted as if something is burning or broken or someone is bleeding. Otherwise, I expect my staff to take care of it with the customer, vendor or employee. All photos courtesy of Mind’s Eye Graphics, Decatur, Ind. A principle that took me years to learn is that it’s never a good thing to have one person be so critical to the business that he or she can’t leave the shop without everything falling apart — and that includes the owner. Any boss who has taken a vacation, gone to a trade show or scheduled a trip to visit clients knows that just about anything can go wrong in his absence. At my shop, a great example has to do with our computer-to-screen (CTS) system. Despite the fact that there are two (three, if you count me) people — my production manager and our IT person — who are trained on how to troubleshoot problems, the system only seems to break 58 Impressions >> October/November 2011 Fig 3. Fig 2. In the early days of establishing policies, I would be worried to come back and look at my desk because of the things that be would be sitting there. Today, the pile is always small and manageable, because I’ve trained my staff to take care of most of the day-to-day tasks. down when two of the three of us are out of the office. The first time this happened, I got lucky because it was while we were at a Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) trade show. I was standing on the show floor with my production manager when we got the phone call saying the CTS system wasn’t working. In this instance, we walked over to the vendor’s booth and grabbed a service tech, who was able to diagnose the problem over the phone. The parts were sent overnight to the shop to put us back in service. Keep this in mind: What can go wrong will go wrong — and at the worst possible time. Whether it’s a key piece of equip- Fig 3. Staff will not always make the same decisions you would make, but you have to be willing to let them make mistakes. By reviewing the situation upon your return, you can turn it into a learning experience. ment, an employee not coming to work or an unsatisfied customer, you must train your staff to be prepared for any type of emergency and know what to do. Every employee at my shop knows that when a decision needs to be made, they will be in more trouble if they don’t make it. This policy applies to everyone, from management staff all the way down to the newest employee with the least amount of responsibility. I have given my staff permission to make decisions, and I expect them to use this authority when I am gone. If a customer calls and says his order is wrong or asks where it is, my staff knows what they need to do and that doing nothing is not an option.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - October/November 2011

Impressions - October/November 2011
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Product Gallery
ISS Conference Program 2012: Designed for Success
Laser Etching on Performancewear
On the Move
It Pays to Take Shirt Design Online
The Digital Difference
For Screen Printers Only
Online Directory
Tech Tips
Business to Business
Ad Index

Impressions - October/November 2011