Print Shop Management Tip: Prepare for the Unexpected

A well-executed print-shop management program is designed primarily to help your shop run like a finely tuned machine week in and week out. But the right Print MIS program can also help you prepare for the unexpected.

For example, have you thought about what you would do if the your business was interrupted for a few days, weeks, or months? Over the life of your business, the continuity of your business could be affected by one or more of the following events:

  • Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, blizzards, or tornadoes
  • Wildfires and interior fires
  • Power outages or loss of other utilities
  • Workplace violence
  • Loss of your facility
  • Disrupted deliveries from key suppliers
  • Major equipment or software malfunctions
  • Loss or illness of key staff members

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, business owners should know the following types of information:.

  • The likelihood and potential impact of different types of risks
  • Which operations would be essential to keep your business afloat
  • How to contact your employees in the event of an emergency
  • How to contact customers, suppliers, and outsourcing partners
  • How to get disrupted IT systems up and running again
  • The current state of your finances, including emergency reserves
  • Where to get help when you need it

Good print shop management can help you mitigate the impact of some of the scenarios. Here are a few tips how you can use the system for crisis management:

Plan for these contingencies as you set up your print-shop management program. As you evaluate how to make your workflow more efficient, identify which daily, weekly, and monthly operations are essential to your shop’s ability to sustain itself through difficult times.

Identify potential outsourcing partners, back-up suppliers, or temporary workarounds for key processes. Perhaps, some operations could be performed at another location if necessary.

Use the customer-relationship management system in your Print MIS to keep all of your contact information up to date. Your print-management software should be able to store all of the contact data you and your employees might need to get your business up-and-running again after a temporary shutdown. For example, the system should enable you to easily contact your payroll provider, Internet service company. building security firm, building manager/owner, accountant, bank, and utilities.

During a period of crisis, you will need to keep your customers informed about what steps you are taking to handle their work in progress and to resume normal operations as soon as possible.

And if something happens to your facility, you should be able to notify all employees even if you are away from the site.

The customer-relationship management program can also reduce the impact of the loss of a key employee, Your customer relationship management program should include up-to-date notes about the customer’s order history, business objectives, and preferences in workflow, printing materials,and payment options.

Use a cloud-based system so that you and your key employees will always have access to relevant information about jobs in progress, outsourcing partners, and alternative suppliers. If you were away from the office for long time, your employees could continue to quote jobs in a profitable manner. All of the knowledge of pricing formulas and key customer discounts wouldn’t
be stored in your head.

If your shop is damaged by a flood or fire, your scheduling board won’t go with it. You will still have records of jobs in progress. The work can temporarily be outsourced until your shop is up and running again.

To feel extra-secure, keep a few hard copies of your most important job and contact files at a site other than your print shop.
Maintain a clear and accurate picture of your financial situation. Make sure your insurance policy adequately covers your business, its inventory, and equipment. Know how much cash would be required to survive a 3-day, 5-day, or 10-day shutdown. Would you be able to pay bills or receive payments during the shutdown?

Most people buy print-shop management to make their everyday operations more efficient and more profitable. But the same system that you use to manage estimates, orders,proof approval, job tracking, invoicing, and shipping can also be invaluable in helping your business survive a major setback.

To see how a good print-shop-management system can help improve the efficiency and profitability of everyday work and support crisis-mode operations, schedule a personalized demonstration of Ordant software at

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