Avoid Headaches, Manage Your Shop Effectively
The site features a job order form that the customer can fill out and send to the in-plant. They are then sent an e-mail confirmation with a job number. "It's really effective for simple jobs like reprints and stationery," explains Goss.
With the job search module, customers can check on a job's status by entering their account number. The screen will show all of the orders for that account, as well as their status.
"The nicest benefit is it dramatically reduces phone calls. The Web site is easy access for them," says Goss.
Printing Services gets about 1,000 orders via the Internet, which is 10 percent of its overall orders.
"I anticipate that number growing by 25 percent in 1998," says Goss. "We're constantly working on our system to make it better."
When he purchases a new system, Goss will be looking for one that offers scheduling, business management-accounting, inventory control, job tracking and estimation—in that order. Goss believes that estimation should not be a priority when purchasing a system because if an in-plant categorizes its work, it should know the estimated cost of the jobs regularly.
"At my in-plant, we print a lot of magazines and books so we do signature printing," says Goss. "I know that I will be printing 16 pages or something with four pages at a time so I know the costs will stay the same."
His solution is a template system where prices are already established, like paper costs. "I think we spend too much time estimating when we really need to figure out what business we're in and find out what our costs will be," continues Goss.
Estimation Provides Accuracy
But for Doug Miller, director of Printing and Graphic Services at Grand Rapids Community College, estimation provides accuracy.
"Our Avanti system accurately tracks costs and fine tunes our estimated standards," justifies Miller.