At June's In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference, the first presenter was Greg Cholmondeley, president of PRINTelligence Consulting, who led a session detailing what in-plants need to do to stay alive in 2019. He proposed that winning as an in-plant is similar to winning a road race. To win a race you need a good car, a map, and a driver. To grow your in-plant, you need a strong operation, a plan, and sales resources to implement your plan.
The results from an IPMA in-plant health self-assessment project he is overseeing indicate most in-plants are operationally healthy but many are lacking in planning, and nearly all need improvement with their sales resources and initiatives.
The differences in the planning and sales categories between world-class operations and others is dramatic, Cholmondeley noted. His recommendation is that managers prioritize spending more energy improving in these two areas instead of fine-tuning already healthy operational elements.
Later in the conference, Cholmondeley led another session on writing strategic plans in which he explained that strategic plans do not need to be lengthy documents, but they do need to be specific, actionable, and measurable. They are effectively contracts between you and your management and should be aligned with the parent institution’s objectives. Strategic plans should contain revenue, client, volume, and services targets. They should also include investment and implementation milestones, he said.
Cholmondeley further explained that strategic plans should be evergreen, with a five-year horizon and annual reviews to ensure your in-plant stays on track. He added that in-plants should also have sales and marketing plans that work with their strategic plans. These are also typically short documents with specific key performance indicators (KPIs). Sales plans have a one-year scope and include monthly reviews. Using them helps ensure your shop is on track to meet its annual strategic objectives.