Business Management - In-plant Justification

Knowledge From Numbers?And People
April 1, 1998

Planning comes from people, not spreadsheets. Here's one manager's take on how human interaction can be more important than fancy figures. In the back of one of my file cabinets is a stack of documents. Every now and again, as the need arises, one or more of these volumes is pulled out, dusted off, and a number, an observation, or some factoid is pulled out for inclusion in some new report I am working on. What are these works? There's a couple of consultant reports, two major internal task force self studies—one with a rebuttal written by the previous management—a handful of

Refocus On Your Customers
April 1, 1998

By refocusing your attention on your customers, many of your other management challenges may become easier to solve. Many years ago when I was in college, I worked for a highway construction company during summer vacations. I had the opportunity to try my hand at nearly every possible job. One of the tasks I enjoyed the most was working as an engineer's assistant, setting grades for the excavation work. This process involved locating an established benchmark or target for comparison purposes, then leveling and focusing the transit to insure accurate grade readings. We would "shoot" a few grades, then recheck the

A View From The Top
March 1, 1998

Not all executives are fooled by outsourcing's empty promises. At many companies, outsourcing is out, and upper management gives its in-plants a ton of praise. It's a question every in-plant manager asks, but few get answered: what does management think about my in-house printing operation? In the past several years, the answer has too often come in the form of a decision to eliminate the in-plant and outsource printing. That, however, is certainly not the whole story. Many forward-thinking organizations stand squarely behind the quality, cost-effectiveness and convenience of their in-plants. To find out why, In-Plant Graphics spoke with upper management at

Stay Alive With Strategic Planning
January 1, 1998

By helping to plan your organization's document strategy, you can create a strong future for your in-plant. Creating a document strategy is a popular topic at seminars and trade shows these days. But what, exactly, is a document strategy? And why should you have one? Basically, a document strategy defines an organization's method of capturing, storing, managing and distributing documents. It may exist on either a departmental or enterprise-wide basis. Not having a document strategy presupposes that operations will continue in a linear fashion. Though copying or printing a document and mailing it may be the way things have been done in the

Outsourcing--Friend or Foe?
January 1, 1998

Strategic outsourcing lets you concentrate on your areas of expertise. Here's how to analyze your in-plant and maximize your potential. Some words strike fear into the hearts of in-plant managers: Privatization. Downsizing. Rightsizing. Facilities management. Outsourcing. We've all faced—or know someone who has faced—privatization or facilities management threats, so some of our nervousness is justified—but not all of it. Unlike the other challenges, outsourcing, when done strategically, can be our ally. Traditionally, in-plants have attempted to perform all types of printing and reproduction internally. Managers promoted their in-plants with slogans like "one-stop shopping" or "no job too large or small."