Tips for Successful Print Management Programs
With any print management program, the first step is to ascertain whether or not the individual forms are still relevant and necessary. To this end, industry veteran and educator, Colin Thompson, offered some tips in his article “Print Management: the Win-Win Solution,” posted Nov. 6 on www.ondemandjournal.com. He encouraged businesses and consultants assisting them with print management initiatives to examine the who, where, when and how of each document when devising their strategies. Thompson suggested asking the following questions:
1. WHO initiates the document/form? Is it one person or one department within the company or many persons/departments? Is it always the same person? Does it stay in the originating department? Perhaps many people within the company who may not have detailed instructions or policy manuals initiate it. Is it a public use document/form, such as a credit card application, hospital admission or utility application?
2. WHO receives the document/form? All the same questions apply for the receivers as the initiators. Does the document/form go outside the company? If so, are there logo, type and graphic standards that must be considered?
3. WHEN is the document/form completed? For instance, is it used daily, weekly, monthly, annually?
4. WHERE is the document/form used? Is it a clean, well-lit office, a manufacturing environment full of oils and chemicals or a shipping and receiving area which is poorly lighted and dusty?
5. WHERE is the document/form stored? Is it in an office or in a non air-conditioned warehouse?
6. HOW is the item used and/or distributed? How does the document/form work with other documents/forms? Is their information copied from or to it? Is information from this document/form keyed into a computer system? Is the information sequence correct and are the captions the same? Does it work with bar codes or MICR? Is the document/form completed by hand or machine, such as a typewriter, word processor or computer? How is the document/form distributed? In what sequence are the copies removed? Are the copies legible and separated manually or is the process mechanized? Do people make copies and do recipients use their copies? How is the document/form filed and does it go into a binder or folder? If it needs hole punching, what size and how many holes are required? Is the document/form the right size for the file? What is the filing reference-serial number, company name and/or customer name?
The answers to this analysis determine how the document/form is used. Once this is done and the document/form owner supplies the content, the next step is design.
For more information on print management from Colin Thompson, visit www.ondemandjournal.com and look for his two-part series posted on Nov. 6.