Understand the cost savings and higher profitability that comes from knowing how to print halftones well.
We all get caught in the grind of pushing orders through our businesses, and the quality of what we produce can be lost in the shuffle. Since improving a shop’s quality requires more than just a quick attempt, most avoid it and continue to churn out product at the same level.
Yet, at the top end of the food chain, a few select companies are willing to go farther, creating prints that other companies struggle to produce and eventually claiming larger accounts whose business they earn through their quality. One of the big differentiators between the most innovative shops and the ones caught in the daily grind is the ability to print excellent halftones. By learning to print better-quality dots, these shops have created a higher level of trust with clients, positioning themselves to win more complex (and more profitable) orders.
Your shop can do this too. If you take a pause from pushing orders through the system and focus on your print quality, you can separate yourself from what your competitors are capable of doing and take your business to the next level.
Motivating a production staff to change and improve their processes can be difficult. It’s easier when you draw a clear connection between quality and profits, and illustrate how producing better prints will make more money for everyone. Once a company begins an initiative such as this, a variety of tools can be used to help monitor and encourage the progress—providing details of scrap percentages with charts in monthly meetings, for example, or using bonus plans for achieving certain production challenges each month. The end goal is to encourage each member of the printing team to take ownership of the plan to improve quality and look for ways to help make it happen.
In this article, I’ve identified eight ways that improving the quality of your halftone printing will make your company more profitable. Not every idea will apply to your company, but hopefully the relevant concepts will help you start discussions with your staff on why improving halftone quality is a worthwhile goal and how to go about doing it.
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