Print Organization

amberhart09

New member
We are a small printer, and our growth is outweighing our organizational structure. Would anyone be willing to share some input on how your print operation is structured? We are newer in the field, so any input is much appreciated.

Who typically handles the quoting and order entry? And do you have that same person handling phone calls and emails?
Do you rotate the person that handles the order entry/ emails and such?

Right now, we have one person that handles emails, phone calls, quoting and order entry. We feel there may be a more efficient way to operate to turn quotes and responses around much quicker. I would love some input from others on your print operation and what you find to be the most efficient with responses to customers and as well as the production side of the business.

Thank you!
 
Hi there, regarding organizational structure, I'd highly recommend the Entrepreneurial Operating System, which is most often referred to simply as EOS: eosworldwide.com.

The nature of your question appears to be about a very specific role (or roles) in your organization, so my suggestion of EOS may not be an exact fit for your question. However, if you're interested in a set of tools that can bring clarity and strength to your organizational structure, then EOS is definitely worth a look!
 

gordo

Well-known member
You might try starting with a SWOT analysis (What is SWOT Analysis?) to help get a clear idea of where you're at and what you company goal is.
Then note that the growth evolution of most companies is to evolve from multi-tasking to uni-tasking. I.e. from the owner/boss doing everything from sales to delivery to specialist employees doing individual tasks e.g. an individual doing only sales, an individual doing only estimating etc.
Also, focus work on systems more so than tasks. For example can you run your estimating using a spreadsheet of prequoted, standardized, presswork rather than doing a custom quote each time.
Implement automation to your process wherever possible.
 
Last edited:

MailGuru

Well-known member
Good info from gordo. I'd start with the SWOT. Also, as gordo eluded to, as long as you periodically check your paper prices, start saving your spreadsheet estimates as "products", so, you eliminate the need to quote (re-quote). After a while, you will immediately know what a particular job will price out at without having to do an estimate (i.e. a 6 x 9, 4/4 post card w/full bleed will price at $0.25/each, a 6 x 9 24-page booklet 4/4 with saddle-stitch will price at $2.49/each, etc.)
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
Who typically handles the quoting and order entry? And do you have that same person handling phone calls and emails?
Do you rotate the person that handles the order entry/ emails and such?
I used to be this person at a medium sized shop. When I started there, we did about $800k per year, but grew to $1.2M per year with 6 or 7 employees (including me), plus the owner and his wife. The makeup of the shop was as follows:
  • 2 designers (who also did pre-press, made plates, ran two color digital copiers, emailed proofs, and answered phones)
  • 2 offset pressmen (who also helped in bindery)
  • 1 dedicated bindery person (who also ran a b/w copier)
  • My primary role was customer service which included answering phones, emails, processing website orders, outsourcing jobs, and producing quotes
  • We had a 7th employee off and on who would help with running the copiers, doing bindery, answering phones, etc
  • We had an outside service do deliveries for us
  • We had a part time outside salesman
  • The owner (husband) would answer phones and helped me with more complex quotes when he was in
  • The wife did the book keeping, and helped with phones when she was in
Only myself and the owners were permitted to enter orders, quotes, or make invoices. This process really should have dedicated people and not switching employees in and out for the sake of cross-training. As you're most likely aware, there are many nuances to making quotes or entering orders. Missing a single detail could have major financial repercussions. I personally made a point of not being the first person to answer the phones. At least half of the calls were to talk to a designer for changes, find out our hours, or to check on the status of an order. I didn't need to handle those calls. I wanted calls for quotes or new orders transferred to me so I could capture all of the information. I found if others tried to take info for a quote or order, they would miss several details I needed.

The last note I'll leave you with is that you really should put a significant amount of effort and resources into making your website as functional as possible. This was key to helping our sales grow, but also with keeping up with new sales. You should setup portals for your customers where they can easily reorder items, typeset their own business cards, and the website should have a general section for requesting quotes. When customers became comfortable with requesting quotes or placing orders online, it saved so many back and forth phone calls and emails. Promote your website on all of your marking materials and invoices, and invest in some good SEO.
 

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