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How Change Affects the Print Room

October 6, 2014
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By Mark Hinder – Market Development Manager Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK Ltd.

Konica Minolta

Last Month I wrote about the effects of change and how often this comes about as a result of external factors, forcing companies to review their structure and processes. But how can a print room manage change, or even plan for it?

I am sure many print room managers have at some time been confronted with the words,' cut costs, reduce overheads', or even to be told, 'we need to reduce the number of people in the print room as productivity is down'!
This leaves the print room manager in an unenviable position of having to look very closely at a spreadsheet of figures, studying how or what to do next.

Mark Hinder - Konica MinoltaAs I said last month, change is a natural factor and is a constant; it cannot be removed nor should it as it helps focus us on what really matters. It's like Darwin's evolution in business, those who can remain strong will survive and flourish, those less fortunate and perhaps less capable to adapt, will disappear.

The key however is to study how change will affect us, plan for it and be ready to adjust course before you hit the iceberg.
It is therefore necessary to have good insight and be able to measure with an obsessional focus on how you can improve. It also means not fearing non print related media and building a plan which embraces print, web and mobile technologies. Crucially it means understanding all the business needs and often competing with external suppliers, trying to offer new services.

Insight and Market intelligence, this is probably the best friend a print room manager can have. It provides a telescopic view into the future of how the market will change and what effects this will have on the business but more importantly the print room.

Marketing departments focus on obtaining insight and intelligence through an army of people who engage the likes of InfoTrends, IDC, Gartner and Forrester to commission research on what the future could hold. There are many whitepapers available on numerous sites covering a wide range of topics, take OutputLinks, we all post them on here for people to download and study, but do we really know what they get used for, and how this relates to the print room?

One would like to believe that all this information leads to a strategy discussion with the key internal stakeholder's, but how often do they involve the print room in these discussions? Should the print room be involved?
The real success is to know how to interpret the information contained in these research documents and it affects the business. This is where internal and external networking helps.

Debating the issues through insight and market intelligence, and then planning what change really means allows departments to create an investment strategy which protects the interests of the individual, the department, but most importantly the business, allowing change management to be effective and show positive results.
Creating healthy debate allows for expression, as every individual should have a voice and be valued for their input. Vitally it also means that people get the chance to understand and appreciate the demands placed on the business creating the need for change. This we know as change management. This is the first and crucial step to identify the need to change and make a plan.

Konica Minolta is providing free advice and help as part of an educational series to help print room managers plan for change. This free advice is delivered through our seminar programme and covers a range of topics such as industry research and investment planning. To subscribe to our seminar programme, touch here >>>

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