In part one of this series, we discussed “DISCIPLINE,” and in part two we discussed “TECHNOLOGY” as two critical “key indicators” that your printer’s quality program is alive and well. In part three, we will discuss the third factor, “CORRECTIVE ACTION.”
I’ve had the opportunity to manage in seven different printing facilities, with four different companies (and I can assure you) occasionally, every printer will “drop-the-ball” on quality and give you a reason to voice a “quality concern.” When you raise the concern, this actually gives your printer an opportunity to first: show their integrity as a business partner, and secondly: implement their process of CORRECTIVE ACTION.
Here are the key elements of an effective and efficient Corrective Action Process that you should expect from your printer:
1) Point of contact to address any concern
You should only need to call or email your printer one time to address a concern and receive a follow-up. If you have to do this more than one time (from concern to resolution) their process is not working! (As a side note, printers that are truly focused on quality and continuous improvement, actually WANT AND NEED you to call with any concern, they view this as a key trigger event and opportunity for improvement.)
You should receive a response within 24 hours at the latest. Best in class printers strive to have a response back to you within 4-8 hours.
The response should include the following:
A) Root cause of the concern: details of what happened.
B) Quantifiable data concerning how many pieces were affected using quality time-pulls from manufacturing, house samples, file review, etc.
C) Resolution of the concern. This is where your printer’s integrity comes into play; do they step up and admit their mistakes? Do they offer fair compensation in terms of a credit, reprint, make-good on the next issue, etc. If you feel like you have to fight for what is “fair,” you may have the wrong printing partner. On the other side of the coin, I’ve witnessed clients that view a printer mistake as an opportunity to be “punitive” and try to take advantage of the situation. A true partnership strives to find a win-win resolution!
Continuous Improvement plan to prevent, or at least minimize this concern in the future. If your printer needs to address the same concern more than one time, two things could be happening; they either do not have a viable process of continuous improvement, or they lack the discipline that we discussed in the first part of this series. Both are unacceptable.
In summary, every printer makes mistakes, you can count on that. Printers that are serious about quality and continuous improvement, have an efficient and effective CORRECTION ACTION PROCESS. They view concerns as opportunities to get better every day in meeting your expectations. During your initial plant tour, ask your prospective printer to tell you in detail about their CORRECTION ACTION PROCESS. Let them walk you through the entire process of what happens when you have your first concern.
FOR MORE HELPFUL BLOGS FOLLOW THE LINKS: