GRAPHICS PRO

December '20

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PREPARE TO PRODUCE WORKFLOW TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR EMBROIDERY PROCESS B Y E R I C H C A M P B E L L 7 6 G R A P H I C S P R O D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M I n a time when we may find ourselves ei- ther with reduced levels of staff or work- ing entirely on our own, it's more im- portant than ever to maintain efficiency. If we want to keep our output up, even when we can't count on more hands to keep things moving, it's important to refine our processes and find ways to both reduce wasted time and make the best use of our most precious resource—labor. By looking to our setup, evaluating our assets, and walking through our workflow, we can identify potential slow- downs and prepare our shops to be the most productive they can be. When I examine the existing workflow in embroidery shops, it's only infrequently that the act of embroidering itself is causing slow- downs in the production process. Almost in- variably, the most wasted time comes from improper preparation. INFORMATION FLOW The chief failure is usually in managing infor- mation. Particularly in the case that your shop has separate sales or customer service staff and production staff, the largest loss of time comes from incomplete or missing information and assets in the production department. Look at your information workflow and make certain that every job entering the pro- duction floor has all of the details needed to produce said job attached directly or properly referenced to the blanks in a central informa- tion system. Unless there is an unforeseen is- sue, there should be little reason for a produc- tion staffer to ring up the sales or managerial staff to ask for thread colors, logo placement, size/logo/personalization verification, or any type of information. If a machine operator has to call or visit sales staff to handle an order, you are losing time. In the same vein, all information needed to prepare an order should be handled within the process of interviewing the customer, save YOUR EMBROIDERY PROCESS A P P A R E L D E C O R A T I N G Technologies exist to help you automate your in- formational workflow, like pulling the correct files from a centralized source based on barcodes printed on your production paperwork. Time-sav- ers like this can help you do more with less staff and time. (All images courtesy Erich Campbell)

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