December '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 D E C E M B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 8 1 that it's never advisable to have choke points where a single person's absence brings your work to a halt. Save for skilled positions that aren't easily trained, every position should have at least partial coverage through cross-training. Basic machine operation, the ability to fetch and prepare files, shipping/receiving, and the basic access to and handling of ac- counts—these things shouldn't be relegated to a single staffer. While we are still facing slowdowns and staggered startups, it's a good idea for staff members to spend slow shifts becoming educated on unfamiliar tasks and positions. Don't wait to put tools and clear policies in place to enable multiple people to deal with critical tasks, and make sure it's well known who will handle a task when the primary worker is not available. Cross-training your staff on multiple positions also helps communication, even when your staff is fully present, as cross-de- partmental training directly exposes work- ers to the needs and challenges faced by staffers in other positions. Much of the ef- ficacy of this cross-training is tied up in asset and information management; at any time, staffers should be able to find and report on the current status of an order. Similarly, no production job should wait because only one staffer knows the location of or has access to critical assets, tools, or supplies. Just as universal access to informa- tion allows any staffer to answer customer inquiries, having universal access to neces- sary assets and tools means that your staff are never stuck when they need to make progress on an order. IN CONCLUSION Though it's especially important in our current situation, having an eye toward ef- ficiency is always good for our productivity, and ultimately, for our profit margin. Look to your process, find frequent slowdowns, and make sure your staff knows how to fill in where they see a need. You'll never be sor- ry to have ensconced this added flexibility and smooth workflow into your company culture. GP ERICH CAMPBELL has more than 18 years' experience as an award-winning digitizer, eCommerce manager, and industry educator. He empowers decorators to do their best work and achieve a greater success. A current educator and long-time contributor to industry trade publications, Erich takes every opportunity to provide value to the industry. Exclusive Dimensional Graphics Your logo deserves more dimension! Lextra® • TackleKnit® • ChromaFlex® • LumoTex® • ColorCrest® | | Made in Colorado b Quality, Reliability, and a Superior Stitch. and a Superior Stitch. Machine Sales (800) 627-4776

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