Make More With Less
What the government initially referred to as an "economic downturn" is now a recession. And graphic arts professionals, especially those who are involved in advertising and publishing, are all too familiar with its negative effects.
In times like these, very often a company's reaction is to scale back. Staffs are reduced to employees whose jobs are to produce, while employees whose jobs entail analyzing workflow, researching solutions and planning implementation are let go. Financially, this may look good on paper, but unless a company's operation is already streamlined and automated, three people cannot do what six used to, even if page counts are down.
here is another way to deal with the recession more effectively: do more with less. Improve your company's processes, increase productivity, and evaluate your workflow and procedures so that three people can accomplish what six did in the past. If the process is handled correctly, it can pay for itself within a year or two, at most. Every carefully researched and planned conversion from an analog to a 100 percent digital workflow (for a publisher, this includes receiving ads digitally in standardized formats) results in cost savings, schedule reduction, and although not as easily measurable, less stress and improved morale.
Last year, Red Herring magazine made the transition from analog to digital, went bi-weekly and brought prepress in-house. All costs, including hardware, software, personnel, consultation and training, were recouped within a year. Since then the magazine has had to cut back staff, however, because their process is completely automated and aided by the receipt of digital ads in standard file formats, they are managing. Says Fran Fox, vice president of manufacturing, "Despite a reduced work force, our totally automated workflow has allowed us to produce our publication without a single misstep."