Shweiki Media Printing Company Offers Publishers Part 4 of a 4-Part Series on Key indicators to Use as a Guide When Touring a Prospective Printer: Employee Involvement

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This week Shweiki Media presents the fourth and final part of a four-part series on the critical factors that can help determine whether a printer is really a high quality printer. These key indicators are simple things publishers can look for when touring a plant to help them determine if this is the reliable, hassle-free printer they want to work with and to assure that they make a decision that is best suited for their desired partnership. Last week went over corrective action, and the series concludes here with employee involvement.

It's crucial to check out a company's employee involvement. Ideas fuel the fire, and it's important that a company utilizes their employees to generate new, inventive concepts and methods

Is there a "gainsharing plan" or some sort of reward system for ideas that are implemented? If they have an idea in place, they will be pleased when people ask about it and more than happy to talk about it!

In part one of this series, Shweiki discussed discipline, in part two Shweiki covered technology, and in part three it was corrective action--three critical “key indicators” that your printer’s quality program is alive and well. Here, in part four, Shweiki discusses the fourth factor: employee Involvement.

The fuel that drives every continuous improvement methodology is ideas! Without ideas (and lots of them), the best intended programs will come to a screeching halt. It’s necessary to have ideas at every level and every area of an operation to be successful. It’s important to have ideas born out of frustration, customer concerns, “aha moments,” brainstorming sessions, etc. It doesn’t matter how ideas are stumbled upon … the key is to create a culture where ideas flow in abundance.

Here are some things to look for to determine if a prospective printer has the culture and process in place for generating improvement ideas:

1. Ask to see the process they have in place to capture and track continuous improvement ideas.

Since the “experts” are the people who do the work, one should look for ideas coming from every area of the operation. What percentage of their team members submitted ideas in the last quarter? (Active programs should be well over 50 percent; sometimes there are programs over 90 percent.)

2. Look to see how the ideas are being handled.

Is there an efficient process in place to evaluate and follow-up on every idea? What’s the percentage of ideas being implemented?

3. Ask how they motivate team members to submit ideas and participate in continuous improvement

Is there a “gainsharing plan” or some sort of reward system for ideas that are implemented? If they have a plan in place, they will be pleased when people ask about it and more than happy to talk about it!

Without exception, if an operation is not generating a lot of ideas from the “experts,” real continuous improvement will not take place. If one finds a prospective printer is lacking in the areas of generating, capturing, tracking, and implementing IDEAS from every area of the operation…there is a very good reason to question any quality program they claim to have in place.

Shweiki Media's mission has always been to help publishers improve by providing the most profitable, hassle-free printing experience possible. This includes guaranteeing the highest quality product, exceptional customer service and on-time delivery.

As a printer and publisher, Shweiki Media also believes that this hassle-free experience includes making their clients better. Utilizing relationships with industry experts, Shweiki Media strives to educate clients and help them thrive in the exciting world of publishing--while having lots of fun along the way! (

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David Reimherr
Shweiki Media
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