From what I have gathered from attending PSP User Group conferences and talking to many of you who have bought PSP Webdesk and Manager, there are a few ways in which we have implemented PSP into our workflows:
1. Fully Implemented – Meaning that 100% of your parent organization’s orders are placed through PSP either through Webdesk or Manager. Because all orders are channeled through PSP, a fully implemented process enables the in-plant manager to provide accurate estimates/invoices, manage reliable inventories, and run useful reports. However, as many of you know, a fully implemented process takes a LOT of work in data collection, pricing and educating customers in how to successfully submit work via Webdesk. Those that do go all-in and choose to be fully implemented are better positioned to combat attempts of outsourcing the in-plant to raiding print providers.
2. Hybrid Implemented – Fully implemented but a certain amount of non-parent organization’s orders are placed through another submission process. For example, Campus Graphics is fully implemented with our institutional and most of our retail customers, but we use Papercut so students can print and pay in our retail center. As long as data is successfully tracked from these non-PSP orders, inventory and accounting reports can be married to PSP data to accurately reflect the productivity and revenue of the in-plant.
3. Semi-Implemented – Meaning that at least 90% of your parent organization’s incoming orders are placed in PSP through Webdesk. Some other type of order intake like email or hardcopy job tickets are still utilized and accepted. Either chosen intentionally because management does not see the need for being fully implemented or the manager is constrained by internal or external factors that prevent from being fully implemented- i.e. active obstruction by customers who have the power to prevent the move to be fully implemented (can you say faculty?). The disadvantages of being semi-implemented is that all the work has been done to install PSP but the full benefits of PSP cannot be utilized because data is missing or only reflects a portion of what is actually going on in the in-plant. Please keep in mind that most of us who are fully implemented started as being semi-implemented in the unveiling of PSP to our customers and workflow.
For those of you who have not fully implemented PSP into your workflow, I have some suggestions on how to apply solution engineering and Lean Six Sigma methodology to assist you in your PSP implementation process:
- Observe Gall’s Law: A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: a complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You must start over, beginning with a simple system. This is where being semi-implemented is a good way to start in designing your PSP process. Choose specific customers who you trust to beta-test the architecture and User experience of the online submission process. Sit with them as they submit orders and immediately respond and correct any problems as they are encountered. Remember that doing nothing or little adjustments (engineers call it cessation) sometimes improves the system. During your beta-testing phase design the PSP process to be:
- Resilient: Designing flexibility in a system to handle anything thrown at it without failing.
- Fail Safe: A back-up system designed to prevent or allow recovery from a primary system failure.
- Stress Tested: Identifying the boundaries of a system by simulating specific environmental conditions (what would it take to break the system?).
While edu’s staff will walk you through whatever implementation process you choose, successful implementation relies on the accuracy of your data and the quality of the decisions you will need to make along the way in revealing the new process to your customers. I wish you well in implementing PSP into your workflow and reaping all the benefits that PSP can offer.
If you would like more information on how to apply Lean Six Sigma principles in managing your inplant, my coursepack to Lean Six Sigma, Managing for Quality in Graphic Communication will be available for purchase this Fall. Once available I will announce in the PSP User Forum for those that are interested in a copy. If you have not registered for the PSP User Forum, sign up here.
Gordon Rivera has over 20 years of experience working in an in-plant print shop. He is currently Supervisor of Campus Graphics at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California. He received his degree in Graphic Communications from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt as well as a G7 certified print professional. He is a contributing writer for In-Plant Graphics Magazine. Gordon has been teaching evening classes in Graphic Communication at Cal Poly for 10+ years. Gordon has been a Print Shop Pro® User since 2008.