Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Friday, May 27, 2016

Where are Pages 47-86?

               A publishing firm used a new printer for their printed material.  One of the pieces of print material that was required is a quarterly publication that contains business information, advertising, and local stories of the community. 
            The publishing firm had been using an out of state printer to produce the magazine, however, with new firm ownership, the decision was made to find a local printer.  The printer selected was in a HUB Zone (Historically Underutilized Business) zone as defined by the Small Business Administration.  This is also a woman owned, minority business that had wonderful testimonials on their web site.  There was no reason not to use a new firm—their bid was competitive and service appeared to be acceptable.
            When the magazines were delivered to the publishing firm, they were distributed in the local area.  15 minutes after the first box was distributed, the calls started coming in—we have a copy of the magazine, however, the magazine is missing pages 47-86.  Advertisers started calling--  where is our ad—the one that we paid a premium for?
            The bottom line—confusion- frustration- unhappiness and rework on all parties involved.  How could this happen?  How could 6500 magazines be produced and no one check to see if they were complete and correctly printed?
            This challenge is one that many manufacturers have every day—quality control of the final product.  In this case, it appears that not only did the printer not have a quality control program, but the binding company did not either.  Nobody seemed to check to see if the final product met customer specifications!  This is the first step that should be done whenever something new is being built, constructed, designed, engineered, and manufactured!
            Rework, schedule delays, increased costs, customer unhappiness all result when the first article is not checked to insure that it fulfills all manufacturer specifications.  We are all humans and we all make errors—that is a given.  However, in this scenario, which ended up being a comedy of errors all around, many people were involved, but no one checked to insure that the product was correctly produced!
            Remember the old carpenter adage, “Measure twice, cut once.”  Sadly, that did not happen in this instance—creating challenges all around.


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