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FLEXO Magazine : July 2009
PLANTS & PROCESSES So, how should a well-managed pressrun go when your customer is attending? 1. Make sure you assign a point of contact with your attendee in advance of the date. Call him or her up the evening before to let them know there are no delays, in the morning call one hour before the scheduled pressrun to verify the time. If the job is delayed, he or she can get more work done in the hotel. It is frustrating to be at the plant and ready by 5 a.m. only to see the fi rst sheet at 10 a.m. 2. Greet the client and have a short team meeting with the CS rep. and crew that will be printing the job. This clears up any confusion, breaks the ice and also gives the client a chance to go over what design elements are most important. Everyone in attendance should get a chance to air concerns. This can make managing expectations easier. 3. Bring out only press-pull samples that you would expect to be signed. The samples should be as free of printing defects as possible. Unless you are really stuck on an issue, showing the client out-of-register pulls or off-color balance will only delay the project. If you are able to get it really close, you are more likely to get the press sheet signed. 4. Avoid pointing fi ngers at one of your team members in front of your client. You should always look buttoned up in front to a customer. If someone made a bad plate, it would be best to have that discussion in private. This is very important when working with a prepress provider. 5. If you do allow your client on the pressroom fl oor, make sure the plant is clean. It should be clean all the time; I always stress that a clean plant is a well-run plant. If you need to, remind your staff that your client may not be used to being in a printing facility. Take a quick safety walk-through before bringing the client in. Follow your PPE (personal protective equipment) procedures and have your client and staff follow them also. I have been in some plants that require me to wear safety shoes, hearing protection and glasses, but noticed that some of the staff cut corners in this area. Once the job is approved, keep records of what challenges came up and what was done to fi x them. The press operator should take notes also. If possible, approve one job at a time or if there are multiple SKU’s, work on the biggest volume or critical piece fi rst. If the job runs on multiple presses or facilities, if possible, start-up and get approval on the press that will have the bigger challenge, that way when the color is on-spec, the second press will have a shorter lead time getting on-spec. Older more experienced brand managers who have attended pressruns will be aware of tactics that some printers use to get the signature. For example, upon fi nding a major printing error once, I had a lead operator tell me that he and his crew were wondering to themselves how long it was going to take me to discover the issue. I would have rather had them alert me to it and begin the plate process to get it fi xed. If you catch something that your customer didn’t see, it is a big win for everyone involved. Don’t try to hide mistakes or cover up problems. If the ink is off, be up-front. Don’t talk about dry-back, humidity, ink brands or make excuses. This will create an atmosphere of distrust, which will delay the process. Brand managers do talk to buyers! Choosing to work as a partner with your brand team customers will be easier once they have confi dence with your staff and what tactics you use to get the job done right and have procedures in-place to handle the majority of challenges that come up. Once your CPC client sees that you are using these techniques, he or she will become confi dent that you can reproduce the job on-spec every time and will be less likely to attend future pressruns—after all, companies are trying to limit travel expenses these days. ■ ABOUT THE AUTHOR: With more than 24 years printing and packaging experience, as the art director and prepress manager for CCL Label during the 1990s, Barry Sanel worked his way into the creative services department at Snapple Beverage Group, which was sold to Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages in late 2000, where he ended up managing the packaging for many brands including Mott’s, Nantucket Nectars and Stewart’s Root Beer brands. Sanel now runs his own packaging consulting company called Barry Sanel Packaging Advisors which offers a variety of print management services including attending press approvals on short notice. 34 FLEXO JULY 2009 www. f le xography. org
Sustainable Spring 2009