by Dienamic MIS Software Inc.

1-800-461-8114
www.dienamicmis.com/





Thursday, May 25, 2017

PURCHASING ANOTHER PIECE OF THE PROFIT PUZZLE


After successfully implementing the Dienamic Estimating, MIS and Online Inquiry Software System in over 100 Finishers/Binderies/Diemakers Dienamic can bring your company results on how to

Increase Sales
Increase Quality

Increase Profitability
Increase Customer Loyalty

By Mark Porter

All companies have to purchase both materials and services in their day to day activities. The levels of those purchases can vary from industry to industry and from company to company. Certainly the industries of Print Finishing, Trade Binding and Diemaking are more labor based then material based but purchases must still be made.

These days anytime money leaves your company it is vital that you have accountability for that money and confirmation that you received the value you expected for the funds.

Purchase Orders should be generated for all purchases. This includes items for specific jobs, materials for inventory, any outside labor services and general office purchases such as supplies.

Issuing purchase orders whether written or verbal is the same as writing a check from your company to the vendor . Whether your company makes many purchases or only a few each one represents money leaving your company that should be controlled.

A Purchasing System should record every purchase order issued. This provides accountability of who is issuing purchase orders and where they are being sent to. By making people accountable for the purchase orders they issue you will ensure they are more careful with the purchases they make.

When goods or services are received they should be matched up to the original purchase order to ensure that you have received the full order, more than was ordered or if items are still to be received.

When the Vendor Invoice is received it should be matched up to the original purchase order to check that the prices on the invoice match the prices that were approved on the purchase order.

The Vendor Invoice should also be matched up to the receipt of goods to ensure that the vendor is not billing you for more goods than you actually received.

Our industries are so job based it is often a good idea to take a step back and view purchases by vendor and employees issuing POs.

By ensuring your company follows these procedures you can tighten your financial control of another aspect of your business to ensure you are maximizing the success of your company.


Friday, April 28, 2017

MINING FOR DATA GOLD

By Mark Porter
Job Costing - whether done via time sheets or shop floor data collection is the process of tracking every minute of every day of each machine and employee. This not only allows us to get accurate costing of how much each job actually cost us to produce but also allows us to analyze all aspects of our operations.

How much of employee John's Smith time last quarter was chargeable(rebilled) and how much was non chargeable. How many hours did we spend repairing that old Kluge press last year. Collecting shop floor data allows you to easily find this information out.

This type of information can allow you to control your labor costs and make more informed decisions regarding the machines in your company 

We can extend this further if we start to track characteristics of jobs. For example what was the average running speed on 28x40 sheets of 10pt coated stock 2 up on the Bobst press.

How much time did we spend waiting for Customer ABC to do press oks.

This type of information can help with providing more accurate estimates. This is very important because if we are quoting a job at 3000 per hour when we are only achieving 2500 on the shop floor we are losing money as soon as we get the order. Conversely if we quote at 2500 per hour and are actually achieving 3000 on the shop floor we are losing jobs we could be producing profitably.

You do not have to be limited by the analysis our software allows you to do. All this data can be sent to excel where you can sort and analyze the data in ways that answer questions that are specific to your company.

There is a wealth of information happening in your plant every day. You simply need to start collecting it and analyzing it to help you improve productivity and profitability

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Turn Problems into Positives

By Mark Porter

As the old saying goes "When life gives you lemons make lemonade". This can be applied to the daily problems you encounter in your business.

Software can help documenting and recording problems provides several benefits to your company and you can actually turn problems around to strengthen relationships with customers, vendors, employees and improve operating procedures.

Providing employees easy entry of information such as Job Number, Customer, Vendor, Employee, Department, Problem Type (Paper, MR, etc), Quantity effected, Problem Description, Problem Solution etc allows you to sort and analyze problems which can provide many benefits such as:


Don't Make The Same Mistake Twice
Becomes a Database of Problems and Solutions
Improve Relationships With Customer/Vendors/Employees
Documenting Problems Minimizes Damage


1. Don't Make The Same Mistake Twice 


Another old saying goes "Your not stupid for making a mistake just for making the same mistake twice."

By recording problems against jobs you can be immediately notified when re quoting or rerunning that job of the issues incurred last time. At the estimate stage it allows you to re quote the job based on the previous information or at Order Entry you have the option to not proceed with the job if the customer is not willing to incur the extra costs this time around.

2. Becomes a Database of Problems and Solution
s

Recording problems and solutions builds a knowledge base that can be accessed by employees in the future. By entering the problems with data such as department, problem type employee etc allows us to shorten the solution time to similar problems in the future.

Combine this with the ability to add video and images of the problems/solutions to the database and you can learn from your previous mistakes.


3. Improve Relationships With Customer/Vendors/Employees

Generate a list of problems you have with good customers each quarter and then discuss those issues and offer solutions with the customer. Continually refining the working relationship between your company and customers allows you to produce higher quality, better priced and better serviced products for them. This strengthens the bond with that customer ensuring it takes a bigger mistake or price difference for them to take their business elsewhere.

The same logic applies to vendors and employees. By discussing issues with people you strengthen the working relationships to the betterment of your company.

Trends can be seen with employees and certain operations. Say an employee is always having problems with MR a certain product. Additional training can be provided. Trends with Vendor materials continually causing problems can be identified and rectified.


4. Documenting Problems Minimizes Damage

If nothing else documenting problems can save money and relationships in the event of disputes. The more documentation you have the more you reinforce your position to the other party in a constructive and articulate way. This can reduce or eliminate your liability and open the possibility to future business.

So next time you make mistake make your company stronger for the experience

Thursday, February 23, 2017

CASH IS KING


By Mark Porter

Controlling your cash is vital in todays economy but you are probably also under staffed and over worked - a perfect combination that can lead to missing items that can greatly effect your cash flow.
Therefore it is vital that you have the check and balances built into your operations that will help avoid bad customers, missed charges, paying too much to vendors and maintaining cash flow.
We are not going to look at this topic from the accounting side. We will assume that everyone has an accounting system such as Quickbooks or Peachtree etc and is watching their aging process (the accounts not themselves). We will deal with the management side in this Blog.

Avoid Bad Customers
Chargeable Changes
Start Your Aging As Soon As Possible
Don't Miss Any Jobs (Shipped Not Invoiced)
Don't Over Pay Suppliers
Other Production Tips

Avoid Bad Customers: Debt from one Bad Customer can wipe out profit from a lot of Good Jobs so it is vital that you stay on top of COD and delinquent customers. These days this information can be continually changing and it is important that everyone is aware of a customer's status. There is nothing worse then shipping a job to a customer on COD before getting the money or calling a customer to tell them you are holding their job back only to find out they sent you a check earlier.

Allowing Management to make credit decisions on customers and to convey that decision immediately to other staff is very important. Management can simply flag a customer as COD or On Hold and immediately order entry people cannot open orders without a security password and shipping people cannot create packing slips without a security password.


Chargeable Changes: Profit margins on jobs are so thin these days that any extra work can turn a job from money maker to money loser. It is vital that you track your chargeable changes and collect them from your customer. Implement a system that will document all changes made to the order from the time you agree to do the job until you ship that job to the customer. The changes should be Date / Time / Employee and Reason stamped. Change Orders should be sent and immediately email notification to the customers of the changes. These changes should be immediately reflected on the invoice but allow for changes at that time.

If you keep record of every change and document the reasons for the changes you will collect your legitimate extra fees.

Start Your Aging As Soon As Possible: We all know that customers are going to take their time paying you whether that is 30, 60, 90, 120 days so the sooner you can start the clock the better. When you generate your physical invoice automatically email a pdf copy of it to your customer at the same time. This avoids any delay in mailing invoices and allows you to collect your money days earlier.

Customers will want your invoice asap so that they can bill their customers and keep their cash flow going. You may not get your money any sooner but you will become a more desirable vendor for them.

Don't Miss Any Jobs: Reduced staffs and hurried work schedules can lead to people doing things they forget about. Maybe a job is shipped and then your plant manager pulls the Job Bag to write something on it and then forgets to but it back in the billing file. Or maybe the job bag fell behind the shippers desk. The end result is a shipped job that isn't billed at all or billed at a much later date when it is found which is uncomfortable and embarrassing.

Run reports each Friday that provide a list of jobs shipped but not invoiced. Don't let any hard earned money slip through your fingers.

Don't Over Pay Purchases: Everyone makes mistakes including suppliers but you shouldn't have to pay for their mistakes. By issuing POs, recording receipts and entering Vendor Invoices you can be instantly flagged when the invoice price varies from the PO and the Quantity billed exceeds the Quantity received. You work hard for your money don't give it away to suppliers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Customer Profiling Leads to Customer Profits

By Mark Porter

It has always been important to treat every customer as if they are your best customer. These days it is even more important that all customers are handled with the greatest of care.


There is no room for error because there is always another company down the street willing to pounce on your mistakes.


Great customer service does many good things


1. Avoid embarrassing Mistakes that lose Customers


2. Avoid re-doing work that costs you money


3. Avoid Production Delays that cost money and miss deadlines


4. Fends off competition that is willing to do a job for slightly less than your price.


The problem is that part of great customer service is knowing all the different details on how a customer likes to operate. What we call the Customer Profile.


This is often a knowledge base accumulated in a CSR or owner's head that cannot be easily dispersed to other members of your staff.


Samples of this type of information are:


Must have PO to Start Job


Must provide 2 samples to President


No Deliveries after 5pm, must use their truck


Dies for Bobst Press must use 3pt rule, Birch Board, Red Rhino Rubber


Never more than 35lbs per carton


Always Wrap skids


By making this knowledge base accessible to all staff members it means that Good Customer Service is not dependant on the availability of one person.


When a database of this knowledge or Customer Profile is accumulated it can be accessed by:


Estimating - Ensuring they have all details at the beginning of the estimate avoids embarrassing extra charges or worse additional costs you can't get back when the job is produced.


Order Entry - Access to the Customer Profile when a job is opened ensures production has a solid foundation to produce a profitable job. Changes to jobs once production begins leads to costs, production delays and missed deadlines.


Production - Production Employee access to the Customer Profile allows staff to make educated decisions on situations that occur in non office hours or when the CSR or owner are not available.


Administration - Office Staff can work with clients in terms of samples, deliveries invoices etc exactly as the customer demands.


Sales - Your knowledge base of customers can be a sales tool to gain more customers. When you do your plant tours and show prospects the equipment and employees that will produce their jobs, show a sample of the knowledge base and help support your claims of quality and customer service.


Companies find the Customer Profiling so important that the knowledge base is employee and date stamped whenever a change is made to it. This provides complete accountability to your customer service process.


Accumulating Customer Profile Information and making it accessible throughout your company leads to accumulating Customer Profits.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

KNOWING WHATS NOT HAPPENING IS IMPORTANT TOO

By Mark Porter

Information is obviously very valuable because it identifies what is happening in your business.

For example how many estimates did you do last month. What did it cost you to run that job. How much revenue was generated by different job types. etc.

But Information can also provide tremendous value by telling you what is not happening in your business.

We often call these Exception Reports. They identify things that didn't or aren't happening in your company and this can be invaluable information.

Lets look at some examples.

What if every Friday afternoon you could get a list of all jobs shipped last week but not billed. This information can be determined very quickly and avoids the potential situation of losing revenue or the embarassement of billing a customer much later when the mistake is evetually discovered.

You can also avoid the even more embarrassing situation of Jobs Billed but Not Shipped.

Another example of identifying things that are not happening in your business can be in the area of No Recent Estimates or No Recent jobs.

You can identify when a customer is starting to move his business to another supplier. The sooner your company can identify this trend the greater your chance of correcting the situation and gaining back the customer's confidence and revenue.

It is great to know what jobs were shipped today but it is just as important to know which jobs were scheduled to be shipped to day and weren't.

Won/Loss Estimate Reports not only tell you the customers and job types you are doing well with but also identify customers and job types that are fading and again allowing you to identify that trend as soon as possible so that you can take corrective action.

It is always good to know what goods you received today but it is tremendous value to know as soon as possible which goods didn't show up. Goods that didn't arrive on time threaten delivery times and throw off production schedules.

Knowing which employees on the first shift clocked in can be useful but the real value is identifying how many and which employees didn't clock in so that you can adjust the production schedule accordingly or call in more help.

It is great to know which dies were used but it is also good to know which dies have not been used in the last 2 years so that they can be destroyed or sent back to the customer.

So we can see that Information can bring tremendous benefits by telling you what is happening in your business but it can also bring tremendous benefit by telling you what is not happening in your business

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Greater Focus Leads to Greater Profits

By Mark Porter

I was reading an old article on the history of Estimating Software in the Printing Industry and found a very interesting fact that could benefit the Finishing/Binding and Diemaking Industries.

According to the NAQP (National Association of Quick Printers) in 2007 on average companies using estimating software reported $47,000 more in owner's compensation then those using manual estimating systems.

The estimating software forced the owners to look at their true costs of producing different jobs and this allowed them to identify and focus on the type of work they did most profitably.

I think this lesson can be applied to any job oriented manufacturing business whether it is printing, finishing, binding or diemaking.

The more you can focus your efforts and production resources on specific products the more profitable your business will be.

If you were to make a graph of all jobs you did in a given year and make the verticle bar PROFIT and the horizontal bar JOBS and then place a dot on the graph for each job based on its profitability.

The dots above the horizontal line would be profitable the ones below would be not. We must minimize the types of jobs that fall below the line and maximize the type of jobs that appear above the line.

By identifying what distinguished the most profitable jobs the companies could try to replicate those conditions to get more and more of their jobs into this category.

Estimating not only helps you identify your true costs but it also allows you to analyze estimates to ensure you maintain your market advantages in the profitable products.

Won/Loss reports based on product type helps you monitor your valued markets against potential competition.

Won/Loss based on customers allow you to ensure that customers are staying happy with your service.

Daily listings of estimates to follow up ensures you don't lose any of your high profit jobs for stupid reasons.

Estimate listings by salesreps ensure that they are chasing the profitable work.

When I look at our customers the most successful ones are allways the ones with specific markets and product niches.

One of the most impressive things I have heard in an estimating department is "NO BID" because the quote did not fall into their desired product mix.