In this blog series, I’ve shared about the important role that social media marketing can play as part of your marketing efforts for your print business. We’ve covered the powerful ways that Twitter, Facebook, blogs and LinkedIn can enhance the visibility of your business and the reach of your marketing messages. In this final installment, I’d like to share how two additional social media platforms can do even more to help get your message heard—Google+ and YouTube.
I am an avid reader—have been since childhood. I am also a technology geek, so when e-readers hit the market I was ecstatic. No more toting heavy tomes on long trips, no fear of running out of something to read, no more books cluttering the nooks and crannies in my house. I was sure my quality of life was going to improve. However, three e-readers, two tablets and four mobile devices later, I still find myself drawn to good old paper—and not just because I earn my living in the printing industry.
An interesting study that came out over the summer indicated that reading retention was significantly lower in those who used e-readers versus printed books. I started thinking about that. I am the type that when I read a book review in a magazine or newspaper, and it sounds like it’s one I might enjoy, I download it right away. Once I read a book on my e-reader, I immediately delete it and send it to the cloud. But more and more frequently, I’ve discovered as I come across a review for a book and I go to download it, I get that message “you previously downloaded this book.” While I appreciate the reminder so I’m not double paying, I tend to feel a bit confused … I’ve already read this book? So I’ll go to the cloud, download it, read a few pages and find I have absolutely no recall.
In creating your company’s value stream, planning, assessing and determining practical and useful benchmarks and goals for improvement is important, but the hardest part is making it all actually work. Your employees may believe “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” A new program or new incentive is posted on a bulletin board, generates some enthusiasm at first, and then months later, it’s all forgotten, lost amidst deadlines, overtime, client meetings, breakdowns, praise and complaints. By failing to follow through, all of your planning may come to represent just another source of wasted time and effort.
Conducting a redesign of your operation requires the active buy-in of all of your employees, and also a firm commitment at the management level. Your employees must participate in developing and sustaining the value stream, but they probably will only take this project as seriously as you do.
Toyota Motor Corp. has given manufacturers in all fields—and all over the world—a model of efficient, value stream production. While producing automobiles is quite a different thing than producing printed materials, much can be learned from Toyota’s philosophy. The Toyota system originally identified seven sources of waste:
Lean Printing means operational efficiency with the goal of identifying and weeding out wasteful processes and resources that do not add value, but rather, reduce a print company’s profits. Operational efficiency also involves implementing new work processes and the latest technologies that improve quality, productivity and environmental sustainability.
Typically, “waste” in a printing company is related to paper and ink – the trim, the roll or skid that might have been spoiled in the warehouse, the printed sheets wasted as the press comes up to color, or wasted as the color or density shifts somewhere in the course of the press run. These are examples of wasted materials, but there may be other kinds of waste in your business that are harder to identify yet may be squandering more of your resources.