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Ten questions to check the health of your business

Thursday, 15 February 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

If your business has survived the past few years in the printing industry then you’re obviously doing something right. But how well integrated are you and your staff when it comes to dealing with different systems and situations?

Most of us would be quick to say that our business prides itself on adaptability and organisation; but before we blow our trumpets too loudly, it’s worth considering the following questions:

  • If a client rings to ask where their job is up to, how long does it take you to find out? Can the information usually be given without them leaving their desk or do staff have to go out to the factory or try and find the supervisor to get an answer.
  • Can you tell on a daily basis the number of quotes that a rep, or all reps, brings in each day, or more importantly the dollar value of jobs they have sold for you today?
  • How much work has been invoiced out today? Can you find this out yourself at 5.30pm when the accounts staff have gone home?
  • How close to the sales budget for the month are you today?
  • What jobs are overdue and are they for customers that have penalties or those who you are trying to get more work from?
  • Do job bags occasionally get “lost” before they are invoiced? Do you know how can you be sure they are all invoiced?
  • Can your accounts staff put clients in debt recovery on hold so that no more quote/jobs are looked at for them?
  • Can you correctly invoice jobs that have been cancelled during the production process?
  • If your best customer said “I need you to offer an online ordering system for the Stock you hold for me, as my branches are in my ear about the old fashioned order process. I don’t want to take work away from you, we’ve worked well together for years but …” How ready are you to say: “No problem, we need to sort out a few things with your order team, but I am confident we would be ready to go in two weeks”!
  • If your accounts person had to spend two weeks in hospital, would your cash flow suffer?

    If you managed to respond positively to the majority of these questions then you’re on a good wicket. But it’s important to remember that integration is also about the day-to-day duties that help companies serve their customers; and it’s also important to develop and manage future growth.

    If you would like to improve your systems integration then contact your local Q&P Distributor.

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