Turning Problems into Positives

by Mark Porter, Dienamic MIS Software Inc.

As the old saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Software helps document and record problems and provides several benefits that actually can turn problems around to strengthen relationships with customers, vendors and employees, as well as improves 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 companies to sort and analyze problems that can provide many benefits such as:

  • Prevents Companies from Making the Same Mistake Twice
  • Becomes a Database of Problems and Solutions
  • Improves Relationships with Customers/Vendors/Employees
  • Minimizes Damage by Documenting Problems

1. Prevents Companies from Making the Same Mistake Twice
Another old saying goes: “You’re not stupid for making a mistake, just for making the same mistake twice.”

By recording problems against jobs, immediate notification of the issues incurred last time is available when re-quoting or rerunning a job. This is helpful at the estimate stage because it allows for quotes based on the previous information. Similarly, at the order entry, there now is 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 Solutions
Recording problems and solutions builds a knowledge base that can be accessed by employees in the future. Learn from previous mistakes by adding images and/or video of the problems/solutions to the database.

3. Improves Relationships with Customers/Vendors/Employees
Generate a list of problems that came up with good customers each quarter. Discuss those issues and offer solutions with the customer. Continually refining the working relationship between the company and customer allows for production of higher quality, better priced and better serviced products. 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. Discussing issues helps strengthen the working relationships. Trends can be seen with employees and certain operations. Say an employee is always having problems with a certain product. Additional training can be provided. Trends with vendor materials continually causing problems can be identified and rectified.

4. Minimizes Damage by Documenting Problems
If nothing else, documenting problems can save money and relationships in the event of disputes. The more documentation available, the more a company can reinforce its position to the other party in a constructive and articulate way. This can reduce or eliminate liability and open the possibility to future business.

Reprinted with permission.
Mark Porter is the president of Dienamic MIS Software, Inc. Dienamic offers a wide variety of software products and services designed specifically for trade binderies and print finishers. For more information, call 800.461.8114 or visit www.dienamicmis.com.