How to ensure your bindery equipment has the support it needs during peak seasons.
Many businesses experience predictable periods when there’s a significant increase in work volume. Within the print on demand (POD) market, book manufacturers must be prepared for these periods of increased demand—and customers who expect to receive their one-off books within days (or sooner).
While challenging, these peak seasons represent highly lucrative opportunities that printers count on to meet—or exceed—yearly revenue goals. Yet many fail to properly protect their businesses from possible bindery equipment failures during these intense periods. And, let’s be honest. If your binder breaks down during a peak time, you often have a more serious crisis than if the breakdown occurred during “business as usual.” That’s because there’s simply no forgiveness when you can’t meet a deadline during a peak season. Any unforeseen delays will compel customers to change their supplier next time around.
While scheduled maintenance programs do proactively help to ensure a machine’s continued performance, printers and binderies can also enact measures that more vigorously circumvent unscheduled downtime specifically during peak seasons. One of the most effective solutions is having an OEM certified factory technician stationed within your facility during those critical periods.
Muller Martini’s Peak Support programs are highly customizable and tailored to meet any client’s very specific production challenges. Based on the complexities of the project and its delivery schedule, we develop a support mechanism tailored to those demands and expectations. So, in the event that a binder does go down, our factory certified technicians are onsite ready to respond at a moment’s notice.
Yes, there is an expense when adding peak support. That’s because the on-site technician is solely dedicated to your business. However, for many printers and binderies, it’s considered a sound investment that avoids the far greater loss of revenue earned during a peak time. Not to mention the distinct possibility that you’ll never see that customer—or revenue—again. And, you can help contain some of the expense by utilizing the on-site’s technicians’ skill and know-how if things run smoothly. Let them perform other valued functions, including preventative maintenance, operator training or equipment health assessment.
Keep in mind that often peak support isn’t just for the more obvious seasonal surges that occur during the holidays. Many, if not most, commercial offset printers anticipate major projects each year from a high visibility client, including mega-page catalogs or annual reports. Whatever the job, it can create a major bottleneck in your facility if that project experiences delays because of a breakdown. Not to mention the impact on subsequent printing projects whose deadlines are jeopardized.
There’s no denying that today’s printers and binderies are competing on a “get it now” playing field where customers have unparalleled—and often inflexible—service expectations. That’s why in order to guarantee your responsiveness during critical times, you need to deliver exemplary customer service. Consider whether it’s prudent to include on-site peak support to help insure that those critical, revenue-packed projects run smoothly.
Jody Harrison is Director of Strategic Accounts, at MMNA. Muller Martini’s operational improvement program, MMServices, offers comprehensive machine maintenance and repair services, including dedicated on-site support during peak times. Contact us for further information.