Bottom Line Up Front: Learn the importance of change management at print shops and how InkSoft can help you with that process.

Change is not an easy thing and, in a lot of instances, can cause tension. For print shops, change can be tricky since it impacts everyone, from the sales team handling emails and phone calls to the production team printing and packing shirts.

One of the most effective ways shop owners can implement significant changes is by having a roadmap for the process. This strategy is typically known as change management. It’s a widely discussed concept in the business world, and there are ways you can use InkSoft’s tools to reinforce and streamline change management.

What is Change Management?

Harvard Business School describes change management as “guiding organizational change to fruition, from the earliest stages of conception and preparation, through implementation and, finally, to resolution.” In other words, a strategy that helps you smoothly introduce and implement change from start to finish.

That process ranges from about 4-8 steps, depending on the organization or expert offering their advice. For this example, let’s use Harvard Business School’s five-step version as a guide.

Prepare Your Team

Getting everyone at your shop onboard is the first step towards any major change. Without buy-in from everyone, the process will fizzle out further on. Your team might be comfortable with “how it’s always been done,” using tools like spreadsheets and paper order forms. So, switching to a platform like InkSoft might seem too drastic since it means moving all those processes to a single platform and ditching all those stacks of invoices and slips.

A big part of preparing your teams for change is helping them understand why change is so important. This is an excellent opportunity to show them how they’ll benefit from InkSoft. If important order details are getting lost, customer due dates aren’t being met, or misprints are piling up, these are all things you can change with the platform. Your team can use InkSoft quotes and invoices to build more complete orders that track when a customer’s approved a quote and artwork and store important information on what the job requires, like ink colors and thread weights.

Build a Plan

Creating a business plan usually happens when you’re preparing for the upcoming year. Still, there aren’t any hard and fast rules about when to start. If you want a deeper dive into creating a business plan, check out our earlier post about this topic. When planning for change, you’ll want to use some similar criteria, like:

  • Goals: What will this change help improve at your shop? Maybe you’re looking to add more customers, reduce misprints, speed up production, or improve efficiency with a smaller workforce. Whatever your goals are, you can dial in all these processes with InkSoft’s tools.
  • Trackable performance: How will you measure the success of that change at your shop? With InkSoft, you can easily track all your customer orders so your team can see how order volume is progressing throughout the year. And, you can easily pull up order history to see your most lucrative jobs over time.
  • Delegation: Implementing effective change requires delegating the work to different team members. Your head of production can easily communicate with the rest of the team on work order details with InkSoft’s production management tools. Production team members can share important notes on a customer order so that everything gets printed quickly and accurately. Handy features like production cards let you build jobs according to your shop’s workflow and make it easier for your team to prioritize orders so they can move away from the messy whiteboard or Post-It collection.
  • Scope: This component shares the most in common with building a business plan. You’ll want to outline what steps and actions are needed to implement change and anything that falls outside the scope of those steps.
InkSoft Print Shop Business Management Software

Implementation

After getting buy-in from your team and building out your change plan, it’s time to implement that change. The good news is that if you’re moving your team onto InkSoft after years of using a different system, you’ll get some extra guidance every step of the way. InkSoft Support helps guide customers through the setup and implementation of the platform and answers any questions you have to make sure you get the best experience possible. Best of all, that support is rooted in industry expertise, so you’ll be able to get the critical info you need for running a custom printed merch business.

Maintain the change

With any significant changes in a business, there’s always the risk of moving backward if a team isn’t happy with a new procedure or system. Even though switching to a new platform will be difficult for some team members, this is another component bolstered by the support you’ll get by switching to the platform. Whether it’s your team or yourself that has questions when challenges arise, you’ll get the help you need form InkSoft’s support team to ensure you stick with it. Plus, your team will benefit from reduced misprints and increased efficiencies over time, which directly tie back into customer satisfaction. If your customers are happy and jobs are leaving the shop on time, your team will benefit from a new system and feel less inclined to slide backward to old processes.

Reassess

Once the change has been established, you’ll want to assess how successful that change has met your goals. You’ll be able to pull hard numbers using InkSoft’s Orders and Sales Reports and get a clear picture of your shop’s performance.

There will always be hesitation to change.  But if you’re able to show your team the benefits of streamlining their workflow and improving communication across all shop areas, you’ll be able to implement that change much easier. And suppose your customers benefit from those improvements with faster turnarounds, higher-quality print jobs, and easier ways to sell online with InkSoft Stores. In that case, you’ll have a set of repeat clients that will help spread the word and bolster your shop’s reputation.

Ready to see how InkSoft can help you effectively implement change at your shop? Contact a Client Advisor today for a 15-minute, personalized tour.

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