The Hidden Costs of Re-Work

Most rework can be prevented. Given the impact that rework can have on profits, managers should take a close look at this important issue. In a slow-growth, low-margin business, even small improvements can significantly boost profits.

As an old typesetter from back in the days when typesetting had value, Doc knows that one mistake can ruin a whole job and cost significant dollars to fix. Not only is there the additional material cost to do the job over again, but there's also lost value in the original job which had significant time devoted to it. And when it comes to print, re-runs add a significant impact on the bottom line.

So I think everyone can benefit from this terrific article by David Dodd on the blog Print CEO. David makes the case that mistakes are one part of the document workflow that must be looked at more carefully. If you're going to do everything possible from a managed print services perspective to be ultra-efficient, it all goes south when you have to do jobs over again because of human errors.

The real tragedy here is that most of the errors that create the need for rework are preventable.  To prevent these errors, a company needs three things:

  • A system of quality processes and tools that are designed to prevent errors from occurring (or detect them as soon as possible)

  • Employees that consistently follow the quality processes and use the quality tools
  • When an error does occur, the company must have a process that identifies the root cause of the error and determines whether the error was caused by a flaw in a quality process or tool or a failure to use the process or tool in the right way

Most rework can be prevented.  Given the impact that rework can have on profits, managers should take a close look at this important issue.  In a slow-growth, low-margin business, even small improvements can significantly boost profits.

So Doc says be sure you have the right people and processes in place to minimize errors and catch mistakes. It only takes a couple of re-worked jobs to pay for proofreading and fact-checking. But please, don't practice those skills here on the Doc's blog – I hate taking my own medicine!

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