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Stafford Printing Retrains Staff in a Hybrid Print House

Published on November 10, 2011

Howard Owen of Stafford Printing shares some of the trials and tribulations of retraining people now that they're a hybrid printer with both digital and offset.

Cary Sherburne:  Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com, and I’m here with Howard Owen of Stafford Printing.  Howard, you’ve added digital to the mix and now you’re a hybrid printer, you’ve got offset and digital.  So you have some experience with having to retrain people.  

Howard Owen:  We have, Cary.  And one of the things that or one of the problems that sort of struck us here recently is, we’ve sent our operators to class to learn how to run the press.  We’ve sent an operator to class to learn how to do maintenance.  We sent a prepress person to class to learn how to send files to the press, but our Production Manager was always at the mercy of either the prepress person or the operator on what was really going on and I sort of felt like he was a little in the dark.  And so my operator is here to sort of get a better sense about the press and how—how it operates and how it functions.  

Cary Sherburne:  So, the Production Manager really, the Production Manager isn’t actually schedule which jobs go where, but he needs to manage the people, the operators, whether they’re offset or they’re… 

Howard Owen:  He needs to manage the people, he needs to understand the color, he needs to understand the bindery that’s involved and all these little components that you don’t think about until you sit down and actually start operations and you have sort of a moment, like oh, wait a minute.  My guy is not really in the loop on this and we need to get him in the loop.  

Cary Sherburne:  He can’t do his job if he doesn’t know what he’s doing there.  

Howard Owen:  Exactly.  

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great.  So you’re using the DSCOOP Conference as a training mechanism to get him up to speed.  

Howard Owen:  Exactly.  The peer-to-peer networking, the partners who were here and then the classes themselves.  The biggest one he’s going to be attending is on digital print and on variable printing to help him understand what exactly is involved from the time the job comes in to the time it goes out the door.  

Cary Sherburne:  That’s great.  That’s a… it’s a very important point and I’m glad that you’ve brought that to our readers and hopefully it will help some other businesses avoid some of the same pitfalls.  Thank you.  

Howard Owen:  Thank you.  

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