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How Should We Run the Job?

Source: PIASC Weekly Update, April 3, 2017

When presented with a new project, it’s natural for your people to plan the job to run in the most efficient way possible. The rub comes in when we decide which way is most efficient. The decision is usually made using the same approach that we take when we estimate the job—we use hourly rates that include all of the cost of the business (building, depreciation, labor, etc.) which gives us numbers like $400/hour for the six color.

This approach can (and frequently will) lead to bad choices. For example, the job fits perfectly on our 29" 2/c, but the press is fully booked and so we have to run it on overtime. We could print it on the 40"4/c, which is open, but our system says it’s too expensive. If we think about it, the actual amount spent to run it on the bigger press is just the cost of two larger plates as the 40" crew is on the payroll anyway.

Even worse is the situation where the decision is taken to farm it out because the trade printer will do it for less than our inside estimate. The problem is that what we’re going to spend inside is some wage dollars (maybe) whereas we’ll have to write a check to the trade printers for their invoice.

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