24 ·
real
business Graph Expo 2011 Edition
RealBusiness Magazine (RB):
What was your goal five years
ago when Ai was facing tough competition?
Dave Zamorski (DZ):
Well, one of our goals, maybe the
biggest, was to become more price competitive out in the
market. That meant reducing costs without sacrificing custom
service and quality.
RB:
How did you get started?
DZ:
We took a different approach from our competition. We
went through value stream mapping. That process pointed
out all of the areas where we had excess touches, such as in
estimating, prepress and proofing. It really opened our eyes
to how many non-value-add touches we had to manufacture
a print job.
RB:
What were some results of your mapping process?
DZ:
Imagine this. It’s 2:00 a.m. and completely dark in
here. Then, all of a sudden the iGen4s start running on their
own and producing work. There’s no one in the shop—it’s
completely unmanned. You don’t get any more profitable
work than that.
The result: When the first employees come in at 7 a.m., there
are jobs already produced and ready for finishing and/or
delivery to the customer.
RB:
Wow, weren’t you worried about quality?
DZ:
Yes, of course quality is very much a big concern of ours.
That’s why, before the operator leaves his shift, he does a
maintenance program to ensure that the iGen4 is at the top
level it can be. We also utilize
to make sure
that the color is in check.
Plus, with the upgrade we just did on the iGen4 to the 26-inch
EXP, we are able to keep the developer at its highest level at
all times. So, where in the past we had to worry about the
developer starting to degrade a little bit, it doesn’t do that
anymore. It keeps it at its highest level, which allows us to
keep our quality level up.
RB:
Tell us more about the automation you’ve created.
Dave Zamorski,
(
left) chief operating officer at Ai in Delaware,
shows how hi
®
®
wakes up” and starts printing on its
own every morning at 2 a.m. That and other forms of automation
have cut costs by 35 percent over three years.
When
was looking for ways to cut costs,
it knew automation would be the
answer.
RealBusiness Magazine
visited Dave Zamorski, chief
operating officer, to learn how
Ai made it happen.
What’s the best way
to reduce costs?
Automation!