Most shops start in a garage or an unconventional space. Once they grow out of that location you might find the thriving small business hopscotching to the next location until it is outgrown.
In your business, it might be very tough to build that state-of-the-art facility while you are growing. You want to protect your cash flow, stay profitable, and not spend out of your means.
That is responsible.
If you do not have the luxury of being under one roof, you may have multiple offices or production facilities. Perhaps your sales and showroom are separate from your screen printing area.
Sensitive machinery like DTG printers or embroidery machines cannot be near the lint produced by screen printing machinery, so often times they are kept separate, on purpose.
It is perfectly okay and normal to have multiple offices, but you need to be sure you can manage your workflow seamlessly.
Use these 10 Tips to help your workflow across multiple offices.
Slack is an amazing tool that can be used as a for intercompany messaging. You can create an unlimited amount of users and create separate channels for different departments. It works across several devices and is one of the best messaging tools used in several different industries.
You may not have distinct managers in each department of your business, but be sure to have someone that is in charge of communicating. Every department should have a go-to that they can communicate with.
This may be said time and time again, but you need to physically write out how each department and office work with one another so everyone is on the same page. Make sure everyone in the business understands your workflow, backward and forwards.
As the owner of your business, you tend to be the "catch-all" while first starting out. To start creating responsibility for your employees, have weekly huddles with each department so they know their roles and how to respond to different situations.
Too many meetings can do damage to your business and yield to unproductivity in a large group. Instead, hold monthly lunch-ins or all-hands calls that go over the entire business as a whole. Set goals and hold different departments accountable. Don't forget to motivate and celebrate success!
Use systems and software that can eliminate human error and can streamline communication. Using Printavo, you can create automated messages that trigger when statuses are changed for jobs.
Your employees will be able to work smarter and more efficiently if they know the roles of the other offices. Spend downtime rotating employees to different offices so they learn the different roles around your business.
Paper invoices, carbon copies, and handwritten notes are a thing of the past. You will not survive with multiple offices if you are still writing things down with pen and paper. Install touchscreen computers and tablets around the shop. Your employees will appreciate it.
When you do go digital, make sure you have a track record of everything that you can monitor. You want to make sure orders are seamlessly moving from department to department, and when mistakes do occur you want to isolate that problem immediately.
Though you may play an integral role in one department or office in your business, it is imperative you spend time in each office working hands-on with your employees. The best business owners are great teachers, so spend time making your employees better at their jobs. If it is understanding the system, or learning a new skill, employees need continuing education.
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Printavo is simple, shop management software. We work with screen printing, embroidery, awards & engraving, signage and digital printing companies to make your workflow easier. Our software helps you keep your shop organized by handling scheduling, estimating, quote approvals, workflow, payments, accounting and more. This all allows you to work smarter, not harder.