Necessary Changes

Necessary Changes

By Erin Mahan

If you’re anything like me, you don’t like change.  You like the way you do things or the way things are, and you have a hard time deviating from that.  In most areas, this traditional mindset is beneficial in that you trust in tried and true practices or principles, and you’re not just carried away by whims or trendy progressive thinking.  However, in the manufacturing realm, in particular the paper converting realm, alongside tradition, there must be a willingness to change.  The word “change” entails a lot, but in the sense it is used here it refers to innovation and improvement- two essential components to any business.

Innovation is essential to a paper converting company.  It is what separates you from “Joe Schmo” paper converter who still operates his factory like his great grandfather did eighty years ago.  Converters like Joe still manually process orders, and don’t think it is necessary to use any sort of automated system.  This may work for Joe now, but he will most likely lose out to more innovative converters who re-evaluate their old methods and are constantly on the look out for ways to improve their sales and efficiency.

The Benefits of Innovation

The innovative converter knows that having a sales representative manually key in orders and information into a computer is time wasted.  A fully automated system that generates orders, perpetually tracks inventory, gives real time visibility to inventory on the floor, and shows order status at all points, is invaluable to the converter.  Automation reduces manual entry time, increases efficiency, and gives more time to generate new orders, boosting company revenue.

An Example

Three sales representatives at Acme Converting each manually key in thirty quotes a day.  Unfortunately, only 20 of those 30 quotes turn into orders.  Three people losing 10 orders a day for five days means that at the end of the week 150 quotes are lost.  The head of Acme Converting sees this loss and decides to try an automated system in order to allow the sales representatives more time to actually sell and generate orders.  This change increases the sales representatives’ productivity by 6%.  This looks like a small number, but with a 10% profit margin on all orders, and the average sale being $2000, 9 extra sales per week is $1800 which translates to $90,000 a year of extra revenue for Acme Converting.

A Change for the better

$90,000 a year of extra revenue is quite an improvement for any company.  That is why it is so important for the converter to be knowledgeable about his current system-fully aware of what works and what doesn’t work.  He can then honestly assess any problems that arise, especially those that are a constant plague, and seek a solution to them.  Increasing company revenue is not impossible, but certainly attainable if the converter truly evaluates his operations, and is not afraid to take the next step.  Change can be tough, but if the need is great enough it will definitely be worth it in the long run.