As a print service and fixture manufacturing company, we’re often tasked with complex projects that require careful planning, design, prototyping and rollout. Getting it right the first time is critical, but the push for speed can also introduce risk if corners are cut!
So how do you balance the need for timely execution with minimizing risk?
The key is building in checkpoints and allowing time for feedback at each stage:
Take the necessary time upfront to thoroughly discuss requirements with clients. Multiple concept iterations allow risk to be identified and addressed on paper before significant time/costs are spent on production. Set your what-by-when milestones and stick with them. Create a foundation for open communication so everyone puts in their ideas at the start of the project, before opinions or important decisions are made. Plan for double the time you think it takes to start – you can always take time away if you’re running ahead of schedule.
Prototyping and Physical Press Proofs
Create early prototypes to test key aspects like design, color match, and functionality before gearing up for a full production run. This helps validate assumptions and catch issues on a small scale. People are generally visual, especially those in our industry. Take the time to produce the tangible to address the what if’s. While easy to skip in favor of time, this is a critical step for custom products as there’s no other way to collect data or feedback on how a specific visual merchandising campaign will perform in your exact space without actually doing it.
Consider rolling out to a portion of target markets initially before full deployment. An incremental approach gives the opportunity to course correct without disrupting the whole launch. In the event of an issue, this limited launch makes it easier to identify, manage, and correct any potential issues.
The time invested at each stage minimizes risk down the road from costly changes, delays or production failures. While patience is required, it ultimately saves time by avoiding the risks that come with rushing straight to a nationwide rollout.
Jeff Lo is owner and president of TGS Elevate, a certified Minority Owned Company (MBE) that does the work of seven separate vendors – encompassing 2D and 3D design, printing, fabrication, project management, logistics and sourcing – to save clients time and money. TGSE’s minority ownership in printers and fabricators across the country allows control of lead time and pricing. This lower overhead cost gives us the flexibility to find the right production facility and supply chain for your project and gives you one point of contact, from design to installation.