Binary Graphics, Inc.

Time to Redefine Standard Operating Procedure

by John Knapp, Binary Graphics, Inc. Seattle
© 1997 Binary Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

We live in fantastic times. Technology has opened countless doors of opportunity and none of us can ignore them. Prudent investments of dollars and learning curve pay significant dividends allowing us to work smarter and more effectively. Without compromising our quality of life or the quality of our work. (Of course we all know at least one "cybergeek"... Remember, I said prudent investments!)

It's time to get on board and get up to speed. If you don't own a computer, buy one. If you don't have web access, sign-up. If you don't use e-mail daily, start. If you don't know how to open your clients desktop jobs and check them out, learn how. The last train is leaving the station now.

And please give yourself time to grow beyond basic proficiency. If you stop there you are cheating yourself. People who don't advance quickly grow disenchanted or try to make up for their shortcomings with more hardware and software. Depth of process knowledge is the key.

I suggest that you make the following list commonplace events:

  • Offer clients your e-mail address and suggest they contact you that way
  • Ask for their e-mail addresses and send quotes and memos that way
  • Compress, encode, send and receive file attachments to e-mail messages
  • Use e-mail to send memos to large groups efficiently
  • Check your e-mail several times a day
  • Maintain a contacts database with records of all client communications
  • Use a scheduling program for your business appointments and projects
  • Be able to get any kind of data from one application environment to another
  • Harness the web as a research tool, not an entertainment source
  • Publish your own information on the web and revise it yourself
  • Be able to describe IP addressing and the domain name system
  • Be able to describe the way the web works and how FTP works
  • Establish an FTP site allowing clients to submit files that way
  • Establish tools and processes to safely allow remote proofing
  • Eliminate all stripping and create plate ready film or digital plates
  • Use workflow automation in your electronic prepress department

Stay practical, always care about craftsmanship, use the tools and don't let the tools use you. It isn't that hard and the payback is significant.



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