Some people state we all want quality, but is that statement really accurate? How does an individual determine what is quality? If there isn’t a standard or set of project specifications can there be quality? Wikipedia states “Quality assurance, methodology of assuring conformance to specifications”. When one printed sheet or brochure is viewed by itself, it may be visually and mechanically acceptable but we can’t call it a quality printing project. To determine if a printed piece is quality we must view several printed pieces together to see how they compare to each other and to the standard or specifications [proof or original art].
As I review printing in my travels I am not seeing many quality printing projects. I don’t need the standard or proof for comparison either because I view several brochures together and they do not conform to each other. (read my blog “Print Quality”) If I am viewing non-conforming printing in the marketplace, why are print buyers accepting these projects? Why are so many in the printing industry producing non-conforming work? Is the answer because they don’t know what quality printing is? Or is it because they do not know how to produce quality?
I believe part of the reason for non-conforming printing is because some, not all, do not know the fundamentals of printing, because they were never taught. For a student to learn the fundamentals of printing, the teacher or mentor must be knowledgeable and experienced in the trade. Read our previous blog about the importance of the Job Bag a key fundamental in the trade. Individuals will practice what they have been taught, and when they have been taught the fundamentals, quality will improve.
This blog is about what others are saying about the importance of a job bag, job ticket or work order. Please leave your comments.
Have you ever had a printing project go wrong? If you have, maybe the project’s job bag was not read or followed, maybe the client changed the specifications after the job was started or the job bag was not completed or updated.
The Job Bag is the repository of all pertinent information concerning the printing project. A job bag may be physical, an envelope that has a printed label or form printed on the outside or electronic which can be viewed on a monitor or printed out. Every job bag has an identifying number which makes it unique from all other jobs and links the physical envelope with the electronic job bag file.
Job Bags have many components. The following are several main or key components:
• Customer information
• Delivery information
• Special Information
The information provided in the job bag should provide production workers with all the necessary information to produce the customer’s project successfully. Calls or questions concerning a project are usually the result of incomplete or unclear instructions.
Recently, I was in a print shop and they were working on a print project with many components. The head of the press department provided an overview of the project. When asked to provide the job bag, however, it couldn’t be provided. When a job bag cannot be found, workers can’t review job specifics and department heads do not have the pertinent information or materials to verify production work results and provide sign-off or corrective action.
Print buyers, when touring a printing company, should look for a project’s corresponding job bag. If you have a project being worked on, ask to see a job bag, and then review it for completeness and accuracy of information. As a print buyer, if at all possible, provide all the information concerning the project when the print order is placed with the print sales representative. During my years in printing, one of the biggest issues in a printing plant is project changes that never made it to the job bag or proofs.