A Price List Binder?

A few years back, I visited a screen printing shop to order shirts for an upcoming high school reunion. While speaking directly with one of the owners, I noticed a computer behind the counter, and naturally assumed the order would be entered here. I was mistaken.

As we reviewed the sizes and colors I needed, the owner flipped from page to page in a 3-ring binder looking up prices and filling out an order form on paper. The process to order 40 or so shirts took roughly 20 minutes. I could not help but wonder how much faster the process could have been with the use of an order entry system.

At almost every job I've held, I've looked for opportunities for efficiency improvement. As I was driving home from this print shop, I realized they, along with many other businesses, could benefit from my services.

What could I have done for the print shop? I would have designed a system that would facilitate an easy and efficient order entry process. Inventory could be checked easily. After the day's orders were entered, purchase orders could then be generated to order blank shirts from the manufacturer (if not in stock). Production could be well organized and facilitated with the use of a PC workstation in the printing area. Invoicing could be done with the click of a mouse.

I am surprised, with all the technology available, that there are still businesses out there operating on paper and spreadsheets. For a surprisingly small investment, you can free up a lot of your time, making yourself available to address other responsibilities in your office and generate more sales. Then there's the time you would save your customer. That's priceless.