Sat, Sep

Get in the swim

Want to get more from what you’ve got? OK, it’s a rhetorical question, but the next one isn’t. What do you know about value stream mapping (VSM)? My guess is that it’s probably not as much as they do at Data Image in Leicester.

Having been invited to sit in on a day-long VSM session at the company last month I’ve seen and heard for myself how this lean systems approach can make a difference within a company. It’s still really only the start of the journey for Data Image, but the inroads made since MD Robert Farfort and his team embarked on this programme 18 months ago are already having a significant impact, and no doubt there are plenty of other PSPs out there that could benefit from going through a similar process to increase efficiency and reduce waste. This is by no means a quick or easy fix – I’ve put together an article covering the last VSM meeting at Data Image so you get some insight into how the programme works (see p18), and I’d be interested to get your input if you are employing lean measures like this at your operation.

As it happens, the Zeitgeist (p40) this month poses questions on the reshaping of PSPs too as production automation kicks in. You can read about the latest developments at the finishing end starting on p26.

In this issue you’ll also find something of a focus on large-format digital inkjet printing for the interiors market – and why we need to step up to the plate and make more noise about our capabilities if we’re to make the most of the opportunities that could afford us. The Think Bigger feature this month is in fact a rallying call to PSPs to get involved in next year’s inaugural Pure Digital event and tell a creatives audience just what can be achieved. Standing up in front of such potential new customers is something we should be doing more of according to Ed Currer, founder of surface graphics company Vinyl Impression. Read what he has to say about the burgeoning interiors market on p16. And keeping to the décor theme, the Innovators slot his month (p20) looks at how external trompe l’oeil building wraps can turn a nice little profit!

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