How To Improve Your Sign Shop's Workflow With Teamwork

July 25th, 2014

When you consider all of the steps that make up your shop’s workflow, there is quite a bit to take note of:

  • Marketing

  • Answering phones

  • Creating quotes

  • Following up on quotes

  • Converting quotes to orders

  • Submitting orders to production

  • Designing

  • Ordering supplies

  • Producing

  • Installing

  • Taking payment

  • Shipping

  • Follow up with a thank you card

  • Finally getting feedback.

Each of these steps are vital to the success of your sign shop’s workflow. However, one of the concerns of many sign shop owners and managers is ensuring that each of these processes are managed properly. This requires teamwork from every employee.

“The strength of the team is each member. The strength of each member is the team.” ~ Phil Jackson

During the sign shop hiring process, you take your time to ensure that you hire the people who are equipped to handle the processes necessary for a smooth workflow. Even if you choose the best skilled employees possible, there are some very important keys that are necessary to ensure smooth workflow that go beyond their design, installation and customer service skills.

Some of the keys include:

  • Knowing the specific role of each employee in the sign shop.

  • Each employee has a specific role. Some are leaders, some are followers. Some may still be in training, some are the trainers. Some deal with customers, while others are in the background. Knowing what their role can certainly aid in teamwork and avoid complications in sign shop workflow. 

Suggested Solution: Outline to each employee what their tasks are in detail. In shopVOX, when creating your staff’s profile select their role(s) as well. When taking these steps, employees are less likely to step on each others toes, build greater trust in each other and experience less disruption of the flow of the workplace. Here is an image of the area of the staff form when you select the staff’s role:

  • Clear and consistent communication between employees. Communication, of course, is vital between employees and contributes greatly to teamwork. Clearly hearing is just as important as properly relaying messages. Miscommunication happens often in business which makes up for many mistakes. This can be due to many communication problems such as being distracted and not hearing the entire message or a person not using the right terminology when giving a message. 

    shopVOX Solution: Use the shopVOX messaging system for communication when assigning new tasks, alterations in design, changes in orders, and so on. When using this system, there is not room for sloppy handwriting. Plus one can always go back to reread the message at any time. Here is an image of our “add a task” form for an order:

  • Having steps of the workflow process outlined. Sign shops generally have the same steps in their production process. However, there can be some subtle differences. Instead of assuming that your employees are aware of the steps your sign shop follows, make sure that these steps are clear. 

    shopVOX Solution: Clearly outline the steps your sign shop uses for each type of job. You can set up who gets notified when a new job is created, when proofs are approved and so on. This helps workflow to move smoothly and timely. This image show where you can set up email notifications. This set up helps with the previous tips regarding communication and roles as well.

  • Allow for suggestions and open mindedness. In a business like a sign shop, creativity and energy needs to flow. A stagnant work environment does not often produce gorgeous custom signs. When employees feel they can contribute their ideas, they tend to be more invested in the sign company and teamwork improves. 

    shopVOX Solution: Ask your employees for suggestions from time to time. Let them know that their voice is important.

  • Allow employees to know where jobs are at any given time. When employees are in the know of where jobs statuses are, they better know when their skills is needed for each job. 

    shopVOX Solution: Encourage employees to view the shopVOX Job board on a regular basis. This way they can quickly know the due dates, what step each job is at and other information. This image here is a small sample of some of the information that is easily available on the job board:

Teamwork is vital for the success of every business, including sign companies. Hopefully you found some of these tips useful. If you have used shopVOX in a way that has enhanced the teamwork in your sign shop, please share your thoughts below in the comment section. We would love to know!