What the Imaging Industry can learn from McDonald’s focus on operation efficiency

As many of you, I read a great deal but with so much content out there, we all really need to focus on the important articles; hopefully some that will leave us with a lasting impression like the one posted on Monday, May 22, 2017 in Office Equipment Blog.  Given the state of the imaging industry as printer shipments, print volumes, and operating margins continue to decline (see Figure 1), it is not a surprise that most printer manufacturers are planning on transforming their businesses, starting with rightsizing their organizations consistent with a shrinking market and seeking ways to make their operations more efficient.

Figure 1

Back in 1954, Ray Kroc did not invent hamburgers rather he came up with a whole new way of selling hamburgers where operational efficiency was key to his success as he did the unthinkable by turning a typical 30-minute order at the time to an order in 30 seconds, the start of the fast food era.  McDonalds did not have a large menu, they focused on hamburgers and fries, and they did it better than anyone else.  Do any of you remember those 15 cent hamburgers where the pickle on them was about the size of the hamburger patty?

In Fiscal Year 2017, the Office Equipment Group at GreatAmerica began what was coined our Takin’ Care of Business initiative, TCOB for short. TCOB helped focus on their “restaurant of the future”, a well-oiled machine. It forced us to remember that we always need to keep business processes at the forefront and that we need to focus on our hamburger and fries, what we do best, the “GreatAmerica Experience”.

We are seeing many printer manufacturers taking major steps to become more operationally efficient.  For example, providing more business opportunities to the channel who, quite frankly, are often best equipped to serve end users. The split ups last year at HP and Xerox, allowed both companies to focus more on the printing business. Other printer manufacturers are looking at their various businesses as to whether they are strategic or not, and selling off those that are not or perhaps those that are not performing.  Again, more focus on what Companies do best.

The notion of Continuous Improvement has been around a long time but in today’s imaging industry climate of shrinking operating profits in a declining market, either you have to make the operations more efficient or you will eventually decide to get out of the business.  Establishing a culture supporting Continuous improvement, striving for operational excellence, and establishing an environment to be the best at what you do, has to be driven at the highest level of a Company in order to succeed.

At Photizo, we are making huge investments in Predictive or Advanced Analytics and have identified a number of imaging industry use cases where this technology can make operations significantly more efficient resulting in tremendous cost savings.  For more information about Photizo’s Predictive Analytics program, please contact Scott Hornbuckle at sfhornbuckle@photizogroup.com.

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