PrintVis Tip of the Week #32: SLA Compliance Certificates
Kit Tomshøj joins us this week to discuss the rigors and complexities of handling Service Level Agreements for one’s customers, and how PrintVis can simplify the process.
A service-level agreement (what the heck is an SLA?) is a contract between a service provider and its internal or external customers that documents what services the provider will furnish.
The requirement of Service Level Agreements for customers who deal in regulated products or services rendered is common -for example, with medical and pharmaceutical inserts, governmental bodies, financial institutions, telephone companies and many more.
So a print shop faced with documenting compliance with rigid standards for such matters, in order to earn and keep the business of the agency, must ask itself:
- How can we make sure that we remember the details of each agreement with customers?
- How can we make sure that we collect the data, adhere to the deadlines, perform the required checks and so on?
- How can make it easier to obtain the production data without overwhelming our production staff?
- Where do we keep the information?
- How can we make it easier to report our compliance to our customers?
Over time I have come across many types of SLAs and have used several tools from the PrintVis toolbox to handle them.
Happily, tools can be combined to form the locally-required solution. Tools which I often use are:
PrintVis User Fields
The User Fields on the Customer Card, on the Item Card for finished goods, and finally on the Case Card are all good places to generate the matrix of information required for a singular production, as well as for overall or periodical requirements.
User Fields is an area of PrintVis that allows each printing company to define their own fields in their database, and then make these fields available for reporting, such as on job tickets.
PrintVis Quality Assurance Questionnaires
For the purpose of examining checkpoints in production, via interaction with staff to obtain feedback for each work step, we can set up Quality Assurance questions to appear on paper reports or on production screens while production is ongoing.
Operators will be required to click OK, write answers to check questions or to write comments when they are working on products which are under an SLA contract. The operator’s responses are saved on the production order for later review.
Shop Floor Data
PrintVis Shop Floor screens provide plenty of areas for feedback from operators, which can be reported if necessary.
For example, dates and times of completion of production steps, or dates and and times for when production units are sent out of the factory (or picked up by post).
Also, this interface makes it possible to track the production back to individual batches of raw material if so required.
A personal favorite of mine is how we can use the data from each production to be a part of the invoice. Many companies find it to be a struggle to invoice different customers because they require different data on their invoices.
Through analysis, setup and a bit of modification this can be automated and made so much easier than before. This also allows for extra charges if there are any.
With the correct setup it is also possible to provide a page 2 to an invoice, which would contain a full report of the requirements of the SLA and the level to which each has been met.
Thank you Kit!