Things are nice and simple when the printer has a single customer
If the printer is not careful, they can easily fall into a position where they are managing all of the different opinions. What happens if two departments cannot agree? Who gets the final say? And how do you know when the final decision has been made?
To make matters worse, in larger client organisations, there could be multiple projects happening simultaneously, each with different people involved in approving artwork. Keeping track of all these projects and where they are in the approval process can become quite stressful for the printer because it is easy for mistakes to be made. This is exacerbated when feedback is given via email and the customer expects the printer to wade through and make sense of an email trail.
When mistakes do occur then customers are often reluctant to accept responsibility. After a lot of finger pointing, the printer normally ends up carrying the can. The consequences of mistakes happening can be much bigger that having to re-run a print job. A print job that misses an important deadline can be enough for the customer to take their business elsewhere.
The printer should avoid acting as the referee. Instead, they should agree with the customer on a single point of authority for each project so that there is only one person communicating directly with the printer. Where this is not possible, the printer will need to assign a single member of staff to collate and manage the feedback. There is an obvious cost to this and the risk of mistakes increases, so it would be better to persuade the client to do this or to charge extra for the service. Ultimately, there should be a way for the client to formally approve that the proof is ready to go to print.
Approval Pipeline™ takes all the complexity out of the decision-making process. You work by project and for each project you can define who can give feedback and who has the final say. All comments are stored so that it is easy to follow how a decision has been made. A simple dashboard provides an overview of the current approval status of a customer’s complete portfolio of projects.