Written by Richard Miller, Owner
The Indiana State Economic Development Corporation recently announced Fineline’s plans to expand both our workforce and facility by 18,000 square feet –(putting us at a total of 71,000 square feet for the total facility)! With all of the expansion and growth, this inspired me to write a blog providing more context around what this means for Fineline, and how this plan is translating into client success.
To set the stage, there is a fundamental understanding that in order to grow any manufacturing business you first need space. A building expansion requires a lot of thought preparation, not only with construction but with machinery and how your facility and its processes can best serve the client.
Fineline’s Director of Quality & Continuous Improvement, Jason Hoffman weighs in on the facility’s expansion and its contribution to Fineline’s processes:
“The biggest Lean benefit to the expansion is getting all production processes into one manufacturing area. It will help with visual management and scheduling of work. With the space we can align like machines and processes into flow lines reducing the transportation and wait times between processes. Anyone familiar with our facility knows we are a large facility with a lot of in-house machinery, so the expansion opens up the floor plan and removes the dead ends which allow work to flow easily through the facility.”
With 65 full-time employees, processing 100+ jobs per week for more than 300 clients, and currently producing a million pieces per month, we are at capacity with space. Especially since we like to keep the work in-house and do projects from beginning to end to cut on costs and have consistent quality.
That said we are preparing first with space. When going through this process it is always important to evaluate what type of equipment you need to be prepared with to better serve clients. One way Fineline gathers a continual stream of client feedback is through the client business reviews we conduct with existing customers. These reviews help us to better understand where their needs are and where our next best investment will be.
As we set out to purchase machinery, we focus by doing our due diligence and at times investing in used machinery at half the cost. As is with any business model, keeping our costs low means keeping our client costs low, while still providing new printing services and maintaining extreme efficiencies.
This preparation process also keeps us sharp on innovative equipment that allows us to stay on top of the trending print communications. For example, our VP of Manufacturing Ric Miller and myself, attend the Drupa conference in Germany every May. This is the biggest global graphic convention that announces and educates our team on new equipment and technology that can further improve the organization.
Another notable facility and staffing expansion is the development with our IT and technical staff. We recently moved our IT department into the center of the building so they can have synergy and collaboration with our Client Services team and do so within an open concept plan. With the upcoming release of our Finelink 2.0 platform, we’re at our strongest with digital integration tools, client services, and IT support. Not to mention we’ve had a lot of excitement from clients for Finelink 2.0 with is our new multi-channel marketing technology that streamlines online editing, on-demand printing and team collaboration – all in one place.
Finally we have to thank the state of Indiana and the Indiana State Economic Development Corporation for their support. As Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard quoted:
“Indianapolis is thriving, thanks in large part to home-grown companies that are expanding their successful operations here.I am delighted to welcome Fineline Printing to the list of local businesses that are looking to 2016 as a year to grow and employ even more members of our talented workforce.”
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