Once upon a time there was a commercial printing company. Of course this wasn’t just any company. This particular company was once regarded as a leader in its region, often winning awards for excellence. However, as time passed technology evolved and changed not only the process of printing but also the consumer demands. Needing to respond to these changes, the owner of the company upgraded their production capabilities by purchasing a digital press. In layman’s terms a digital press is similar to a giant computer printer. With it, a company can produce the same high quality printing that a large commercial offset printing press can but at smaller quantities and directly from a computer or workflow server. Digital presses not only allow for companies to streamline the production process but they also open up new avenues for more customized products such as variable printing.
The particular digital press that this company purchased required a dedicated server to manage all of the incoming data and organize project management. So when it came time to purchase a server the company’s IT specialist was consulted. Internal IT specialist are in rare form these days. With IT services being outsourced and more data being stored in the cloud, remaining IT personnel are constantly looking for ways to show value to their employers. It seems as if this IT specialist was no stranger to this, and when it came time to recommend a server, he recommended the cheapest option available.
The IT specialist’s recommendation was taken and the cheapest sever available was purchased. After the whole system was setup new orders started rolling in and new production started moving forward. However, after a few months something clearly wasn’t right. They were now completing projects at a much slower rate, Which means less work was getting done and less orders getting filled. This was mind boggling to some in the company. How could new technology that removed huge work loads in production, take longer? If you asked this question to any of the press operators or technicians responsible for running the new press, they would immediately tell you that the server that was bought was to slow. Soon most of the employees could see the effects of the slow new server as it impacted every aspect of the plant. But despite the obvious problems, everyone kept quiet everyone kept working even when everyone started to get their hours cut.
The reason that this company is now starting to fail isn’t because of a slow server. It isn’t because the digital press doesn’t work right. They are starting to fail because of fear. The IT specialist was afraid to recommend extra cost. The employees are afraid to complain about new processes. All this while the company continues to lose money with new equipment to pay for. And maybe even the owner is afraid of failure himself. The ironic part of this story is that it is the fear of failure that will eventually bring failure on.
Don’t think this can happen to your company? Well the saddest part of this story, is that its true. Eliminate fear in your company, before fear eliminates you.