I chose to rely on FedEx Office to supply my brochures for the Baseball Trade Show. The closest one was a few miles from the hotel and was open 24 hours, perfectly convenient for printing and reprinting brochures as I consumed them.
Monday was Day One of the Trade Show and I phoned in my order that afternoon – forwarded the file, print within the hour, I’d swing by and pick them up before the show that started at 5 p.m.
Monday afternoon I was running a little tight on time after running a couple errands, but swinging through FedEx Office on my way back to the Trade Show to pick up the brochures would have given me sufficient time to spare. Unfortunately the printer translated my emailed file poorly and some of the text was in black and white instead of color (see above picture). I pointed this out and they then had to print 200 more brochures, which means they had to dispose of 200 bad copies with wasted paper and ink, plus wasted employee time to reprint them and wasting my time from having to wait around. The time buffer I had before the Trade Show would start was gone.
Keeping track, the losses are 200 sheets of paper and colored ink, 15 minutes of employee time, 15 minutes of my time.
After going through much of my brochure supply that first night, I called FedEx Office again and had them reprint 100 more copies. Fortunately that batch turned out fine.
Trade Show Day Two saw me run out of all brochures with two hours to go for the day. (As this is my first Baseball Trade Show I was unprepared for the volume of traffic and discussion we’d have at my booth!) I phoned in another order to FedEx Office for 200 more copies. I drove to the store to pick them up, saw that they had been QC approved by two store employees, and brought them home to fold. Halfway through the stack I see that the ink had started to run out and the copies were severely faded. I called the store again to explain the issue and had to drive the bad copies back to the store.
Again, keeping track, we’re at 250 sheets of paper and ink, about 25 minutes of employee time, and about 30 minutes of my time spent on defective copies. And we’re not done.
While I’m at the store I have the operator tri-fold the brochures for me. When I get back to the car I do a cursory look at the brochures for faded ink. I don’t see any so I head back to the hotel. Back in my room I open the box and see that the black and white error has popped up again! I wasn’t looking for text color on my cursory look, just for fading, plus the lighting after midnight using a streetlight is iffy at best. Now I have 50 more defective sheets to call in to the store again, and I mosey on back in the rental car.
At the store, before I leave, the operator and I both do a full check of large stacks of the brochures to make sure we aren’t missing anything.
Our final tally: 300 wasted sheets of paper and ink, about 40 minutes of employee time on rework, and 60 minutes of my time spent on driving, waiting, checking, etc.
So making bad product doesn’t just have lost product, but it also has lost opportunity in selling the wasted materials, wasted time in rework, and frustration with the customer.