What they learnt: Manu Choudhary, CDC Printers

The road to excellence begins from ground zero. Thus, every week the CDC team goes through the internal rejection process, understands the causes and takes the appropriate actions.

06 Jan 2016 | By Priya Raju

The way we communicate is constantly changing. Print was ‘once upon a time’ the dominant mode of communication. Today it no longer is. Hence we have to constantly adapt, as technology is growing at an exponential rate.
Print is not going to die, I am sure it will not. But I am not so sure about conventional print. In 2015, we invested in a number of machines which are conventional machines. We invested in them based on the current requirement. My fear is: will these conventional machines have any sustainable future 3-4 years from now?
At CDC, we have been known as a quality print firm. We were always confident of our quality. Until one day. 
We were to print a plain single-colour book of around 500 pages. Under normal circumstances, we would not have gone ahead with the job because it had no value-addition. But being a job of one of our regular clients, we undertook it. The pages were printed, folded, sewn, bound, packed and dispatched without any glitches.
After a week, the client called that they found two books with strange errors. In one of the book there were a few blank pages, and in the other, the page numbering were not in order. Like most printers our response was that we would replace them and they would be the only ones having such defects. The customer asked us to pick up all the books and have them thoroughly checked. 
We did, and found more than 200 defective books out of 8,000. This was way beyond acceptable limit. This has been one of our biggest failures, that we could not deliver a plain 500-page single-colour book defect-free.
After this, we have started a process of quality improvement. The system includes both quality checks at intermediate stages, and also final inspection of randomly collected books before packing. Since the process has been initiated, we found that not all of our products were defect-free, and we realised that this is something that we should have done years back. 
Now, every week we go through the internal rejection process and understand the cause of it. We then take actions to eliminate the root cause of the error. Although we still cannot boast to be 100% defect- free, we can however claim that statistically the defects are within an acceptable range.
Chaudhary could not complete his post-graduate thesis. But he has achieved milestones with the complete set-up and implementation of an MIS and colour management system.

"Aim higher. But don't throw caution to the wind," says Milap Shah or PrintStop
Read his story here