A New Process Calls for New Thinking

Do You Hear That? It’s the Winds of Change…

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it–right?

Wrong. So, so wrong.

At Delzer, we keep our eyes open for new solutions, both for our customers and ourselves. This requires inching out of comfort zones and strategically steering away from the “but this is how it’s always been done” mentality.


Walk the Talk

We are investigating new enterprise-level MIS software platforms to further streamline how we see your projects from production through delivery. Instead of sitting around a table in a conference room with one person talking as the rest of try not to let our minds wander, we tried a different approach in our evaluation process.

The Maverick Innovation Lab (aka the M!L) in Delafield, WI is an innovation platform that helps clients like us use something called design thinking. This strategic approach fulfilled our never ending quest to be better, faster, and more affordable. Their philosophy is that collaboration is the best way to create something new/think differently, and design thinking is the best tool for collaboration.


The group gathers ’round in the M!L’s corral for instruction from Chief Facilitator, Bill.

Corralling the Change

A group of us attended the M!L this week to try out this design thinking. Using its methodology, we were able to identify and challenge the current state of our workflow process.

Over the course of two days, our facilitator had us up and about over the lab, collaborating all over the lab to reach conclusions about what works well in our current workflow–and frankly, what doesn’t.


New Thinking

The Maverick Innovation Lab is all about using whiteboards and markers to literally draw out methods. Nobody on the team was safe from being drawn as a stick figure.

After our facilitator provided a brief overview of what we would be doing and why, we set to work with whiteboard markers and sticky notes in hand.

Print-on-Demand, digital printing, offset printing, and kitting were all hot topics as we broke into groups and created process map templates of each service, and then created secondary process maps exploring the detailed sub-routines. For example, within each service we took a deeper dive of how we do our job tickets.

Tim and Carmen draw out their interpretation of our project entry process. Those illustrations are uncanny!

Once we were satisfied with our templated boards (and stick figure illustrations) we used M!L’s color-coded Super SWOT analysis to critique all of the maps. Aside from details on strengths, weaknesses and opportunities, this also created a heat map highlighting areas of alignment.

This brought up some interesting findings which sparked necessary conversation. Based on the “hot” areas, the next steps were to prioritize some of the key details needing immediate attention and create a bull’s eye diagram to further map out the team’s chosen top five hot items.


Planning Ahead

We finally had our biggest growing pains in sight now, but what were we going to do about it?
Using M!L’s Priority Over Investment Matrix we were able to establish informed next actions, voice concerns in M!L’s Parallel Processing technique, and assign the relative value in dollars necessary to solve each of these top priorities.


Knowledge is Power

This exercise challenged, empowered, and inspired us to work together to find not only internal pain points, but also solutions. Having a game plan in place is huge for us as we move toward our final decision on a new electronic workflow system. A huge thank you to Bill and Jason at the M!L for helping us as we tirelessly work to streamline how we get your commercial print and distribution projects done right.