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Making a shop Handbook?

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by SIGNTIME, Jul 16, 2013.


    SIGNTIME Active Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    I believe it is time for us to make a handbook outlining everything from responsibilities of positions, file requirements, procedures, requirements of different products, ect. ... is there any templates or outlines to get started with this or do we have to start from scratch?
  2. biggmann

    biggmann Member

    Sep 8, 2011
    Brantford Ontario
    Funny you should post this, I had a small meeting yesterday with my key guys stating just that, it seems things aren't getting done or are done but sloppily so I want to get a policies and procedures in place so it makes it easier for us all.
  3. tattoo.dan

    tattoo.dan Active Member

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern Il
    we are in the same boat...seems like we have been for a while though...I don't know of anything out there...I was planning on starting from scratch
  4. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Besides work[ing] codes, you need to put anything and everything in that policy booklet from how you will reprimand people as to writing them up and terminating them to how many days vacation they get and if the day before a holiday is paid if someone doesn't come in the day after to benefits. Remember, once it's in writing, you can't treat one person any differently than someone else. You need to make sure you are not discriminating in any way, shape or form. In writing, someone could get you in a lotta hot water, if something is worded wrong. Ex/disgruntled employees will tear this thing apart. Before you have it written up, have an attorney look it over. He/she might nbe able to add something you might've missed. Just because it didn't happen yet, doesn't mean you can't have it already figured into your policy. Also, you can always make additions, but make sure it doesn't cause someone to get p!ssed off if it costs them something.
  5. dale911

    dale911 President

    Jan 31, 2012
    Indianapolis, IN
    Employee Policy hand book

    While I can't comment on a procedural handbook for operating a shop since I'm a one man band, I can comment on employee handbooks. I had 11 employees at one time when I owned a retail florist and they are a pain. I highly recommend ADP as a payroll service because all of the taxes and everything fall on their shoulders and if there's a mistake, it's on them. That's what they are for. They also have a fantastic HR division that functions as your own small business HR department. They have an app in their services that allows you to create your policy book in quick order for your particular business and everything in it is reviewed by attorneys to ensure that you aren't doing something against federal law or more importantly, federal Case Law. While I'm ecstatic that I don't have employees now, when I did, ADP made a whole portion of my life a lot easier and less liable with the government.
  6. TyrantDesigner

    TyrantDesigner Art! Hot and fresh.

    Mar 9, 2011
    Amarillo, TX
    Procedure and Policy should be 2 separate hand books. I really can't add to what others have said to policy, so yeah +1 to above.

    Procedure ... be as anal retentive as you want in the steps. The few I've written up ended up about twice as long as I thought after I added in all the small details. Oh, and when that gets written ... realize that all your files on your computers will basically start at 0 since there is probably a mess of mismarked jobs, lost proofs and junk art. Make sure you have it all stored on a networked and shared computer so all the stations have access to looking for old art and make sure they save it with the new file formatting.

    One I wrote, the shop was having a huge issue with old art being used, so I had to start formatting the files (Invoice)-(Persons Initials)-Name-(Date)-(version) with version being labeled proof=PR#, Revisions=Rev#, and Finals being labeled FINAL (in caps.)
    So for example, the shop owner would save his files as 58234-RH-MashupShopPoster-6-23-13-Rev13.cdr which would be different than the designers 58234-MN-MashupShopPoster-6-19-13-PR5 and you would know just about everything about the job if someone was going from the invoice # of 58234 and even though the files were similar ... you could tell who did it, when it was done, which version of the art it was and what the art probably was just by descriptive names in the file. ... especially in the case where there might be 2 different designers working on proofs, they might both be labeling files the same let alone if someone just changes the initials on the file so there might be three Rev13's but with the date and initials being different ... can track down the right one.

    While that was a simple explanation ... my detailed write up about it was about a page and a half long. I had another 8 or 12 pages of how to properly save files for importing into other programs, and how to label those, proper pdf formating requirements, how to set up manditory safe areas on files so even the non-designers can't **** up a file, prepress requirements for in house printing as well as out of house printing, how to prep art for clean CNC, Design resource listings in the shop, and a whole slew of other things that seemed pointless but since I did it day to day to day to make that shop work effectively ... I put it in there. ... and that was just on the computer. When I moved away from that city, I was also allowed to take my last week paid completely at home since I didn't really have to train someone on how to do everything the shop needs ... it was all in the Manual for the shop I wrote out.
  7. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

    May 23, 2008
  8. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    I'm exhausted just thinking about this. First and foremost you need to be consistent as has been said. Refer to the handbook and update if your policies/procedures change. It's really really easy for these things to collect dust, and if that's what's going to happen, what the heck was the point in the first place?

    Good luck!
  9. dlndesign

    dlndesign Active Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    San Diego, Ca
    This is all good starting points, but does anyone have a outline of procedures that they can share. Sure we all have our niche in the industry, but I am sure we can all benifit from a basic outline on how something like this is put together. I had a meeting today regarding this actually and I need to find a resource and a place to start so I can plan, I know this is a large undertaking but I don't want it to consume my life for the next X amount of months...
  10. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    It's never too early to start thinking about this, even if you're a "one man/woman show".

    This one covers a lot of the basics.


    Attached Files:

  11. dlndesign

    dlndesign Active Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    San Diego, Ca
    Thanks James, this will be helpful in my pursuits. The next step for me is job descriptions and responsibilities, how do you all set this up? I know generally what everyone needs to be doing, but how do you give them their responsibilities and what do you do when someone screws up? I'm not looking on how to discipline, but how to get my guys all on board with a common goal. Thanks.

    SIGNTIME Active Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    thats a awesome start for the policies side thank you the hard part is going to be as stated above procedures and responsiblities
  13. dlndesign

    dlndesign Active Member

    Dec 10, 2007
    San Diego, Ca
    Could you all give me some pointers, here is a list I have going. I'd like to add to it. But I don't want this to be overwhelming... Thoughts?

    1. Confirming Sizes and Resolutions of all Client Files.

    1. Converting all blacks into Rich Black formulas.

    1. Having all crops and/or Cutter Marks correctly placed and have made the Cut operator or the production finisher aware of how the cuts will be produced.

    1. Sending PDF (or Screenshot as requested) Proofs to Sales with sizes, bleeds and information concerning the quality of the job.

    1. You are expected to keep the file system and FTP clean and organized for anyone to access and know exactly where a file is located at any given time.

    1. You are expected to manually and automatically produce files as panels for any Media and Solid Substrate that is requested for Roll to Roll and Flatbed Prints.

    1. You are required to keep your desk organized and clean.

    1. You are to keep up-to-date proofs/color swatches or original art in an organized manner. Purge as necessary to clear out un-useable or un-needed proofs.

    1. You will be required to correct color and images on a per job basis to match client’s expectations.

    1. You will need to keep track of your time on any given job – At the End of the Week tally all projects from that week into a weekly email to your Manager.

    1. Informing sales immediately if client files are either.
      1. Not Opening.
      2. Have missing links.
      3. Other obvious issues.

    1. Giving Sales information to give to the client to make decisions.
      1. How to change the file to fit the clients needs.
      2. Sending information to Client that will help them create the files our needs.

    1. Being observant and constantly checking up on status of files from clients, reminding sales on any needs for a specific order. Your responsibility for all the projects that are printed ends once the job leaves our doors.

    1. Assisting in the Roll – to – Roll Operators duties when they are absent or in need of assistance during lunchtime and breaks.

    1. Understand, Develop and Refine pre-press roles to assist in specific job rollouts.

    1. To get all parties involved in proofing when proofs become available. To have all proofs signed off before using the proof for print production.
  14. 2B

    2B Very Active Member

    May 5, 2011
    Old thread,

    Google has provided some cookie-cutter employee handbooks.
    For those that are looking for industry-specific, where did you look?

    How did you sperate the handbooks into the procedural handbook & Employee handbook?

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