DMBA Streamlines Operations with SpencerMetrics
Deseret Mutual Benefits Administrator (DMBA) is a nonprofit organization that services various affiliates of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, DMBA’s Central Services is the in-plant that handles all printing and mailing needs of the LDS affiliates.
As an in-plant operation, the Central Services management is continuously looking to meet key objectives: they need to increase equipment utilization, implement continuous improvements to operate efficiently, and meet the expanding demands of their customers. DMBA realized they needed a better understanding of various operations and associated resource allocations in order to proactively maintain a cost-benefit over outsourcing. DMBA transitioned from home-grown data collection to a small print MIS software solution, but it did not provide information on press productivity, equipment utilization, or insights into operational improvements.
Press log data did not provide any relevant information about why the press was not printing, or what barriers limited printing usable output. Gathering the operator’s knowledge was critical to replace “guesstimates” with fact-based metrics. Rudimentary data collection using paper logs or spreadsheets, followed by time-consuming analysis, would have been counter-productive; a full-scale MIS was cost-prohibitive, would take several months to deploy, and still would not provide the information they needed. Considering the unique capabilities of the SpencerMetrics (Booth 9351) system, DMBA deployed it in their printing department where they had their highest investment — an HP Indigo 7000 digital color press.
Within days of acquiring the SpencerMetrics system, DMBA was fully up and running. Management had immediate visibility into the operations. Impressed with the convenience, value, and affordability of the SpencerMetrics system, DMBA extended it into their mailing department. The scalability of the system allowed them to deploy on a completely different type of device — a Pitney Bowes 8 Series inserting system. DMBA was now able to employ standardized analytics and reporting across their Printing and Mailing departments.
“With SpencerMetrics we can visualize what we are doing in our production department. It is helpful to prioritize the work; it shows problems visually, that we can then collectively explore to close the gaps. We are seeing that we were not as efficient as we could be, and have realized that we need to do some things differently and more efficiently,” says Mike O’Hara, manager at DMBA Central Services. “We continue to learn from the system, even after a year. It has been an eye-opening experience for us.”
At DMBA, the SpencerMetrics solution facilitated identification of several issues, and helped to answer critical questions. They were able to:
Validate operator feedback and make strategic decisions — “We had no problems trusting our operators, but it is still a guesstimate. We needed numbers to validate the feedback and support the decisions.”
Gauge the magnitude of an equipment or workflow-related problem, and allocate resources accordingly — “How bad is the problem? How much resource should we spend to correct it? How do we quantify downtime associated with the problem to get attention from management?”
Gain deeper understanding of job scheduling issues — “Why is it taking longer to get the job done? Why are we paying overtime to produce it? Why did we have to outsource a time-critical job with associated extra costs?”
Better estimate resources and job schedules — “How much time a job is on the press versus associated ancillary time? What is the downtime being used for?”
Prioritize and sequence work — “Why are we doing things that are costing us money and that aren’t translating into delivering value to our customers? ... [SpencerMetrics] helps us set realistic expectations.”