The Work Order Flow Through Typical Production


I talked last week with printers in Florida, discussing how a physical work order progresses through a production shop. Here’s how it works for me. Every shop is different, but the paperwork flow should be something like this.

In most of the production shops I’ve run, orders go from Sales to Order Entry. From Order Entry, one copy of the order goes to Procurement (to order goods or reduce from inventory) and another copy goes to Scheduling.

The Procurement copy of the order goes on to Shipping/Receiving. When product is checked in and counted by Shipping/Receiving, the paperwork goes back to Procurement so the order can be updated in the computer system. Depending on the sophistication of your system, the order may be pulled up on any computer in the facility to confirm ordered/arrived.

In Shipping/Receiving, the received goods are marked on the boxes with customer name and order number and delivered to the Production Staging Area.

In Scheduling, if the order is absolutely complete (all information is there), the order is entered into the production schedule. That copy of the order then moves on to the Art Dept.

Once the art is produced and on film, the order and film are delivered by the Art Dept to Screen Prep. Completed screens are delivered and matched up with goods in the Production Staging area. Inks are also added to the staged goods. Any special order inks such as PMS matches are prepared at this time.

The order along with screens, goods and inks are delivered to the Production area. Once on press, the paperwork goes to the end of the dryer belt for Inspection to check off product as printed.

After Production, the paperwork and garments go to Packaging/Shipping. Once shipped, the paperwork goes to Invoicing (sometimes done by the same Order Entry staff).

And that’s how I will generally process an order through production. Special thanks to Real Thread for asking me to put the order flow into words and inspiring this article!

Reprinted from Screen Print Weekly

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