Impressions - January 2011 - (Page 48)

business client planning improvement efficiency Worthwhile Projects analysis advicefor the Slower Months knowhow organization advice planning By Greg Kitson, Contributing Writer process assistance o matter what industry you are in, every business has seasonality. One of the biggest challenges of seasonality — especially in a tough economy — is justifying staff retention and avoiding layoffs. Decorated apparel professionals have a unique skill set. Depending on where your shop is located, you may not be likely to lose employees to another decorated apparel shop, but you may lose them to a hardware store, restaurant or a store at the mall. So rather than risk losing those skills in which you have invested, it’s in your best interest to keep those people productively and gainfully employed during the slow season. Because my slow season is in January and February, I instituted a holiday shutdown about 10 years ago. I know that if we don’t have an order from our core corporate customers by Dec. 10, we are not going to have any more significant order volume. We get everything produced and delivered, and when we close down the day before Christmas, we may have only 20 to 30 orders in a system that often has 200 to 300 orders. Thus, our volume is down to about 10% of what it typically is. We come back the first Monday after 48 Impressions >> January 2011 n For shops wanting to avoid layoffs, here are some ideas on productive ways to keep employees gainfully employed. Slow times are a great opportunity to give the press a tune-up. If you hire a service tech to come in, I recommend having your production manager and lead operator observe and participate so they can learn how to maintain the press themselves. All photos courtesy of Mind’s Eye Graphics, Decatur, Ind. New Year’s Day. Our paid staff holidays are Christmas and New Year’s. New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve are not paid holidays on our schedule, but we have a fairly liberal paid-time-off (PTO) policy. Staff is aware that we always have a holiday shut- down, so it is in their best interest to keep back five to six PTO days for that period. TRAINING & MAINTENANCE After the holidays, it may be several weeks before orders get back up to speed, as our

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - January 2011

Impressions - January 2011
First Impressions
ISS Show Focus
Winning Decorators Focus on Intricate Details
Special Report: The Cotton Crunch
T-Shirts Still an Industry Staple
Worthwhile Projects for the Slower Months
For Screen Printers Only
Use Sublimation to Create High-Value Photo Gifts
Online Directory
Business To Business
Ad Index

Impressions - January 2011