Impressions - January 2011 - (Page 58)

HANDS ON >> SCREEN PRINTING >> HANDS ON TECH TIPS HANDS ON >> HANDS ON For Screen Printers Only SCREEN By Dan Holzer, PRINTING Contributing HANDS ON Writer TECH TIPS HANDS ON How to Add Contract Printing to Your Custom Shop With research and a well-planned transition, contract printing can boost your existing shop’s bottom line. A challenge that many mature custom screen printing shops eventually face is growing their businesses in a profitable way. While more orders are great, customers that require a lot of administrative time make it difficult to take a shop to the next level with regard to sales. Higher-volume orders that require less administrative time become more appealing and offset the time spent on lower-volume orders. For us, and for many other custom shops, the best avenue for achieving this goal is contract printing. Most successful custom printers reach a point where they’re adding an automatic press and more employees, so considering contract printing starts to make sense. Once an automatic press is in the picture, the pressure is on to keep it operational — and higher-volume contract work can be a great way to do this. If implemented correctly with sufficient research, planning and correct pricing, adding contract printing can be a wise business decision that significantly adds to a shop’s bottom line. It certainly lessened the impact of the recession on our shop during the past two years and increased the bottom line. It’s not really feasible to offer contract printing services without an automatic press. After purchasing our automatic, we realized we needed more high-volume jobs to get a sufficient return on our investment. WHEN IS IT CONTRACT TIME? If there is unused capacity on your press, but your sales department is overwhelmed when dealing with customers who have custom orders, this may be a great time to add contract printing and start drawing in higher-volume orders. After purchasing our automatic press, we realized we needed more high-volume jobs to get a sufficient return on our investment. In our markets, there were not enough large custom jobs to occupy our press time that didn’t require a lot of educating, selling and processing. With contract orders you tend to spend less time explaining print processes, garment op58 Impressions >> January 2011 tions and prices. Instead, the majority of your labor involves press time. We were encouraged when our customers started asking for a contract price list. Through our marketing efforts, we had established ourselves as a recognizable custom shop. Two specific marketing activities that helped included being featured in industry publications and winning awards. We have entered the Impressions Awards and SGIA Golden Image Awards for the past four years. Other printers were considering us for their custom work before we started marketing ourselves as a contract shop. So if your shop starts re- ceiving these types of calls and you have at least one automatic press, it’s a good time to weigh your options and consider making the shift to contract printing. DO YOUR HOMEWORK It will take some careful thought and research for a custom shop to be successful at integrating contract printing into its business. Besides being an established printer and owning at least one automatic press (two is best), you also must research and refine your shop’s procedures and pricing structures to determine whether it really can compete in the contract market.

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