So let’s say that you’re considering DTG printing but you’re not sure of of everything you should be taking into account. After all, it’s a big and expensive step if you’re considering anything more than a basic desktop printer.
You have research to do and should be consulting well-informed people other than the guy trying to sell you the equipment, for obvious reasons. In the meantime and for starters, here are some of the considerations objective experts will bring to your attention:
- The machine’s productivity
- After sales service
- The chemistry of the ink and whether it meets the regulations under which you operate
- The cost of ink waste
- Consumable costs
- Printable area
- Platen options
- Machine footprint versus the workspace you have available
- The need for additional equipment for example, for drying prints
- Power requirements for the printer and additional equipment
- The application of pre-treatment
- How white ink is managed, given it’s troublesome nature
That’s a good start. But it needs much more research before you jump in boots and all.
Unfortunately, we live and do business in a hostile online environment. So any time an expert’s tip can help us protect ourselves and our businesses from a data breach, we should pay attention.
This tip from RGCS, Scotland, is about periodically checking to see if any of your passwords have been compromised or involved in a data breach. You can do this quickly and simply Password Manager in Google. Here’s how:
- In Chrome, click on the three dots at top right.
- In IOS select “Passwords” or in desktop browser select “Google Password Manager.”
- Click on “Check now” or “Checkup”
- Google will list which (if any) passwords have been compromised and need to be changed.
You’ll also be warned of any passwords that Google regards and weak and be advised to strengthen them.
Internet security needs to ne taken seriously.
A report from the International Textile Machinery Association’s recent Textile and Garment Technology Exhibition 2023 in Milan, suggests that across the digital sector there is a marked move towards delivering simplicity.
It explains that: “New iterations of digital technologies were launched at the show, each focused on streamlining the process to simplify production, such as removing or automating the steps of printing textiles and scaling down ancillary processes to offer smaller, more energy-efficient footprint for printed production.” This is not surprising. Simplification of production has long been the main thrust of the DTG equipment manufacturers’ promotional pitch. They pointedly target the traditional multi-step, and often messy, textile screen printing process.
I don’t know of many Canadian textile screen printers that see DTG as a viable alternative to high volume screen printing yet, mainly because of the upfront investment and ongoing economic viability. But as the DTG equipment manufacturers continue to apparently look for ways to make the textile printing production process simpler (at least as reported from Milan), you should keep an eye on developments.
Your long term competitiveness demands that you be informed.
I’ve just read an article about a visit to a large print shop that has a “customer experience center” in its new facility. The customer experience center is a dedicated room designed to allow customers and other visitors to experience how the shop operates and what it can produce—in short, what the shop is all about.
This got me thinking how even a small Canadian textile shop could benefit from this concept. Imagine such a customer experience center in your shop. It could be set up with examples of your work, displays of materials and bits of equipment to explain the screen printing process, a video of the shop in action, and other stuff to inform and entertain. Customers typically don’t know a lot about the screen printing process and don’t know about some of the amazing effects you can create. If they did, it might trigger ideas and thus create more business for you.
It could also boost your brand by demonstrating a higher degree of creativity and professionalism.
These are the things that a customer experience center could do for you. And it doesn’t have to take up much space.
In the past few weeks we’ve had devastating fires in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia. And less than a week ago we experienced unprecedented flooding in Nova Scotia. Businesses like yours have been lost in all these incidents that appear to be happening with increasing frequency and ferociousness.
In that regard, I’m repeating an updated disaster preparation plan I first offered in January this year.
Here are the 8 steps modified and abbreviated:
- Establish responsibility for developing a plan. In many small businesses this will inevitably be the owner.
- Identify the essential services and functions you’ll need in case of an emergency.
- Identify the skills at your disposal that might be needed in an emergency.
- Identify the types of potential emergencies.
- Prepare a plan for each type of potential emergency,
- Review the plan to make sure that all possible aspects have been addressed.
- Review the plan with employees and/or your preparedness team (if you have one).
- Photograph every square inch of your premises (equipment, fixtures, furniture, inventory) and store the record (e.g. USB stick) safely off site. You will need it if you have to prepare an insurance claim.
And again, like all other plans, once prepared it should be revisited and updated regularly rather than being left to gather dust somewhere.