August '17

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 7 A U G U S T P R I N T W E A R || 69 ing that skimping on chemicals can cost time, and more money troubleshooting. Plus, she adds, this loops back to neglect- ing some safety standards, which could ultimately jeopardize staff health or even result in injuries. "Chemical injuries aren't that common, but they still can happen," says Broghamer. "The best way to prevent them is to follow manufacturer's instructions." If a shop is on a tight budget or limited on floorspace for tools like a washout booth, they can use a safe workaround, she points out. By using a two-in-one product, a deco- rator can bypass the degreasing process. With any shop that tries to cut corners, Ackerman notes a trickle-down effect that can permeate the business' overall success. "You're neglecting the company if you don't take some time to take advantage of these tools, especially since they're so afford- able," he states, citing that the cost of some services is significantly less than an employ- ee salary. That initial investment, he adds, can contribute to an existing employee us- ing their time more wisely. Williams explains that with software, companies will typically get reminders from the provider when updates or upgrades are available, and they should take advantage of these, so they are always running the cur- rent version of shop programs. "Many companies who sell software will have a support contract that covers up- grades and support," he elaborates. "While that means more each year after you have purchased the system, it is generally worth it." Regardless of the category of tools, most parties agree that regardless of how many accessories and types of software a shop owns, its success also hinges on communi- cation between all departments. "There is no poster or banner in any de- partment indicating explicit specifications for art, screen, stencil, ink, blade, press, and dryer," Clarke contends. But by employing simple tools and man- agement techniques, shops can improve their production, communication flow be- tween departments, and overall output.

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