April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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52 || P R I N T W E A R A P R I L 2 0 1 8 LOOK AT YOUR FACILITY Whether you rent or own, the building you occupy could use some help. Getting your building in shape can have a big impact. One of the first things that should be on your to-do list is to call your local util- ity company and ask to have a commercial energy audit performed. They will send an expert out to your shop to poke around your building. This is usually a free service, but depending on where you live, there may be a small fee. The auditor will spend a few hours inspecting all sorts of items on their checklist. In a few weeks, you'll get a report with their findings. The best thing about this audit is that they will hand you a grocery list of all the things you need to do to improve. Occasionally there may be low interest loans or even government grants to improve your situation. Since energy is usually the number one cost reduction starting point, look for ways to reduce this around your shop. Simple things such as locking down the thermostat in the front office or even a robust preven- tative maintenance program can put a big dent in your costs. For example, I once had an air leak survey on the air compres- sor. The cost was about $500 to perform. A technician came out with a special device that listened for the high pitch of air escap- ing from the air lines around the shop. In the one that I did, they found 28 leaks that added $4,800 per year to keep the air pres- sure constant. That's a good ratio for return. LOOK AT YOUR PROCESSES AND CONSUMABLES If you ask a lot of shops why they use a product, they usually say something like, "It's what we have always used." Often, there may be a better performing ink, emulsion, chemical, or other product on the market. Also, if you are the shop that uses the cheapest product you can SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES

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