Printwear

Recognized Supplier Guide ‘18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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26 || P RI N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 01 8 P R O F E S SI O N AL C O N C E R N S It's easy to see this as a negative for so me co m mercial e mbroiderers. We treat our work seriously and often have enor mous invest ments wrapped up in our industry. We have invested our ti me acquiring skills to learn not only the mediu m of e mbroidery but the critical business skills it takes to keep our shops operating. We have invested large su ms of money to equip ourselves, and we continue to main- tain it all, with overhead, wages, and costs on our shoulders. We invest ourselves in the idea of being so meone 'in the business' of decoration. For those who have been in the business since a ti me where the cost of truly professional equip ment and soft ware was so vast that it provided a high barrier to entry, the 'de mocratization' of capable hard ware may be shocking; it takes so much less to at least no minally be 'in co mpetition' with us. Though there's more to be said about the potential level of 'co m - petition,' there may be legiti mate gripes. So me ho me-to-pro e m- broiderers may not learn to price adequately and underbid us at a loss. So me may produce poor-quality e mbroidery, lead astray about the skill needed by an over-eager seller of equip ment, thus reducing consu mer trust in the mediu m. So me may create unrealistic expecta- tions by doing an a mount or type of labor that don't scale readily for co m mercial production. These things can be dif cult for traditional decorators to overco me if a glut of such 'prosu mer' e mbroiderers is found a mong their custo mer base. That said, I nd that most of these gripes can be fairly, si mply addressed. T H E R E ALI T Y A N D T H E R E M E D Y While the rise of better equip ment for prosu mers might see m like it opens up co mpetition, it's not the threat to multi-head shops that it may see m at rst blush. Prosu mers are the sa me as any single-head e mbroidery shop, but they have a very different set of abilities and a focus that doesn't wholly overlap with a multi-head shop. They have li mited production capacity and may even be running in a second- shift after an existing job, and are thus li mited not only by equip- ment availability but by available hours of labor. The equip ment, while capable, also tends to have li mited e mbroidery areas, s maller than that afforded by co m mercial machines. This means that the standard prosu mer is best geared to ward very s mall production runs, individual custo mization, and s mall coverage area designs. This makes their ideal custo mer vastly different than that for a multi-head machine. Our ideal job lls the available nu mber of heads perfectly and consists of larger quantities that require no custo mization or individual handling. Though larger shops may run single-head ma- chines for specialty work, the best utilization of staff is to maintain constant and consistent operation on the multi-head machines rather E RIC H'S E M B ELLI S H M E N T S continued on page 191 Machines of the era I started on were less feature co mplete than what you nd in the ho me market today. Top: The parts of a prosu mer machine e m- broidery head aren't massively different fro m those on a co m mercial machine and under so me extra plastic casing you'll nd a si milar set of parts to what you might expect in the co m mercial world. Above: Proven prosu mers can be a great t for your workforce. If they can produce a satisfactory result on ho me equip ment, they can be easily trained to do so on our production oors.

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