September '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 4 P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 2 4 P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 EMBROIDERY Erich's Embellishments E r i c h C a m p b e l l The Single Life THE CASE FOR SINGLE-HEADS INSURANCE Even if everything I say from this point on doesn't seem to make sense for you, con- sider this: You never want to be left without working equipment. Mechanical failures happen, maintenance needs to be done, and sometimes jobs just can't wait. When your primary machine is down, even if it means going back to the bad, old days of running long shifts or being tied up for an extended period of time, having your single-head machine means you may not have to tell a customer that there's no way to fulfill their order. Though you can always A nyone running a small, single-head operation has considered or taken on a big job that sounded like a fantastic opportunity at the time but also had the potential of being a massive opportunity cost. "I'll have to turn down jobs. It'll be like closing my doors for days. Either that or I'll have to run all night to make room. I really don't want to shuffle jobs and make excuses again." That's when the idea strikes. "I need a multi-head machine." If you are continually burning the midnight oil, turning down work while your machine is full, or often outsource large jobs at lower margins to meet a hastily promised deadline, getting a multi-head is probably a great idea. That said, the next notion that occurs to many small-shop operators is where they fail. "I'm going to sell my single-head machine and level up." In my experience, this isn't the best way for most small shops to expand. You may need more capacity, but I'd like to argue that your single-head machine still has a place in your embroidery shop. By examining some benefits of maintaining a single-head on your produc- tion floor and touching on use-cases, I hope to convince you on the come-up to keep those one-garment wonders in your lineup. If your single-head doesn't need to be maintained as an extension of your expanded production, it may be worthwhile to look into decoration segments using on-machine attachments from fashion/d├ęcor-focused work. (All images courtesy the author)

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