September '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 5 7 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 5 7 e next issue I found was each area's tools/sup- plies were spread out and not organized very well, which means it slowed down production and, at times, had our company ordering supplies we did not need, which not only cost us more money but chewed up space in each production area. As I was in each area, I noticed our replacements were spiking, which is not normal for us. is is where I learned our training had broken down and not on purpose. Some staff were taught bits and pieces of their jobs as the work came up due to management simply trying to keep the volume moving, so when it came time for the staff to help, they did not have enough training, which then spiked the replacements, which naturally increased the workload on the backend causing the stress in each department. ink about something. My wife and I work 60 to 80 hours a week. We are both planners. We love structure and organization to the max. Over the past three years, we have invested more than ever into our own software, equipment, processes, supplies, staff, and more, and this growing pain hit us like never before to the point where we were both not happy at work and miserable for the first four months of this year until we both sat down and examined what was caus- ing it. It was not us; it was not management not wanting to do a good job; it was not the staff not wanting to learn. It was the growing pains, and we, as the owners, had to take a step back and make the hard decision to reset our company and how it was running to fix it. I have now been full-time hands-on with my team for at least three months, and our crew has never been so happy to come to work over the past year. Everything is running smoother than ever. Our train- ing is getting better each week with multiple staff at a time. Our growth jumped at such a rate. Imagine trying to take in an extra $475,000 in sales for the first six months of the year when your normal growth is around $150,000 for the first six months. It is a good problem to have but learn from us. Growth is good but in quantity, and if you are growing over your normal rate. Take a quick step back, and spot-check each area of your company to make sure nothing and no one is slipping due to the volume in growth. No one could teach us this until we experienced it, and now we know what to look for to prevent it from happen- ing ever again. GP Trying to grow your business? Bryant Gillespie, Better Sign Shop, shares 3 No-Nos for Print Shop Growth at The last major change we made to our company was the investment in becoming a full- fledged uniform shop for police, fire, and EMS. It's another market that was much larger than we realized. Howard Potter has worked in the promotional industry for 17 years, from de- signing to building brands and a family-owned business. He is the co-owner and CEO of A&P Master Images LLC with his wife, Amanda. Their company offers graphic design, screen printing, embroidery, sublimation, vinyl graph- ics, and promotional items. Howard, his family, and the business reside in Utica, New York. For more information, please visit

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