December '22

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3 8 G R A P H I C S P R O • D E C E M B E R 2 0 2 2 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M A W A R D S & C U S T O M I Z A T I O N M A K I N G S H O P M O V E S than $80 each and now is close to $130 each. We keep several in stock at a time, so it delays the price increase hitting us be- fore others — it still reaches us eventually, but at least we can curb how fast we see it. INVESTING Another thing we look at is investing money into new equipment and processes to help drive costs down. The old thought of spending money to make money is fac- tual. About two months ago, my wife and I were talking about investing in another automated screen printing press to make the workload easier in that department. Later that day, I received a video on a di- rect-to-film printer that caught my eye, and I was hooked on learning more. I could not stop. We spent about a month researching it and running basic numbers and went to a vendor in Florida after having an in-depth Zoom meeting with them to see the print- er in action. Once we saw the process, we ordered the largest machine while we were there so we could grow into it. For $250 more per month, we were better off hav- ing room for growth with the machine — but we did not stop there. We are also investing in at least five more MacBook Pro laptops for our team, two 5-in-1 mug presses, and two drinkware presses that can handle multiple cup shapes. Our total investment is close to $65,000, which is about what one automated press will cost us for one person to run. This investment in the direct-to-film printer will actually help us shift work away from our screen printers, sublima- tion process, and apparel vinyl process, which lowers prep time for each and nat- urally helps to lower the error rate and is much easier to work with. The newer computers will move faster for the people who are on them all day, helping them to speed up naturally. And their computers will shift to others who are not on them as much, giving them access and not hav- ing to wait to use a computer. As of right now, we are using a convection oven for mugs, which has been great, but the prep time can slow you down. So, we found the Large Format Laser Cutter & Engraver Cut | Engrave | Etch 1-888-660-2755 Acrylic/Plastics Wood Metals Foam & More

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