January '23

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 3 • G R A P H I C S P R O 7 3 "P rint on demand" is not a new concept. However, there are still many print shop owners who haven't spent much time looking into how they can implement it. Maybe it's the fact that the technology is new or expensive. Perhaps they're of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset. ese are valid reasons to skip over this opportunity, but if you choose to not get involved, you should at least have more information with which to finalize your position. It's interesting to me that "on demand" has been with us since commerce began. Go to any restaurant and your ham- burger or pasta dish is only made once you order (at least I hope so). Even your print shop is technically print on demand. You only print when you have a cus- tomer who's willing to pay your agreed- upon price for the products you offer. e "demand" is the only reason you fire up your equipment. So, what do we mean when we say "print on demand?" (And please indulge me if you already know this information.) It's really just "fulfillment on demand," and it can be done in a variety of ways. Even screen printers can participate in this model if their clients are at a certain level of eCommerce sales. Simply choose the best sellers to keep on the shelves, ful- fill orders as they come in, and replenish based on sales data. Easy, right? Hardly. This situation is really where DTG (Direct to Garment) or DTF (Direct to Film) can shine. Since the process is dig- ital, you don't have to worry about the sales data so much as the blanks you need to print on. is makes the process much easier to manage and mitigates the risk of printing 100 shirts that never end up selling. e products don't actually exist until a sale occurs. en they are printed on a blank T-shirt, coffee mug, tumbler, Travis Ross is the founder of Make Your Mark Design in Broomfield, Colorado. He is also co-host of the Print On Demand Cast. Embroidered caps can be a print-on-demand product with the right equipment.

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