Branded Apparel increases sales.
Direct to Garment printing (DTG) is a new method of decorating apparel. The most common item decorated using DTG is a tee shirt or a hooded sweat shirt. Historically apparel decoration was done by silk screening. This is still a popular method of decorating especially for large volume orders.
There are specific differences when choosing between DTG and Silk Screen printing.
The main difference is large orders. These would be orders larger than 144 pieces. Especially one color designs. The DTG excels for multicolor orders less than 144 pieces.
One major advantage DTG has over Silk Screen is the set up process. Silk screen requires a separate screen for each color in the design. The more colors the more expensive the set up.
DTG requires only a good piece of art. We prefer EPS, Adobe illustrator or a 300 dpi or better art. Small multicolor orders are cost prohibitive for screen printers.
The process is very simple with good art work. The process is the art is scanned, ripped and sent to the printer. Ripping is a process to ready the DTG printer for printing on dark colors. The rip part of the design is a white back fill. The white back fill is printed and prepares the DTG printers substrate to accept the colored portion of the design.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has implemented new safety rules which specifically address printed apparel for youth under 12 years of age. What the rules are is that no inks with carcinogenic compounds can be used is the printing of shirts in the youth market. DTG printing is 100% in compliance because the ink is water based and can be cleaned up with water. Screen print inks do not meet these regulations and will soon find themselves under the watchful eye of the CPSC.
Child safety has always been at the end of the pack in the silk screen decorating industry.. This is why the water based inks for Kornit are and always be in compliance with the CPSC regulations.
Choosing DTG is always the best choice if you are selling to the youth market. There are other reasons why DTG is superior to Silk Screen. The most obvious one is chemicals in one and no chemicals in the other.
Teamwork is the key to success.
Have you ever been on a sports team which can seem to loose and you don’t have any superstars on the team. This is what is known as playing as one to achieve the goal of winning. Think hard because this is how winners perform.
Do you have team work in your business or do you have a bunch of superstars who keep you on edge as to what they are going to do next. Superstars are great but ask yourself how many problems do they create. Superstars keep the whole team on edge.
But how would it be if you had a whole team of superstars that weren’t arrogant and hung in there together. This is what makes a winning team.
Corral the superstar
If a business wants to get ahead the superstar must be corralled in so the rest of the team can function as a team. Our team in 1992 and many are still with us
This sounds cruel but it is a fact. Northwest Custom Apparel has no arrogant superstars on it team,
It’s so important to create a vision for the team to show how things should work. You have to talk about what should happen and create examples for the team to see the message. You don’t want individuals on your team who pollute the other members.
One thing to take into consideration is that team members must learn to delegate. Delegation shows that you trust members on your team. It is a great confidence builder when you make other team members feel that they can trust you.
1992 team photo. Some are still with us.
Your employees will stay when your team is together.
Asking for help is not a crime. Team members must be taught they can ask for help without any blow back. This is how you take a new member of your team and build confidence. Ask the rookie questions and he or she will start feeling confident that you feel comfortable working with them.
Communication is so important in keeping a team together. Weekly meetings are a must. Sometimes morning kick off meeting are perfect. Northwest Custom Apparel has meetings to keep staff informed from management down to the rookie in the shop.
Remember with team work you will win or loose together. Common sense says there is no room for a prima donna if you want to build a team. Northwest Custom apparel is a one team company.
What we want to create for employees at Northwest Custom Apparel is a work friendly environment. We ascribe to the theory of MBWA. What does MBWA mean? That’s management by walking around. The best way to make a happy employee is to let them know that you care. If you keep walking around the factory, visiting with them, coaching them, pumping them up, they really appreciate it. You create an environment which is, sometimes I get embarrassed by it but, when they see me coming, it’s always, “Hey boss. Hey boss.” You have to keep in contact with your employees.
If they come to work, and they enjoy what they’re doing, and you don’t put a lot of pressure on them, make a work friendly environment. It’s a trick. If you have a whole set of rules, everybody here is different, so everybody here, you manage different, because they all have their own personal needs and desires, and they got problems outside of the work. You want to be when you’re managing, you want to manage from a position of they know you’re the boss but you want to be their friend. Tha
t really goes a long way when asking employees to go that extra mile.
I’m real pleased with what we’ve got. We got people here, like you said, we had Mongkon our plant manager had 32 years, we had Caroline in
charge of purchasing at 30 plus years. We’ve got people here now with over 20 years, I think. The most junior person in our factory is probably six years. We’re very fortunate, is that we have a good team effort where everybody gets along, and they enjoy actually coming to work.