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.
Contract screen printing defines a company who will print garments and not require that they be purchased from them. Customers like to purchase their garments at Costco or with on line distribution companies. They then bring them to a screen shop for decorating. This way they are saving money and putting the contractor in a price cutting situation.
Internet is full of distributors
Scan the internet for blank tees and you will be surprised how many sellers pop up. It is upsetting the traditional distribution network. The distribution network used to be manufacturer to distributer to decorator and finally to the end user consumer.
The chain is disruptive
This chain is being disrupted because of the internet. Before the internet the distribution channels were defined. A luxury was a 800 number to get your customers to call you toll free..Free long distance was mandatory. Now with the price of telephone calls.800 numbers are becoming irrelevant.
The genie is out of the bottle and the new era of buying and selling decorated garments is here. Anyone who can build a website can put themselves in business with a limited amount of capital.
Marketing is changing
The marketing format today is search engine optimization and fighting for eyeballs to visit your website.
No more past dues
Credit cards removes the risk of non-payment and enhances cash flow. Net terms are getting to be a thing of the past. Why not offer lower prices when cash flow is instant using a credit card.
Most cards used today earn miles and are fast becoming the main mode of commerce. At Decosource we purchase everything on credit cards to earn our free trips.
Contract decorators are must start to wake up and realize they have to become a marketing company and not just a company who sells ink. It is so much easier to order apparel for printing and decorate it.
To summarize contract work is fast becoming the dinosaur of the apparel decorating industry. It’s time to become a marketing company and start selling and not waiting for a customer to walk in the front door.
As a further note Amazon is now is the apparel decorating business.
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.