How Digital and Screen Printers Can Be ‘Lean’
The idea of being a lean printer might be a myth. If not a myth, than a misconception. Whether you primarily focus on screen printing or digital printing, the meaning of “lean” in your business relates to resources less than it does about time.
Automation can handle a little bit of that, but it can only go so far, according to Jed Seifert, co-founder, Stakes Manufacturing.
“The reality is there’s only so much automation can do,” Seifert says. “We’re in a thin margin business. There is only so much you can automate that the cost is justified. In addition to technology, it’s a lot about process improvement. We’re trying to save steps and seconds throughout the facility in any capacity we can.”
The panel discussing the relationship between digital and screen printing all agreed that software effectiveness is severely lacking.
The solution, according to Josh Merrell, owner, Liquid Graphics, is not to fully rely on your software to run the business for you. “Understand your business the whole way through so the software isn’t dictating how the business is run,” he says.
Finally, to come as close as you can to a “lean” business is to avoid trying to specialize in too many things. There’s an old cliché that a restaurant with too many things on a menu won’t be any good. The panel agreed that especially small business shops should avoid trying to be jacks of all trades, as they often do end up being masters of none.
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.