Looking for ways to make your print shop more efficient? We are so excited to announce the latest STAHLS’ TV Series: Heat Press Transformation! With the help of industry expert and decorated apparel consultant Marshall Atkinson, we’ll be visiting print shops around the country and assessing challenges each business faces with the help of Marshall’s expertise!
Take a trip with us to Kampus Klothes, a printing business servicing custom screen printed and embroidered sportswear since 1984. Marshall assesses the current business practices of Kampus Klothes and find areas to improve efficiency for quicker turnaround, reduced hassle, and more organization.
Check out Marshall’s tips and see if any of these practices can be incorporated into your business to increase efficiency!
The Kampus Klothes Story: Utilizing Heat Printing Technology
With a dedicated team of sales representatives, artists, and production staff, Kampus Klothes services various clients, from collegiate teams to local little leagues. They started utilizing heat printing by using CAD-CUT® Thermo-FILM® names and numbers, and have since expanded to using custom heat transfers.
According to Mike, the Sales Manager of the business, their biggest area of growth is online sales and team stores. Unlike other print shops, Kampus Klothes will print any quantity of an order and does not require any minimums. By utilizing heat printing technology, Kampus Klothes is able to print small orders without affecting production.
With UltraColor® MAX, we have cut down on the number of screens we are making. If an order is under a certain amount of shirts or has a certain amount of colors, we order transfers instead of screen printing. This has saved us a tremendous amount of time. It gives us more flexibility and is faster.Kathleen Doran Art Department Manager
Identifying Challenges and Potential Solutions
In their assessment with Marshall, Kampus Klothes identified time and space constraints as the biggest challenge they faced. During busy order seasons, overflowing the work space with orders becomes a challenge that affects their efficiency and ability to complete orders as quickly as possible.
As a potential solution to these issues, Marshall made the following recommendations for their business:
- Emphasize outcomes
- Understand how time is spent
- Consider new processes and technologies
Given that one of the biggest issues Kampus Klothes faces is space, Marshall suggested rethinking their current practices with the end outcome in mind. To clear up space, it’s important that orders are sent out quicker so things don’t pile up.
To complete orders faster, Marshall suggested standardizing work. By creating a process that everyone knows and understands, orders won’t get held up while someone awaits instructions. If everyone has a process to follow, production can operate more efficiently.
When creating a process, a good rule of thumb is CPR: consistent, predictable, repeatable. If a system can produce consistent results across various jobs with clear roles and expectations, efficiency can be improved.
Understand How Time is Spent
In order to create a process that makes a print shop more efficient, it’s important to understand how time is being spent in the business. By conducting a simple time study to get a gauge on how long different processes take, such as the time to load a hoodie onto a heat press vs. a T-shirt, it’s easier to create an expectation of how long a job will take.
Having a clear time expectation provides a customer an accurate turn time, informs the press operator how long it should take, and informs business decisions on what jobs can be taken on, when overtime is needed, etc.
Consider New Processes and Technologies
When creating a process to increase efficiency, Marshall suggested thinking of areas in the production process that could benefit from new technology or a different approach. Questions he posed for Kampus Klothes to consider were:
- Can areas of production move to an assembly line approach instead of having one person handle a job?
- Is there any area of order fulfillment that can benefit from automation?
- How much space could be cleared up by eliminating customer pick up and incorporating shipping into pricing?
- Is there equipment worth investing in, such as the Dual Air Fusion IQ®, that can speed up production?
- Would implementing a bin system increase organization and clear up space on the production floor?
In considering areas where new technology or processes can be implemented, Marshall suggested running a cost analysis. If the return on an investment can be accumulated in 18 months, it is worth considering.
See the full tour of Kampus Klothes and assessment with Marshall on making their print shop more efficient below!