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Old June 23rd, 2011, 05:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
screenmachines screenmachines is offline
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Default Years in the Industry

I thought this would be a good place to start a thread about the guest of DigitSmith. How many years have you been in the Industry? Hope people can be honest here.

I entered the industry in 1988.
23 years in August in Screen Printing.

PS. This is Drama free zone...
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 08:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
inkman996 inkman996 is offline
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Default Re: Years in the Industry

15 years. First three working for a supplier of products and equipment, also we were a large producer of screens from frame to emulsion and exposure. Next two years still at supplier and part time at a printer, left supplier and went to work for the printer full time still there today.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 09:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
srimonogramming srimonogramming is offline
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Default Re: Years in the Industry

5 years. Spent about 10 months as the screen guy/production scheduler, reclaiming, exposing, taping and learning the laser engraver on the side. One day our 3rd or 4th printer (can't remember) decided he didn't want to work anymore so I told the old man I'd just take over all of the printing and we could just hire a guy to do the screens like I was doing and catching at the end of the dryer. I mean, how hard could screen printing be? I had a college degree for F's sake, then the humbling experience began and it still remains to this day.

You can do this job without much thought or effort if you want to, and still produce a print good enough to sell, but if you want to be a master at this craft, you gotta put some serious work into it. I've actually done more reading over the last 5 years than I ever did throughout college. There have been lots of 60+ hour work weeks walking and standing on a concrete floor and the first year was tough. I remember lots of days just wanting to pull my hair out wondering what the hell was going wrong this time. Things are never easy, but they sure are easy compared to the first few years.

It's funny to think about some of those old jobs that we used to struggle on and now it's just a matter of throwing the screens on the press and pressing GO. We're still trying to be the best print shop in town and have some more work to do to accomplish that goal but we'll get there.
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
Prosperi-Tees Prosperi-Tees is offline
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Default Re: Years in the Industry

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Originally Posted by srimonogramming
5 years. Spent about 10 months as the screen guy/production scheduler, reclaiming, exposing, taping and learning the laser engraver on the side. One day our 3rd or 4th printer (can't remember) decided he didn't want to work anymore so I told the old man I'd just take over all of the printing and we could just hire a guy to do the screens like I was doing and catching at the end of the dryer. I mean, how hard could screen printing be? I had a college degree for F's sake, then the humbling experience began and it still remains to this day.

You can do this job without much thought or effort if you want to, and still produce a print good enough to sell, but if you want to be a master at this craft, you gotta put some serious work into it. I've actually done more reading over the last 5 years than I ever did throughout college. There have been lots of 60+ hour work weeks walking and standing on a concrete floor and the first year was tough. I remember lots of days just wanting to pull my hair out wondering what the hell was going wrong this time. Things are never easy, but they sure are easy compared to the first few years.

It's funny to think about some of those old jobs that we used to struggle on and now it's just a matter of throwing the screens on the press and pressing GO. We're still trying to be the best print shop in town and have some more work to do to accomplish that goal but we'll get there.
I have been doing this 2 years and constantly read and practice new things. My wife bugs me about also being into it but I feel that you can never stop learning. I am actually training an apprentice right now and find that it is harder to teach someone than it was to learn myself. What books or other media have you used over the years that has helped you evolve?
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Old June 24th, 2011, 04:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
Printwizard Printwizard is offline
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Default Re: Years in the Industry

Our business started in 1974, but I didn't start printing until 1992 for a bit, then I went and did apprenticeship as a knitting technician because we manufactured apparel in those days with a protected economy and locally made apparel industry. As the tariffs come off I decided knitting wasn't my thing or the manufacturing and I went back to screen printing and we soon closed down the manufacturing altogether. About 1999 I did my first trip to HK and China and have been going back every year and the importation side is really 90% of our revenue, not just apparel but all promotional products and we rank relatively well as a supplier to the promo, advertising markets and to chainstore retailers. For textile we have four carousels running around the clock. We also have graphics printing, and shares in another factory with four Roland digital machines for signage which all run consistently at a loss. We have a badge making factory which is always busy and is nearly a monopoly here. We have a share in an embroiderer as well that also doesn't make money.
In China we have a halfshare in a hosiery factory knitting logos into socks with 1,200 machines, and shares in a badge, lanyard, metal and moulded pvc factory, but we also source from many others. Our client base is about 3,000 on sellers, and 37,000 corporate
and retail clients, and the metrics are that about 20% of those would have purchased in the last year. We have been mainly trade only, but that model hasn't worked as promo companies go under on us, and corporates are shopping harder on price where we can get paid faster with better margins.

My plan is to get the database onto a CRM program and get regular email marketing newsletters mailed out to them. We have just signed a deal to supply shirts and promo to a web marketing co like group on/ daily deals. We are waiting for Inksoft to get coded to work for us and our sales and tax system, and sort the pricing structure a bit better more towards cost plus markup rather an price minus discount over volume. a large textile Auto is budgeted for, as well as a DTG brother 782. And another delivery truck.

I also screenprint aluminum screw caps for the wine industry on two large OMSO machines, 200 and 110 caps printed per minute on each machine.

I always feel to old to do another year and I loathe the paperwork. We are a price seller mostly and are trying to get to a better margin market. We have no debt so are in a good place to grow but it's scary with negativity, recession, massive earthquakes effecting our economy (Christchurch, New Zealand). I print on nearly everything and think the printing is the easiest part of the business but it's hard getting excited, remember that first time seeing someone wear your shirt, I've lost that buzz, on the upside today I sealed my first order of 100,000 tee shirts all the same run, albeit a china indent.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 06:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
tonypep tonypep is offline
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Default Re: Years in the Industry

Thirty years still plugging away
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Old June 24th, 2011, 06:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
Spider-Machines Spider-Machines is offline
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Default Re: Years in the Industry

I started in 1989 ... My hope is that after 20+ years of changing the industry they might let me out with Good Behavior ... Good Behavior? Who am I kidding ... this looks like a Life Sentence ;-) LOL
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Old June 24th, 2011, 07:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
Printwizard Printwizard is offline
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Maybe we can tell the remember when stories.... Rubilith, photocopying letraset, manual art before computers and imagesetters, thinning the thick plastisol inks with turps, all screens were coarse, no such thing as doing a process print....... I still have some of our early prints, cringe, cringe, cringe....... Printing on shirts with shoulder pads in them.......
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Old June 24th, 2011, 07:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
inkman996 inkman996 is offline
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Default Re: Years in the Industry

Ink with lead in it, no need to flash bullet proof with one stroke!

Shoulderpad shirts I love that one, first thing that comes to mind is flock of sea gulls and delorians.
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Old June 24th, 2011, 08:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
tonypep tonypep is offline
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Default Re: Years in the Industry

Anyone remember Screen Gems?
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