Where can you find cutting-edge technology with an ideal shop space? Our dream scenario makes it a reality.
You might be living the dream by running your own screen-printing shop, but your shop layout is … well, a bit of a nightmare. Equipment ill-suited to your needs, excessively convoluted workflow and a shop space more disjointed than a conversation with Gary Busey. “In my experience, I have been in more shops that have made some fundamental mistakes than I have been in shops that got most of it right,” says David C. Zimmer, textile products manager for M&R who has seen more than his fair share of shops. The reasons, he says, may often be out of the shopowner’s control – a simple lack of experience, or no financial flexibility to buy the space he or she really needs. He adds: “If you were starting with a blank slate, that’s one thing …”
That’s exactly what we did with our Dream Shop project. We at Wearables have set out to construct the ultimate small- and medium-sized screen-printing shops, in addition to the perfect screen room. With the help of our venerable experts and leading equipment companies, we’ve created an optimized workplace that is efficient, productive and technically sound. And with room for growth. “People always forget office space. They always forget where they’re going to stick the inventory. They don’t think about what’s going on three to five years down the road,” says Marshall Atkinson, COO of Visual Impressions. “When you have to knock a wall out and expand, do you have land for that? Let’s say you landed that 60,000 piece order – where’s that inventory going?”
For this project, we’ve taken a quasi-realistic approach. We don’t have hundreds of automatics to deploy and tens of thousands of empty square feet waiting to be filled. We do have cutting-edge equipment that highlights how technology is fundamentally changing the needs for apparel decorators. “Over the years, the configurations have changed based on the equipment that’s available,” says Charlie Taublieb, a long-time industry consultant and educator. “Back when I had my first shop, we all used cameras. Well my dark room was 800 square feet. That’s bigger than half the shops I design.”
Our Dream Shop can’t cover the endless permutations of shop set-ups and equipment payloads. But combined with case studies of thriving decorators and the most unique qualities of their shops, we want this project to serve as a handy best practices guide – and inspiration to make your own shop a dream come true.
Charlie Taublieb, Taublieb Consulting
Screen-printing veteran and expert educator with decades of experience has seen it all – the good and the bad.
David C. Zimmer, M&R
Product expert for the global screen-printing equipment leader helps shops big and small optimize their layout and equipment.
Marshall Atkinson, Visual Impressions
Noted industry consultant and chief operating officer of a large contract decorator knows how to run an efficient operation.