Combs presents good estimations for good business.
By Terry Combs
Sooner or later, you'll consider using subcontractors. Perhaps that day will come when a customer orders $6000 worth of T-shirts and wants embroidered baseball caps to match...and you don't own an embroidery machine. Perhaps it will happen when a customer asks you to print a product, and you're a little gun shy because the last time you tried that kind of job, the result was many hours of overtime, several thousand dollars in sunken costs, and a lost customer. I became a fan of subcontracting after some expensive mistakes. When I started my business, I never said "no" to a customer. Whatever they wanted, I would print. The result was countless long days, expensive delays, and unhappy customers. Finally, I realized that I wasn't Super Screenprinter Man and became wary of letting my lips promise what my squeegee couldn't print. I tried to focus my business on a limited number of product lines. But I hate to lose a sale, so often I found myself driving back to the office with an order for something I'd never printed before. That's when I decided it might be more practical to find subcontractors for the jobs that fell beyond my specialties.
|Fig. 1 Standard Job Times on a Manual Press|
|Times shown in minutes||1 color||2 color||3 color||4 color||5 color||6 color|
|Setup and breakdown||12||24||36||48||60||72|
|The values shown in this table are averages calculated from actual production, setup, and breakdown times. Note that these are examples only--values for your own operation are likely to be different due to production procedures, equipment, etc.|
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