By: Nichole Barnett
At Condé we genuinely love sublimation! You would be hard pressed to find anyone in our company who would take a different career path if they were given the opportunity to start over. However, that isn’t to say we haven’t had our own struggles! Our dynamic team is aggressive and has spent thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of hours putting our heads together and streamlining our processes. We believe that for a company to maintain its relevancy and turn profit, production is key. We’ve compiled a short list of our most effective production strategies in hopes that they benefit your business and help you grow.
Before you can “produce” an actual product, you have to create a design. While that seems straightforward, the ball is often dropped in this simple step. Design completion is directly tied to software expertise. While there are many people in our company who have experience with Photoshop and Corel Draw, it’s our graphic artist that is the most efficient in either software and able to produce designs quickly. Although others here can create designs that are basically as good, she can complete in an hour what may take us three days. Time is money! Whoever your designer is (even if it’s you) needs to learn the ins and outs of the software they are using. Considering investing in a class or contracting out more difficult design requests.
With design responsibilities squared away, we can focus on the hardware we use to create products. Printers and transfer paper bring the selling point of your product to life. It goes without saying that the more quality your final product appears to have, the more credibility you achieve. The reason people say, “you get what you pay for” is because it’s true! If you want to create a cheap looking product you can use cheap printers, cheap ink, cheap paper, cheap blanks, etc., but if you want to create an impressive product, you may have to initially fork over a bit more money. Rather than dwelling on the dent made to your pocketbook, focus on getting a return on your investment. Having the equipment on hand to produce a superior product at a reasonable price makes all the difference to potential clients. If you impress the right people, you could have amazing contract potential! Political campaigns, university stores, union workers, and business owners are all people who take pride in the merchandise that represents them and are most likely to choose the best product over the cheapest.
Granted, the value of your tools is only going to get you so far. In order to reap the most benefit from your production abilities you must create the best work flow. You must be organized and give yourself plenty of room to work with clear areas designated to prepping, pressing, cooling and packaging. For some, working in a small space is fine if they only turn enough revenue to break even. However, if you want to grow your company into something much larger give yourself the room to do so. Obviously don’t rush to buy a warehouse; but allow yourself the room to expand. Something as simple as three separate tables and a strong enforcement of organization sets the tone for efficient manufacturing which is invaluable as your company grows.
The bottom line is we are all in this together and need to help one another out when possible. If you forge good relationships with your neighbors who are in the same profession, they may be willing to let you use their machines should you experience power outages, mechanical failures, or simply lack the right size equipment. Marrying art and business isn’t easy but we can all learn and benefit from one another’s successes. Don’t be afraid to dream big because you can absolutely acquire those dreams!