(#1) Equipment-How do you know what to purchase?
: I always place equipment into 3 categories, and you need to consider first; (A)-are you purchasing for only the now, or (B) are you taking your future (down the road purchases) into consideration:
1). An inexpensive purchase- NOT cheap, but this category may cause you to be limited in what you can accomplish, only handles the now needs, does not consider the future needs of your companies growth.
2). A middle of the road purchase-NOT inexpensive, but not the most elaborate set up either, you should be able to handle everything you do now, and allows for some future needs or upgrades later on.
3). A state of the art purchase-You have considered carefully what you will be doing now, and where you want to be in the future, and you have even made allowances for future purchase upgrades,so it will be seamless to implement.·
: When purchasing equipment; it is extremely important who you purchase the equipment from, it will inevitably come down to who you have the best trusting relationship with, because even the best corporate manufactures can't be trusted where money and policies are concerned, a good professional consultant, and a good dealer are always your best bet than going into a direct mfg sale. If I had a thousand dollars for every time I asked someone why they bought that piece of equipment and they said because it was such a great deal (money wise) it was cheap that was all and cheap doesn't equate to a great sale, it could and in most cases does equate to a disaster.
(#2) Can screen print employees change?
First I would say in dealing with people as their boss, you can only effect and expect so much change in a person, some things you just can't teach. Only a person under deep convictions will want to change. I was brought in to train a person at a shop, and they were taking an Hr to set-up and strike off a one color job on an automatic press. My first suggestion; come to find out, is what they already tried and failed at. They tried to have the person work with the lead printer for a month to be trained and to pick up all the lead printer's good habits, and the lead printer's fast set-up techniques. Too bad my efforts and their efforts failed. You can not teach someone to care, that is what was lacking, and it has to come from them and be able to stick or else, you get what you get. That is why some people in the business are only very good screen dept people, some are very good ink dept people, some can only catch/fold/count & box, and some are good automatic printers but can't set-up to save their lives, some are only good on a manual press. You may get a 1 out of 50 that can be one of these, 1 out of 1000 that can do all these very well. There will always be the know it alls that have been doing this for 20-30 yrs, or someone who has worked with this type of person and it is their way or the highway, and there is no room for any new ideas or innovations. Some who believe that you should not push multicolor prints on garments because a single color likes just as well, and you have to use only 86+110 mesh with a soft manual squishy squeegee, this type of person has probably dilluted themselves to think they invented screen printing too!
(#3) Do you like what you do at work?
Some Jobs are very hard to like, I remember my father working at one job for so many years and really liked it, then he got let go....the other jobs to follow were difficult and some very tough and stressful, and they were only jobs with a paycheck. When we talk about the printing industry, it can be a fun industry to be apart of. People can make any job difficult, if you have the wrong mix of people and personalities, it can be detrimental to your production, and growth of your company, not to mention difficult people create a stressful environment. Why some people choose to put these people at the forefront of their company at times is way beyond my comprehension, but I see it all the time in various companies and corporations.
I can truly relate to this post. Intelligent, well adjusted, passionate employees are worth their weight in gold and can make the difference between loving what you do and hating it.
I just heard the same quote Rick Kent told me a few months ago, "you just can't teach stupid". So people we are stuck with are just that, and it takes a great deal of adjustment to work with these people, it's like anything we do though, change starts with us first.
It astonishes me how the simplest task in this business is turned into an intricate overcomplicated task. At this point I just expect it and try to put the squash on it before to many hours are wasted.
I have had many conversations with Paul Geswell about people in high positions that should really not be there, and how they determine the outcome of others in that company, also how they treat people, you can be looked upon as the dumbest thing that ever walked the earth; and in all actuality, you are the professional solution to bring that companies dept to the next level or to a better profitable place.
(#4) Loyalty; We want it from our customers, our employees, and everyone we deal with?
Loyalty is very important we expect it sometimes demand it along with respect and other things. But when it comes to our actions, does this go out the window when things get tight over money? Will we jump ship from people that have helped us and have been good to us through the years because we feel the grip of money's lure? Will we be like Carrier Company and layoff Thousands of faithful employees (American's), and support a totally different country, a totally different ideology ? Will we go the extra and keep ourselves loyal to those who have been loyal to us or fold under pressure?
(#5) The Story of the Ham....Do you think it has relevance in your business or not?
Great story, can't remember when I first heard this or who exactly told it to me, but it has been a great teaching story for many years:
A little girl is going to have dinner with her family, so she decides to help her mom cook dinner, her mom is baking a ham, so she gets out the baking pan and then cuts off both ends of the ham, the daughter notices this and says mom why did you cut the ends off of the ham? The mom replies, I don't know, that's just the way my mother showed ...me how to cook. A few weeks go by and the family goes to visit Grandma, the daughter seeing her Grandmother cooking a ham says "Grandma, mom said you taught her to cut the ends off the ham when you cook it, why do you do this?" The Grandmother replied "I taught her the way my mother your great Grandmother taught me. A couple of months go by and the family goes to visit great Grandma, the little girl can't wait to see her great grandma, she sits with her and asks her "great grandma mom said she learned to cook a ham from you, why do you cut the ends off of your hams. Great Grandma replied "I did that because when your great grandfather and I were first married we had a tiny apartment that had a very small stove and we had to use a small pan to cook in, so we had to cut both ends off of the ham so it would fit in the oven". *The moral or lesson of this story is: Don't do something just because someone else did it that way, understand the dynamics & principles to what you are doing and these will clearly make you better at the task, whatever it is!
Know what you are doing and why you do it, don't just blindly be a follower but obtain the knowledge you need to be a true professional!