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10 Ways to Use AI Right Now

Taking the heavy lifting out of screen printing need not be a heavy lift.




REMEMBER WHEN A MANUAL carousel and a sharp squeegee were the only “tech” you needed? Times are changing, and fast!

Keeping up with the advance of artificial intelligence (AI) is essential, but leading the charge is even better. Here are ten ways you can leverage AI to improve your shop right now:

1. Hire an AI Design Wizard

We’ve all been there – late-night design sessions, multiple revisions, trying to create the perfect design that screams, “Buy me!” But what if AI could do the heavy lifting for you? Midjourney is like your very own design wizard, presenting you with an array of designs magically created with word prompts. Gone are the days of racking your brain on what to create or how to get inspired. AI can provide multiple iterations of an idea in about a minute.

To get started, just head over to and sign up. Bonus points for installing Tracejourney to vectorize or upscale the image inside of Midjourney for an even faster workflow.

2. Automate Workflow

What if there were a universal remote for the tech world – a way to eliminate shuffling between apps or losing data in transit? Sign up for a Zapier account and start connecting your software.

This isn’t just convenience; it’s a revolution. The idea of disparate systems working in harmony was once a pipe dream. Now, getting your tools talking to each other without anyone in the middle is the gold standard. Stop manually entering data or information, and you’ll find more time for creativity, improve accuracy in your operations, and reduce headaches.

3. Use Barcodes With Brains

These aren’t your grandpa’s barcodes – they’re next-gen, predictive, and super-smart.

Request a demo of one of the latest solutions to understand the full extent of the promise. It’s like your inventory woke up one day and said, “I’ve got this!”

What if a barcode scan received that box in your system? How many 230 Yellow Mesh frames are you using per week? How much metallic gold ink is on the shelf? These systems can enable you to turn passive stock data into proactive inventory strategy.

Collecting and using the data for better real-time decisions will result in happier customers, less waste, and a healthier bottom line.


10 Ways to Use AI Right Now

4. Just Stop With the Spreadsheets

This isn’t 1997. The latest dashboards don’t just show numbers – they’re the modern-day oracles of your screen printing business. They consolidate information from throughout your operation (smart barcodes, anyone?) to tell stories. By illuminating patterns and providing actionable insights, these tools can help you move from reaction to action, making strategic decisions daily rather than waiting for a monthly report.

Ready to get some graphing going? Choose an AI-enhanced dashboard tool (Google is your friend here) and feed it a month’s data about the KPIs that matter to you.

If you think AI is going to replace you, you are mistaken. People using AI will be the ones who take over.

5. Invest Time in Training

With an AI assist, documenting your processes is easier and faster than ever. Use self-created YouTube videos of what you want to teach, and have AI transcribe and translate everything into simple, actionable steps. For on-site reminders, use QR codes that link to the videos for equipment maintenance, settings, or best practices.

You could sign up for an AI-centric training module relevant to your business. Or you could simply use ChatGPT to write based on your prompts (use the OKR format – Objective/Key Result).

6. Personalize Customer Journeys

Customers no longer want a one-size-fits-all approach. They crave bespoke experiences. AI steps in, rolls out the red carpet, and says, “I’ve got you covered.” Combine AI with CRM tools to magnify the experience with outbound emails and marketing (don’t forget about Zapier!). The result will be increased user engagement and potentially higher conversion rates.

Personalization can turn casual browsers into loyal brand ambassadors by making the interaction more about “them” and less about “you.” A delighted customer not only buys, but also brings in their friends. To make this happen, implement an AI tool on your website. If you are stuck on how to do this, think “who” instead of “how” and bring in help.

7. Make Sustainability Profitable

AI tools like the ones discussed here make it easier to pursue profit responsibly. This is about telling the world, “We care.” Beyond the obvious environmental benefits, sustainability is a massive customer draw – and a solid program can also reduce costs by optimizing every drop of ink and every watt of energy.

How can you eliminate waste? Is there a better way to handle something? Start with obtaining data, and chart a course toward improvement. Also consider looking into the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership for obtaining training and a third-party sustainability audit.

8. Make Your stock room a strategic hub

Inventory management on steroids – that’s the promise of AI for those who understand stock management isn’t just about numbers anymore. Rather, it’s strategic, predictive, and an integral part of business planning.

If your business grows this year at a rate of 22 percent, what does next year look like? What do you have, and what do you need? Chart it out and make better decisions earlier in the process to strike a balance between demand and supply. No more stockouts, no excess stocks gathering dust – just optimal inventory levels for what is needed. To get started, try learning to use an AI-enhanced inventory management tool for one area of your shop (maybe the ink room or screen room).

9. Protect Your Designs

In an era of knockoffs, AI can ensure every print’s genuineness, adding an unbreachable fortress around designs. Design protection is about not just safeguarding revenue, but also building trust and brand reputation. An AI-driven watermark or QR code – or in some cases, NFTs and the blockchain – can add protection against counterfeits and assure customers they’re getting the genuine article every single time.

10 Ways to Use AI Right Now

10. Home in on Your Intended Audience

Marketing isn’t about casting wide nets anymore. It’s about hitting the bullseye with every campaign. AI makes it easier than ever to ensure every penny spent is optimized for higher conversions, better ROI, and campaigns that resonate. In the age of information overload, it can help you stand out stand out with messages that matter.

If you think AI is going to replace you, you are mistaken. People using AI will be the ones who take over. Don’t put off learning and experimenting with these new tools another day. Jump in, make mistakes, and get messy Failure is acceptable, but ignoring the potential of AI is not. Don’t be left out in the cold!

Want more from The Marshall Plan? Read all of Marshall Atkinson’s columns at here.




Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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