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5 Screen Printers Reflect on Challenges and Opportunities from 2021

Plus, Marshall Atkinson shares his predictions for the year ahead.

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5 Screen Printers Reflect on Challenges and Opportunities from 2021
Jodi Taylor
Owner, PSI Screenprinting

Wow, what a crazy few years with COVID. But life goes on. I’m not sure about you all, but business keeps going. Whether it’s good or bad, you still need to be there chipping away.
For me, 2021 has been a year of high growth and lots of learnings. Growth, even though it is exciting and can be rewarding, it isn’t easy; it brings challenges. My biggest challenge from 2021 was losing and letting staff go who weren’t the right fit for us anymore, and bringing on new team members who can grow with us into the future. This year, we’ve gone from a team of 20 to 26. Toward the end of this year, we realized the production manager role wasn’t right for our level of production team anymore, which was exciting for other team members to level up and take on more responsibility.

After three straight months of night shifts, we are thrilled to be getting our second ROQ ECO. It’s due to arrive in Australia by the end of this year. It has taken the whole year of planning to get the ROQ here and to get our factory ready for a second auto. We digitally plan out the factory and flow of a T-shirt from start to finish to be the most efficient we can. We invest in an ideal screen-room, which we tagged as the “ultimatescreenroom” with a new starlight, our Douthitt, which we got the year before the Unikote and the ECO rinse. This was all to increase our capacity for the pre-press department, but also to improve our quality and efficiencies.  We have been dreaming about being able to do this for a few years now and are so stoked for it to come to pass. Now we are just waiting for the ROQ. We do have to pinch ourselves a bit as we are doing so well in this time and have been growing so much when it’s been really tough for other businesses. This was a massive step forward for us in 2021 and we are really excited by the capacity and growth we will be able to take on in 2022.

Nathan Leber
Nathan Leber
owner, Leber Design and Print

We ended up having a really great year. Overall, the greatest impact we have seen was from defining more precisely exactly what it is we do and who we want to serve. This provided clarity to the entire company. We also had everyone write their own job role in words that made complete sense to them, which led to some great conversations, and clarity on previous misunderstandings. Our team is focused on finding ways to incrementally improve all the time, so a continuation of building on that and finding new processes to save a few seconds adds up over the course of a year when implemented all the time. Adding monitors to each print station with a job preview was a basic way that we saved time, lowered our scrap, and decreased a lot of steps that we previously had been making.

Watch Marshall Atkinson share his predictions for 2022 so you can plan for the year ahead.

Watch Tracey Johnston-Aldworth share the best, and the worst, of the past year at Traces Screen Printing.

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