Screen printing consultants can provide targeted, effective strategies to improve efficiency, increase profitability, and hone your competitive edge.
RYAN KASPARIAN IS a print shop consultant at Covered in Ink who aims to “breathe life back into your shop.” His services include management training, production art, press operating, shop layouts, ink training, and pre-press/screen room. Ryan’s worked with companies such as Gorilla Joe Printing, Night Owls, Family Industries, Campus Ink, Cotton Street Apparel, WeTalkShirty.com, and Barrel Maker Printing. Read the interview to learn more about his process and decide if bringing in a consultant is right for your business.
Adrienne Palmer: Why should a screen printing shop hire a consultant?
Ryan Kasparian: Consultants bring industry expertise and a fresh perspective to the business. They can identify areas of improvement, recommend strategies to enhance efficiency, and help implement best practices. Consultants can also assist with streamlining workflows, optimizing production processes, and improving overall profitability. Additionally, a consultant can provide valuable insights on industry trends, competitive analysis, and customer demands, helping the shop stay relevant and competitive in the industry.
AP: How long does the consulting process take?
RK: Depending on the specific needs and goals of the print shop, it can range from a few days to several weeks. Some consultations are project-based and have a defined timeline, while others involve ongoing support and periodic check-ins.
AP: How many hours/days do you spend with a shop?
RK: The amount of time I spend with a shop depends on the scope of the project and the issues at hand. It can vary from a few hours for a quick assessment call or a Zoom training session to several days or weeks for a comprehensive analysis and implementation support. During this time, I will work closely with the shop’s management and staff, conducting assessments, providing recommendations, and assisting with the implementation of changes. The shop can expect personalized attention, guidance, and expertise tailored to their specific needs.
“Consultants bring industry expertise and a fresh perspective to the business.”
AP: What areas of a client’s business tend to require the most attention?
RK: I generally address the following:
- Workflow analysis and process optimization
- Production efficiency and capacity planning
- Equipment selection and layout optimization
- Quality control and standardization
- Inventory management and supply chain optimization
- Pricing strategies and profitability analysis
- Staff training and development
- Technology integration and automation
AP: What are the benefits of hiring an expert in screen printing vs. general business?
RK: While a general business consultant may have knowledge in various industries, a screen printing expert can provide specialized guidance, industry best practices, and a deep understanding of the latest trends and technologies in the field. This expertise can result in more targeted and effective solutions, ultimately leading to improved operational efficiency, increased profitability, and a competitive edge.
AP: Typically, how much does this cost?
RK: Cost can vary depending on factors such as the size of the shop, the scope of the project, the level of expertise required, and the duration of the engagement. Some consultants may charge an hourly rate, while others may offer fixed project fees. It is best to discuss the specific requirements and expectations with the consultant to determine the cost and ensure transparency. I’ve seen consultants charging prices ranging from $250 for a quick fix all the way to $50k for an extended program spanning several months.
AP: What is your response to a screen printer who says they’re not confident a consultant would help?
RK: It’s totally understandable. Honestly, I’ve had my own reservations when working with consultants. However, it’s important to consider that consultants bring valuable expertise and experience to the table. They have likely worked with multiple shops in the industry, encountering similar challenges and finding successful solutions in different ways. A consultant can provide an objective viewpoint, identify blind spots, and offer strategies that may not have been considered before. It can be helpful to have an initial consultation to discuss specific needs and concerns. This way, the printer can get a better understanding of how a consultant can add value and make an informed decision based on the discussion.
AP: Favorite success story?
RK: The biggest success would be hearing from owners and employees that their jobs and lives have gotten insanely better! Or the text messages I receive that state “Dude, this is soooo much easier and faster!” or “I can’t believe we’ve been fighting with this for years, and now we’re crushing it!”
But what’s more important is learning from the failures. I am still learning how to bring a customized training program into every shop and how to deliver all the information appropriately. Everyone is different, and not everyone learns in the same manner. Trying to improve after every shop visit and every situation is the name of the game!
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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