A Digital Printing Network
IMPRINTABLES WAREHOUSE VERSACAMM TRAINING
JANUARY, 25-26, 2013
Day 1: Jan. 25
Today started out with Steven introducing both himself and Irv; he then gave a quick overview of Jen’s (his wife) business and how they have been able to incorporate the Versacamm technology into their everyday business. During the first break we were all encouraged to introduce ourselves to the other attendees and to ask any questions of the SeaGlass staff. During this time the networking opportunity between the attendees was priceless and I will probably mention this several times throughout this blog.
Pricing was the first topic of the day. Steven went over the aspects of what to consider when creating your own price lists. He said many just look at the cost of the material, ink, and the substrate to which the material will be applied. Steven did a great job of stressing the fact that you HAVE to consider your time involved and the overhead, (rent, heat, electricity, etc.) even if you are working from home. As we went over the cost of different materials, we learned that it is better to factor in waste into the cost of doing the job.
The next thing we covered was marketing. This was very interesting since we all shared different ideas on how to convey to our customers what we can do now that we have this powerful decoration tool at our disposal. Steve gave us input on how they market the different decoration methods, while many within the class shared their experiences on what worked and what didn’t. We also covered ways of displaying different materials so our customers had something to touch and feel. The one thing that really stood out to me is not only do “Samples Sell”, but how to plus the sales by including a window decal, a decorated bag, or maybe a magnet with the customers design. The magnet idea is great especially if it had the logo with room to add emergency numbers. (911, Babysitter, School, etc.) Don’t forget to include your company logo and information on it also.
Lunch was next with pizza and more time to network with one another.
The afternoon session started out with us going over artwork and the realistic expectations on what to expect from your customers in the regards the art and what they determine to be “good art”. This transitioned into how to turn “unacceptable art” and make it into useable and impressive art. All decoration methods in my opinion, is all about the art, if you want to wow your customers and want them looking forward to coming back for other projects.
Workflow of a job was next. We followed an order from the initial customer contact to the final finished product. This was very informative on how to cut your time and what trouble to anticipate as the job progressed thru the process. A good point during this time was to make sure your customer approved the art before continuing with a job and to make they understood the decoration method. Educating the customer on the different decoration methods will make them feel more comfortable ordering from you in the future. We also covered proper VersaWorks settings to produce the most superior results on each of the solutions.
Machine maintenance and hands on material application was next as we all broke into 3 groups to get the most out of this part of the training. Irv was the Versacamm 300 VS maintenance trainer for this part. He went over the cleaning, troubleshooting, and what to watch for so you did not end up with any extended down time. Maintenance on any piece of equipment, in my opinion is one of the most, if not the most important part of any training. If the machine is not maintained correctly it will not perform correctly and put out an inferior product. We all had samples of all the apparel decoration solutions, Jen and her staff assisted in the proper way of applying each different solution. The great part of this each of us left with t-shirts with the samples applied to them. This will give us all samples to do wash tests and to show our customers and potential new customers.
The day ended with question and answer session along with touching on some banner, decal, and signage applications. We spent quite a bit of this time chatting and networking. Steven and Jen had a reservation at a local restaurant for all of us to go eat and do more networking. The food was amazing, but more than that, it gave all of us time to share our ideas with each other.
Day 2: Jan. 26
Today started out with questions being asked about Day 1. We then “dived” right into VersaWorks settings and the proper way to save the different formats. VersaWorks is user friendly and automated tool if it is set up properly. The options are endless; we all just need to “think outside of the box”. We then migrated to color management (my favorite part) and how to do color matching. During this time we also learned that a CMYK printer CANNOT hit all PMS colors and it has color limitations, but there are ways to make the customer happy with the final product.
Canvas printing, window graphics, wall graphics and lamination was next on our list of things to learn. All of the above if done correctly, can be great money makers in addition to apparel decoration. We were able to use the lamination machine to apply a graphic to coroplast and also to laminate a photo print. The ability to print a decal, laminate, and put an edge seal around it was quite interesting. Watching and learning the technique to do canvas prints, along with stretching the print onto a frame was invaluable. This was something that I wanted to learn how to do properly.
Steve then showed us a technique called Variable Data within VersaWorks. This technique has endless opportunities. The Variable Date method allows you to import an excel file with names and numbers into a design automatically. This cuts out the time of manually placing each name and number in a design. Many of us had ideas on how to utilize this technique within our shops as soon as we learned what it can do. I know I plan on using this as soon as possible.
We finished up the training with networking and question and answer time. For some it was time to say good bye to new found friends to catch flights back home. To all that were in the class, it was nice meeting all of you and I hope we can meet again to catch up on how we are using our Versacamms.
Thanks again Steve, Jen, and Irv for a great learning experience! I would most definitely recommend this class and would take it again for a refresher course and to network with other users! I also am looking forward to the Advance User course when it is available.