Lanyard printing considered seasonal. In month of May, Jun, and July we are receiving wholesale order nationwide mostly from school needs. We are kind of business accepting all project came to our door without saying a no to their demand. The fact here is they require almost same date of competition. Instead of pleading them an extended deadline, we understand that we should be the one to adjust. So we set a standard of 1000 pieces for these peak days. I know that it would be difficult to meet especially if you just started in this industry. Luckily you found my website and I will share to you our experience for fast lanyard printing.
I will tell you a secret and a common misconception here. If you are thinking that you just only need to add more workers so rush up the process, you are wrong. I’ve done this before. I have internet cafe and from my customers there, I have recruited 12 people who are willing to make a sublimation ID lace in return of free game time. I picked those on legal age because I want to show to them that this is not a game and we need to take it seriously. But instead of getting faster result, more operational mistakes happened. I felt like everything was cluttered including tools being used by several workers, and then I miscalculate the materials and finished products because of several people working in different places in our shop and a lot more. I will admit that they were not trained properly as everything went sudden. I can’t hire 12 people permanently. It was given that that was a side project for them. So conclusion here, number of workers is not always an answer. We need to stay in quality over quantity. So from 12, I limit it to 6-member team. I trained them and implemented a system to everyone.
Aside from team member, it is also important to have on-hand materials and prepare them for action that anytime might happen. To make everything run smoothly, you need to prepare the materials ahead of time and you can only do this if you have the materials on hand that are ready for production. For instance, we have a 1000 pre-cut sublimation lace ready to be printed. When we are not busy or before the month of May came, we use to start cutting as part of our preparation. The worst part here is when you are only about to buy materials once the client make a downpayment. Well if you are living in city, that’s OK because you can still buy materials any time. But in case you are like us who are living here in Capiz Philippines, buying to nearby cities such as Roxas and Iloilo is not an option due to high price cost. So our only deal here is to order from Manila or directly from China in cost of shipment duration. I commonly see this scenario from other printing company wherein they failed to comply on a given margin because of the delay of materials arrival. Sounds convincing but technically for us, that is not a good reason to make a delay on agreed time. Again to avoid this hassle part, you must prepare the materials ahead of time for rush printing.
In our case, we have materials enough to make 10,000 finished products. This will aid us from shipping cost as well as convenient of starting the project right away. If there is a disadvantage for us living in remote province, this is it getting affordable materials. The only way to resolve this issue, is to import bulk raw materials. This is one of our tricks to be the cheapest lanyard supplier in Western Visayas or even in the whole country. Our business is located in the third class municipality in the province of Capiz, meaning we have low-cost of living and we can hire workers in low rate too. This will result a big difference in terms of our product price compare to those in the cities. That is why we are receiving sub contractual project from printing shop located from Roxas City, Iloilo, Aklan, Cebu, Bacolod, Antique and even Metro Manila because they can still earn money despite of pushing the work load on us. Again the only risk here are acquiring enough materials from reliable suppliers, so you need to secure that part.
Now that you have your team and materials, the next thing you need to do is the system for production. I got this trick from playing video games or specifically in farming. The catch here is simple, you will get a fast result if you are going to focus on doing repetitive task for hours or days. The problem is you will easily get burn out from doing the same thing over and over again. But if you do, you will notice that you are able to accomplish work faster because of muscle memory or subconsciously doing something. Aside from playing video games, the same concept on practicing musical instrument. In my case I’m playing drums and I will tell you that I can learn and accomplish more if I’m going to practice same routine over and over instead of practicing several songs in one session. It’s a mastery like uncle Bruce Lee said, kicking 100 times over 100 different kicks. So be it in this business. We will assign a guy that will do cutting for 20 hours and then another guy for printer production, then another guy for heatpresss production and so on. Actually even putting a side release and pressing the rematche, I have different guys on respective duties.
Since you will assign your team into different task, make sure they accompanied with different tools. I you have 3 cutters, you need 3 scissors, if you have 2 people for pressing, you need to heatpress and so on. Like materials, you have also need a decent tool. I’ve seen some people are using ordinary 15×15 inches heatpress on making sublimation lace, well maybe they are just started or printing lanyard is a side project for them. But I will frankly say it to you, if you really want to dive in this business, you need to commit and the best way to start it is get your own 10.5″x40″ machine. It is more accurate to use, fast in the sense of assessing 10 pieces of lace at a time, and able to do high quality sublimation due to ink, heat and pressure dispersion.
That’s it for providing such thousand quantity. By the end of the day, number is not always a matter. The most important in this industry is the quality. So in our next post I will share to you factors on what we consider as high quality lanyard. You can also use this as standard for your business or a demand to your current supplier.