7 Tips for Reducing Screen Printing Turnaround Time

4 Mins read

When you are running a screen printing business, besides producing top-quality prints, you also should ensure that you have a quick turnaround time, so you don’t keep your clients waiting for their prints for too long that they run out of patience and cancel their orders.

Thankfully, it’s possible to increase your turnaround time. How do you do this? Consider these tips:

Have all the information you need

Before you begin printing, ensure that you have all the information you need to complete the order. This way, you don’t have to go back and confirm the designs, colors, and other details when you have already started working on the order and end up wasting a lot of time.

To save time and stay organized, ensure you collect all the relevant information as the client is leaving their order. If there is any unclear information that you would like clarified, clarify it as soon as possible so that when printing time comes, there is no back and forth—you go straight to printing.

Reduce the minimum number of colors

When you are screen-printing, you have to print every color separately. This means that if you have 3 colors, it will take you 3 times longer to print the apparel than if you had only one color. To reduce the time it takes you to print the product, aim to have as few colors as possible. 

Your rule should be, “if you can bring out the same message using one color, there is no point in using two colors.”

If you have been printing for a while, you must have observed that dark apparels often require extra steps to make the colors stand out, so to reduce the printing time, consider printing on light-colored garments. This way, you will print the apparels fast and still maintain quality.

Keep records of challenging projects.

Now and then, you will come across hard-to-crack projects. While it’s okay to spend time on the first challenging project, it shouldn’t be the case with the second one. To save time the next time you get a similar project, keep detailed records of the challenging project.

Record the screen printing technique, machine, and supplies used. You should include as many details that helped you achieve the project as possible.

When you have a record of a challenging job, you have an easy time executing a similar project in the future, as all you have to do is refer to the previous project.

Invest in quality machines

Technology is evolving every day, and you can’t continue being competitive while still using old technology—you have to upgrade.

If you have been slow in your delivery, take an inventory of your machines. How old are they? Are they manual or automatic? Are there other machines in the industry that can work 50% faster and more efficiently than your machines?

If you find out you are lagging, get modern machines.

While the new machines will be expensive to have, they will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

As you are investing in the machines, also invest in your staff. When is the last time you trained your staff? If it has been over a year, it’s time for a refresher course. Train them on how to use the new machines and other practices that will make them more efficient and productive.

Outsource the fulfillment

Delivery is an integral part of your business that can be a headache and time consumer if you aren’t keen on it. When you deliver the apparels by yourself, you have to think about the transport system, staff to do the deliveries and plenty of other moving parts.

Since the core of your business isn’t doing deliveries, you should outsource the fulfillment so you can concentrate on what you are good at—printing the garments.

When you outsource the deliveries, you only need to contact the fulfillment company. When they arrive at your venue, you give them the delivery address of your customer, and it’s up to them to deliver the package. 

Would you love to learn how to outsource the fulfillment like a pro? Visit our page

Know how to prioritize your work

Sometimes you might have all the information you need to know about a client’s order but fail to deliver it on time due to your disorganization. 

Many screen printing businesses print the orders as they receive them. While this is good as it ensures that the first client gets the priority, it’s not enough—you need to come up with a better system.

When you are deciding what print job should go first, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are there print jobs with more flexible deadlines? You should work on orders with hard and fast deadlines first, even if they weren’t the first to arrive.
  • Are there orders that need special supplies? If you have them, move them down in your priority list and first work on the ones you can complete with the available supplies. The reason for this is because you can get caught up trying to find the special supplies that you fail to print the urgent orders.
  • Are the orders too big for my staff? If having a large project, don’t rush to it because it will bring in more money. Instead, do an analysis and determine whether your staff can handle it. If your staff can’t accomplish it within the given time, you are better off moving it down your priority list and working on the orders that your staff can easily tackle. Only start working on the large orders after you have come up with a viable plan, such as increasing your workforce or getting better and larger machines. 

Don’t take more than you can bite.

It’s tempting to get as many orders as possible, but this isn’t a wise move, especially when you don’t have the capacity to handle them. When you have clients breathing on your neck all the time, you not only fail to deliver quality, sometimes you move around in panic, and you deliver nothing.

To avoid this, be brutally honest about your capabilities and what you can deliver within a specified time. A great way to tell what you are capable of is to keep records of the time you take to complete a given task. The next time you get a client, refer to the records, and if you can’t deliver their work on time, don’t take the order.

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