To actually make a huge impact, a St. Louis screen printing and custom embroidery company is going to need the correct equipment. This will at the very least, require a decent press that could be either a manual or an automatic, a decent dryer. I happen to be personally partial to an infrared dryer, and a flash unit, preferably a quartz flash which allows faster production, plus an exposure unit. You will also need at least a manual washout booth for reclaiming screens, inks, the correct chemicals and an entire litany of different types of inks. You will also need the software such as the industry standard, Illustrator or Photoshop and the list goes on and on.
Trying to locate the right products and the right provider for all of the different types of T-shirt applications can be an overwhelming task. Keep in mind that owning the right equipment and having the right tools to do the job is only the beginning. Along with all of that, you have to know how to use it. I can remember when I first got into the t-shirt printing business, I went to a local St.Louis screen printing and embroidery company and asked if I could just stand around and watch them work. The gentleman who owned it said no, but if you’re willing to get your hands dirty, I’ll pay you and you can learn on the job. It impressed me how the guy standing behind the equipment made it look so easy. However, that’s typical for anybody who’s been doing whatever it is they do for 10 years or more and had the right training.
With all this said, there is a much smarter approach in my opinion, then going out and incurring all this overhead, obtaining all this new expensive machinery and then trying to learn how to use it properly. Instead of doing everything in house, why don’t you entertain learning how to network with the right individuals who specialize in production? I used to run my own production for many years before I got smart. Of course there’s pros and cons to this approach just like anything but in my opinion, the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is you lose a little bit of control. Unlike just working on your own jobs, you have to get in line. This can make Rush jobs very difficult as the typical industry standard for production turn around is approximately 2-1/2 Weeks. As long as your client is not in a huge hurry to receive his custom t-shirts, this can be a very viable option. The same thing can be said for custom embroidery as well as catering to the St.Louis digital t-shirt printing market. When using this approach, this should free you up to concentrate on marketing which in my opinion is the key to any successful company.