Monday, July 20, 2020

Who's hot! Reading the field.

After spending a weekend watching lacrosse games, I was impressed by the goalies and the communication on the field.  We all know that the team who communicates the best has a higher chance of winning.  This communication gives direction for both the offense and the defense.  But what really caught my attention is how relevant this process is to our current climate.  There is a phrase that I have only heard on the lacrosse field.  "Who's Hot". 

Who's hot

This is a shout out from a goalie to look for the shooter.  Because that information can change rapidly on a field the team must adjust to the fast changing situation.  Isn't that the same in selling and reacting to customer needs?  A few months ago we would have said that the spring sports and tourism market was next to be hot.  We geared up for teams and beaches, for school camps and 5k runs.  But none of that happened.  

What did happen was an explosion of digital printing on par with Black Friday.  And it did not let up.  Those who answered the call for on-demand production, they are working huge hours to keep up with demand.  They would not have foreseen this would be one of the top volume quarters in the year.  What they need to consider is whether there are tools to manage these orders that will make the process smooth from web order to shipping. 

The other explosion was the requirement for masks.  The mandates that have been issued have made these standard attire and customization is a massive opportunity.  Large orders with corporate logos or small orders for bars and restaurants are flooding in.  Attachments that will hold these items without spray adhesive are necessary.  

Tools to respond to the call.

On the sports field, the defensive players slide and rotate to block any shot but the offense is constantly moving the ball for the best shot at the goalie.  And in this ever changing global situation, decorators must do the same.  We cannot be defenders and hope to ride it out.  We must be on the offense looking for any opportunity to capture our market share.  So we need the best tools available.

On-demand printing tools

Linx is a production management software that connects your online store through your art room and onto your DTG devices.  It moves those products into ShipStation and allows tracking of orders from beginning to end with file conversion and a rules engine to manage print and cure parameters.  

Mask Printing

The mandates for masks has taken this once disposable product and put it into the mainstay of fashion.  Corporate logos, fancy pattern, political causes and many other designs are in hot demand.  However, many of these masks are 2-ply and they cannot be held to the platen with adhesive.  Additionally, who wants to put adhesive on their face.  So a 2-ply hold down for manual or automatic presses is a necessity.
2-ply Mask hold down

Who's Hot

This is not a question of temperature in the room but a question of "are we taking advantage of the opportunities that are presenting themselves".  Do we have our best people with the right tools to get this done.  The winning lacrosse team creates opening for the hottest shooter.  Pick the tool best to help your move forward in the current climate.  Potential sales are there if your team keeps eyes open and connects together to take advantage of what is available on the field.