Brown did some recent DTG print testing and I had some thoughts. This particular test involved a print run of about 72 shirts ranging from youth medium to adult 3xl. It has a white crest print and a multi-color full back on a dark shirt. A typical order for a community printer. And a profitable one if handled correctly for your shop.
What is correctly?
Shirt $2Ink $0.95Pretreat $0.30Shop time cost $1.66Labor $0.83Total cost per shirt $5.74
Screen Print on an automatic
Shirt $2Ink $0.06Films/screens $0.08Shop time cost $0.83Labor $0.42Total cost per shirt $3.31
Screen Print on an manual
Shirt $2Ink $0.06Films/screens $0.08Shop time cost $1.66Labor $0.83
Total cost per shirt $4.63
Is cost the only factor in the production path?
Well, we can all say "no" to that answer. But there is $2.50 per shirt here in profit. So COGS cannot be ignored.
COGS is a significant factor. That calculation has to include machine time, shop time and labor time. However, judging the flow of your shop, the availability of your staff and their skill sets, and the print preferences of the final customer will sway the final production decision. If they want "pop" then they will want screen print. If they prefer a soft feel, then DTG is a good plan.
So the real answer is that there is not a "correct" way to do this except to follow some basic guidelines.
- Is the customer happy with the finished product?
- Did you deliver on time?
- Did you make a profit margin that you would want repeat the job?
- Did this job delay other jobs that were more profitable?