Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Getting creative during the supply chain crunch


For anyone who is chasing garments of every type and style, we understand your pain.  The supply chain issue is applicable to everything from ramen noodles in the grocery store to automobiles.  It is not just the finished products, but the raw materials and the sub-assembly items.

So what to do?

Get creative, that's what.  We have had conversations with customers who tell us that they have called 7 vendors to fill one order.  Or that they have converted brands to fill the order and told the customer that the original brand was unavailable.  Or they have had to start from scratch with the sale to find items that would fit both the customer and the supply chain issues.

Well folks, it isn't just shirts.  Anyone who needs a new car will know of the shortage of electronics that has stopped car production.  Or chat with someone in the foam industry and they are out of the base chemical to produce styrene box inserts.  Or try to find copper wire to install new power drops into a facility.  The list is long and diverse.

In our world, we struggle with it all.  Electronics to wire to small basic switches.  The largest eye opener is DC motors.  The screen printing industry, as a US whole, uses the same couple of motors on all conveyor ovens.  It has been this way for over 30 years, so all of the ovens in the field also use these motors.  Guess what.  They are not available.  So we have had to get creative.  We have sent customers to motor repair shops.  We have offered used motors at a drastic discount.  We have upsized motors and sent additional mounting brackets to make them fit.  We have found alternates that need new brackets but will work.  Anything to keep our customer's production running.

Just like you, we are going to great lengths to keep our customer's machines running.

Changes coming?

China, who is is one of the US largest trading partners, continues to shut down full sectors of their country.  While this continues the world will see additional shortages depending of what items are produced in those sectors.  

We want our customers to be aware that supply chain issues run deep but that the Brown team is working diligently to keep your shop operating at the top level. 













 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

POD production? It's where the world is.

Our roller coaster world has made traditional printing businesses  take another look on how they generate orders.  When schools and restaurants were closed, many of our community printers had to consider other avenues for revenue generation.  The world of online shopping became essential for all decorators, whether one off orders or bulk.  These orders can be challenging to pull into standard community printing production management.  

The old school paper production tickets are messy and confusing for small orders.  Barcode systems that can function for both small and bulk orders are cleaner and more efficient than sheets of paper floating around a production floor.  Scanners at each workstation can pull up all order details within seconds and connect directly with shipping software.  With Linx Production software, the barcode will also drive the printers, laser engravers and sublimation systems.  

Wait, what?  It can connect my online to my production machine and back to my shipping software?

Yes, Linx Production software can do all that and with additional modules it can connect to QuickBooks® and manage inventory and purchasing and print bulk orders.  That is a lot of features that every shop needs in the world of POD.  

While much of the US is opened back up schools, businesses and events, the online store is now a required element to a business.  Many businesses who used to allow sales people in their doors are now preferring to look online and connect through teleconference platforms.  These options allow higher time flexibility for the buyer and keeps additional people out of their workspace.  With the latest variant wave, this is a required element.

So how does Linx Production software do all that?

Beginning at a web store, information for an order is pulled into Linx and a barcode is assigned. This information includes garment data as well as art and print locations. The PNG artwork is ripped for the DTG as well as scaled for garment size and print location. For other print mediums, the art is converted to match the requirements of the output device.  The operator loads the item, scans the code and the output device has all the information needed for production. Print specifications are preset by the user as well as pretreat and cure requirements.

Orders can be sorted by all major factors. This aids in purchasing, product picking, pretreat scheduling and customer management. At shipping, a binning system allows for gathering of multiple items of an order with notifications when an order is complete. In the QC department, if a product does not pass inspection, the barcode returns to th production schedule for a reprint.


A QuickBook plug in will also connect your orders directly to your billing department. Inventory modules are available for small and large users.  Custom API connections are available to give full flexibility to your production needs.

How do you  get started?

Lins Production Software
Call BrownDigital today for information on pricing and how this system can be used in  your shop.  It is quick to install, simple to learn and will speed up order processing for small or bulk orders.