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Serious newbie print problem

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Otherside.Creations, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. Otherside.Creations

    Otherside.Creations New Member

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    Nov 5, 2019
    Gulfshores
    Hello, my name is Haley and I was recently pushed into the production side of vinyl printing, sign laying and had only a couple weeks to learn this as well as screenprinting before my trainer left the business
    I am running into new and exciting issues everyday, as well as trying to teach another new technician how to design and print. I was elated to find this forum but I was wondering what other resources are out there that might help me quickly learn how to manage this whole shop on my own before it is too late and my boss decides to close house?
     
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  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    That's a very loaded question. You actually wanna learn how to do just about everything via the internet ??

    This could takes months to years with hands on training. Being taught an entire business on the internet is just silly thinking.

    Other sources are trade shows, school, sign meets/mixers, learn at another sign shop and just read, read, read and hope you digest 1/100th of what you read. Being a fast learner or a good DIY'fer really won't cut it. There will be some answers and light bulbs going off here and there, but nothing to possibly manage a shop by yourself. You'll be better off going somewhere where you fit in, rather than having the burden of running the show to something you know very little about.
     
  3. Otherside.Creations

    Otherside.Creations New Member

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    Nov 5, 2019
    Gulfshores
    Believe me I understand what you are saying but I pretty much stuck currently. I was hired onto the business to apprentice the graphic designer that was due to retire in a few months. I knew I would occasionally help with the production and sign laying side of the business but it wouldn't be my sole responsibility. I was with the business for a week before the former tech decided to put in her notice and move out of state. From then on I shadowed her everyday till she left. And now I am the only person that can print there. It is immensely stressful and I am really trying my best to keep this business afloat since i will be out of a job if it goes out of business. It is a smaller shop that currently only has two other full time employees besides me. It is on the verge of failing and I am just trying to make it work and learn as much as I can.
     
  4. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    I half agree with Gino. To "manage" you only need the skills to lead and direct the employees who know how to do the tasks required. But yes, to learn all facets of the business fast via internet is not going to happen. This forum is definitely a good resource but you have to word your questions very specifically, clearly and in "sign language". Maybe carry around a notepad and as question arise jot them down and post here.
     
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  5. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    Hey Otherside.Creations, you're just down the road from us.
     
  6. Otherside.Creations

    Otherside.Creations New Member

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    Nov 5, 2019
    Gulfshores
    Haha yes I am, is niceville, really nice? As far as managing the business I am handling everything from the design to the final product. Our new tech is strictly a skilled wrapper and I am working on teaching him the printing side to alleviate the work load. The secretary handles the money and communication with clients. This is not my personal company I have been placed into a tricky situation as an employee who is still new.
     
  7. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    Equipment specs?
    Software?

    Niceville really is nice
     
  8. Otherside.Creations

    Otherside.Creations New Member

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    Nov 5, 2019
    Gulfshores
    I work with PS and AI cs5, Flexi12 mutoh edition. Printing on a ValuJet 1624x and plotter is also mutoh. Just hoping to find good studying to help limp it along. Some things have been easier than others, and our new wrapper has been learning pretty quick with me. I filled a notebook shadowing the former tech but it does not cover everything and I have found some of what I was taught to be the source of other errors.
     
  9. BIG EASY DOES IT

    BIG EASY DOES IT Very Active Member

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    Your best bet may be to outsource to someone close to you. That way you can keep customers happy while you try to get everything together. Keep the business going and start adding things back into the mix as you are able to learn them. There is no shortage of merchant members who can help with everything from design and print to laminating and full production.
    Nothing I have found is better then hands on learning in this industry. You can learn individual tasks from training and youtube but none of it will be an all around "how to"
     
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  10. BALLPARK

    BALLPARK Member

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    Youtube is full of videos about everything from equipment to techniques to use on various projects. Spend as much as your free time as possible on watching and reading up on products and install methods. That will help as you begin to see all the curve balls that will come at you.

    Give your boss a reason not to close up... have you and your guys practice applying graphics that will relate to future projects. Build an online presence and a good product catalog. Then hit up every email you can find for work. Your boss will never want to close up if he thinks it could be improved to make more money.

    Set daily and weekly sales goals. Join a chamber... find a social butterfly to send to the events to create new networks to tap for work later... in other words get active in your community events and that should lead to some of the best projects in your area.

    Good luck and be patient on the learning curve! Experience is gained one day at a time and it will take years before you may be able to master a division within the company. Stay hungry and focus the business model to fit the owners goals.
     
  11. Joe House

    Joe House Active Member

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    I would look for a Mark Rugen class somewhere near you. Check Mutoh's website. He is the king of Flexi training and, working for Mutoh would obviously know your printer as well. He has years of experience running his own sign shop as well. It won't answer all of your questions, but he is certainly a good resource to have.

    Good Luck
     
  12. FireSprint

    FireSprint Merchant Member

    Outsource the hard stuff and keep going. Keep learning. Every day!

    Focus on getting good at a few things in your shop and outsource or turn down the rest!
     
  13. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Ask questions, lots of questions. Most have probably been asked on this forum..So searching is your friend.

    Learning the basics is easy. Mastering iana whole different ball game. Learning printing, screen printing, and doing design work all at once is tough and you're going to spread yourself too thin.

    Focus on one thing at once. Get someone else to learn the other.. then train eachother all the tips and tricks you learned.

    Right now you don't need two people to knownhowntondo digital print while neglecting the screen printing... It's much better to each "master" a skill so your shop can still function.

    If you can't figure something out, post a question here. YouTube videos are a good start... But practice is a lot better than watching someone else do it. So during any free time... I'd play around with your machine to learn it better.
     
  14. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    I have a 1624x running Flexi 12 so I can help you learn to hate using Flexi in no time at all.
    No PS but I can help with the workflow between AI and Flexi's production manager.

    Alabama to Guam time is not the best but you should be working 18 to 20 hours a day to get up to speed anyway so it will work out.
    Listen to Gino he has a lot of good info on sign stuff and as a bonus can show you how to tick off at least half the forum with just a few bullet points.

    Good luck and hang in there.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
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  15. Otherside.Creations

    Otherside.Creations New Member

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    Nov 5, 2019
    Gulfshores
    Thanks everyone for your advice! I really appreciate it. I am on a really small crew and the boss is against all outsourcing. We just had to make a 20ft x 10ft banner out of 60 inch material. He has our new wrap tech building cabinets for LED signs instead of constantly training with me so we can learn from each other. I have been instructed to save every scrap of vinyl that is wider than 6 inches. I know the owner doesn't knows less than me about printing, so wrap tech& I are going to do our best to get the place running smooth. If it doesn't work out I think I will be looking for a much more established shop to have a small role in or try to apprentice with a hand painted shop as I have much more confidence with design and painting than printing and vinyl.
     
  16. Otherside.Creations

    Otherside.Creations New Member

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    Nov 5, 2019
    Gulfshores
    Thanks Wayne I appreciate it!
     
  17. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Through all the scrap vinyl in a cardboard box. Not too big of a box. That way when it's full, you can dump it in the trash easily. It's great for friends and family, but when you're getting $20 for a 1sq/ft piece of cut vinyl, you don't have enough in the job to justify spending more time digging than just loading the roll and hitting go...
     
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  18. Otherside.Creations

    Otherside.Creations New Member

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    Nov 5, 2019
    Gulfshores
    Ha that's genius! Thanks. Boss had me print on an old scrap of reflective today and it was a disaster. He wanted a print that was 48 in printed printed on a chunk of scrap that was 48.25 needless to say the printer was not having it. Squashed the whole print to 10 inches down the middle and then the head caught on a a ripple on the edge, tore the vinyl and went into error mode. I gave it a good cleaning after but I am certainly nervous about whether that damaged the head at all. The rest of the day was cut vinyl orders so I am going to run a test print in the AM before the boss gets in.
     
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  19. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Member

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    Cape Girardeau, MO
    You sound like the kind of person I like to hire and train, but not out of the gate as a manager. I agree with those who suggest you go to work somewhere else. You might look around the Niceville area; I hear it's nice.
     
  20. Cee84

    Cee84 New Member

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    Jul 30, 2019
    Miami
    Welcome to the forum! Here's my .02

    I've been there before, so I'm speaking from my experience "The Flailing Printer". IMO The shop isn't yours to save and from the looks of it the owner doesn't seem to have a plan either. This type of situation will never amount to anything ($$$) but hard work. Running a business and becoming a creative asset/installer is an immense undertaking, while not impossible the learning experience will provide a wide assortment of issues that will be stressful to say the least. I would search and bail asap. There are other creative markets outside of print that can expose you to valuable experience (I live in the city so this is an assumption). Without a leader, this is not one of them.

    You can learn a lot from the internet without a doubt, and the community is helpful 100%. The work is up to you.

    Best of luck.

    PM me for advice. I've done design, web, and now printing in my short career.
     
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