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What kind of employee (job title) am I looking for here?

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Dukenukem117, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    We're starting a company that prints window coverings and will eventually want to hire someone with experience in wide format printing. We want someone who knows how to run and maintain the printers, prep files, improve our processes, and do some manual cutting as well. We currently have a used Latex 560 that I've been figuring out on my own by reading the manual, and although it is working and printing finished pieces, I'm not particularly knowledgeable at fixing issues and I think I'm creating a lot more waste than I need to be.

    My guess is that we will be hiring someone from either the sign industry or worked in a resell partner, but I'm not sure what the job title I should advertise would be. Since we don't need someone who knows how to make 100 types of signs, should I ideally be looking for a former technician of this exact line of printers?

    Since I don't know what job title to even search, what do these people typically get paid?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Ad :

    Looking for someone to run our business which isn't in place, yet. Not sure how our equipment works, so he/she must know just about everything. Willing to pay, but not too much and as far as benefits, we'll negotiate on that one.

    Now, how will you advertise for your installer ??​
     
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  3. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    Well that person is me right now. I know everything well enough to get us going. But since much of that was learned in the last 6 months, I'm hoping someone with a bit more industry experience can bring something to the table that I can't figure out by accident.
     
  4. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    It's an old title, but most people still refer to the position of setting up and ripping the files to be printed as "prepress" or now more common "graphics prepress" and it has
    come to mean running and maintaining the print equipment.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

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    Production Manager. Seems like they'll be doing a good chunk of the work and most of the responsibility, so make sure you pay them for their worth... otherwise you'll lose them.
     
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  6. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    JOATMON


    Jack of all trades maser of none
     
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  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Duke, no offense, but by the kinda questions you've been asking since last September and the last few days or week or two, you really can't know enough to just get by in 6 months. You literally will hafta hire someone to run the show and you'll be at their mercy.

    You'd really be doing your business...... and your customers a terrible disservice by being a 6 month self taught industry specialist. You need to either align yourself with a company where you can learn from them while working or ask for lessons in all areas of the trade. Jumping in with both feet without any hands-on experience is most certainly a foolish business move..... in any business, not just printing.
     
  8. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    We only operate one type of printer and print on one type of media. We have to learn to do that part very well, sure, but it shouldn't require an apprenticeship if that's all we need to do. I've gotten us to the point where we are producing good prints and learned some basic debugging. My goal is to just get us up and running and eventually we can hire a specialist in-house or hire a consultant to do training. It's true that I don't know what I don't know, but the printing is only part of the product and I've had to figure out everything else as well. If this was the days before internet, or if we are simply doing another me-too print/sign shop, I'd say you make a strong case. But we are doing something unique that's the main selling point, and I just need to figure out the rest well enough to get us to the next milestone. It's a startup, these things never have all the technical expertise going in.

    The good thing about this type of product is that the customer can make a pretty quick judgment call whether or not its up to expectations. There's not really a whole lot of ambiguity.
     
  9. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

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    I don't see how a start-up is going to survive 30 days if you are limiting your business to one type of print....I guess not enough info is giving here as to what you are doing. You have a printer, you have some vinyl. That's all I gather. What software/RIP? DO you know you will make a lot more money doing LOTS of different things? Banners? Decals? Bread-and- butter high profit products? This all makes little sense to me. Hiring someone to maintain a Latex 560 sounds strange....they will be quite bored waiting for something to happen.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Well, good luck in whatever it is that you do.

    I guess what I meant and was somehow lost in your translating is..... most people going into business with a service or product know most of what there is to know about said product or service. Not many people have a thought and build a business around that thought with no one in the room who knows what's going on. With no one here on this site, knowing what you do..... how can you be sure you have the right answers to your problems ?? How can you even know you're having a problem, if no one can identify it ?? Just sounds scary, unless there's part of the equation you aren't sharing...............
     
  11. billsines

    billsines Member

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    He's not going to share part of the equation because he's learned at least that much in business...if you're on to some successful niche in the business, you don't go telling everyone about it.

    Plus all startups are that way. If I knew back in 05 what all I would need to know today, and everything that I have had to learn along the way, I would have never, ever started. But we worked other jobs until this business took off, learned along the way (I'd say it's like running an uphill marathon, the challenges and required learning never stop), and now we are where we are. Very grateful, very blessed. Just thought today...I've been working for myself now for 12 years. What a ride.

    Best of luck in your endeavor and finding the right person for the job. And if your job is "nichey" enough, better make sure that person signs some non disclosure agreement. Talented people are valuable, but the ones with less scruples will steal your ideas faster than you can blink.
     
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  12. De.signs Nanaimo

    De.signs Nanaimo Member

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    From what I can tell, you are basically starting a sign shop that specialises in window coverings is that correct?

    "We're starting a company that prints window coverings"

    Are you just producing a product, or are you offering design and installation services as well?
     
  13. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    No, not all start-ups are that way. When someone does something by going out on a limb and it works, you can later say..... well, I/we did it. However, should things go bad, everyone says.... I told ya so.

    An idea is an idea and nothing more. It's not always what you did to make it great, but sometimes just the luck of the Irish is what it took. You're right, he doesn't hafta share anything with us, but with that attitude, why is he here ?? He wants to find things out, because he doesn't really know what he's doing. How can we help if we don't have a clue or he is so vague, we give him wrong advice or answers ??

    If I was giving people sub-par craftsmanship or shoddy work and thought I was getting by, who am I fooling...... my customers (who probably won't come back) or myself ?? That's called a reputation. Without a good one, you won't last very long.... or maybe be in that race to the bottom with most of the other people we talk about all the time. One doesn't really create a very good following by using his/her customers as guinea pigs.

    Not saying it can't be done as you are living proof, but you are the exception. Most people going off willy-nilly barely make it a year.

    Seriously, knowledge is really one of anyone's biggest weapons in their arsenal of talents for success.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. billsines

    billsines Member

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    Guy's just here for some help. If you have it, offer it. His OP wasn't that vague and had zero attitude. So as I said, if you have help to offer, offer it. Otherwise get off his back.
     
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  15. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

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    At least by checking the craigslist job categories, one should be able to glean from art / media / design, general labor, manufacturing, skilled trade / craft. Consider though, the resource may not be the best but it's a start for your edification.

    Actually you're printing. Printing has often involved apprenticeship programs as well as journeyman & master certification.

    At this point in time, is it easy for you to describe what makes a good print?
     
  16. Dukenukem117

    Dukenukem117 Member

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    Sorry I can't share more at this very moment. My partner knows more about IP than me so I'm just following her lead as far as how much to reveal. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself asking about this in the first place. But we have a printer, some vinyl, half a ton of aluminum extrusions, and soon a 3D printer farm. The 6 months was referring to when all the inventory and equipment came in so that I can actually begin setting up production. The 2 years prior to that were spent prototyping, testing, filing patents, all that stuff...

    I get ya, I also don't like asking for direct help when I'm not allowed to say much. I spent as much time as I can lurking and searching, but this seems like such a noobie question for anyone in the industry I don't its been asked before. My background is industrial design, and this was originally an invention with a printing component, but every print shop we went to either screwed up, said they couldn't do it, or wanted to charge way too much cause it was such a PITA. Doing the printing ourselves was not part of the original plan but here we are.

    Thanks. It was originally designed with the SoCal beachside residences in mind, but we've expanded our scope. My partner is filing a lot of patents and doesn't fk around with IP, but nobody wants to spend their time litigating either. I think we may just hire a local printer experienced with our equipment to be on call for training and fixing stuff. Cause this might be boring for someone who is use to making 100 types of signs. I'm going to have to teach him a lot about 3D printing though, so the other idea was to hire a 3D printing tech to skip that part.

    We are doing design ourselves and partnering with established companies for installations. I have been doing our initial installs personally.

    It's always safer betting against startups given the failure rate. I use to do product design work for a lot of inventor types, and I'm constantly trying to talk them out of mortgaging their house to fund their widget. Now I know how they feel, haha.

    If this was purely a printing operation, then I might not have gotten involved. But printing has only been a fraction of the technical challenges, and I'm more experienced solving the other ones. But early adopters are guinea pigs by definition, as are innovators.

    I'm just afraid of the printer doing weird things or throwing weird error codes. I once bought an old stratasys 3D printer that did that and spent 6 months and thousands of dollars trying to fix it. When software is involved, weird **** can happen and nobody knows why. Right now everything is working as it should be and I've been learning everything through lurking, youtube, and the pretty decent manual. But since its a used printer with no warranty or training, the possibility of the machine spirit deciding to be a dick keeps me up at night. Through reading these forums, there are enough complaints about this line of printers where I have no idea what I would do if I ran into that. Some people love them and others curse them. I would feel a lot more at ease when we get a second one.
     
  17. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Thank you for that response. Things make much more sense, now. I think most of us were on the same page here..... but in another chapter, perhaps. Doing the printing in-house might cause more of a problem and headache than it's worth at this point. Your idea of hiring someone to do this is probably better. Unfortunately, most people in this business want a little bit of everything and get bored with doing the same ol, same ol hour after hour day after day and so on. Usually people in this industry need all kindsa things to keep them awake, let alone producing. I still think, finding someone with experience in what you need would be a better fit and tell them up front they can make money on this, but if they slack, you will be moving on quickly. Study what they use and how they go about things as your project is still in it's infancy stage.

    Again, good luck. Sounds intriguing.
     
  18. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Partner.
     
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  19. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Major Contributor

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    Based on your initial post you really need a Print Operator. But if you need them to assemble and finish, you are looking more for a production operator... These are generic terms but it should help you narrow your application scope.
     
  20. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

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    Years ago, my sister got a degree in business. She didn't care for her job so she decided to open a daycare. She got all her certifications, started out of her home and then bought a building. Since she didn't know the first thing about running a daycare center she hired an older, experienced woman, paid her well and soaked up every bit of knowledge she could. Fortunately, this lady had no ambition to open her own center and perhaps wasn't smart enough to see WHY my sister actually hired her. This worked to my sisters advantage and 17 years later she operates 3 centers and has nearly 40 employees. That original lady was the highest paid of anyone but about 10 years in she was caught stealing and doing her own laundry after hours at the center. She ended up getting fired. Perhaps she realized over the years what was happening and was bitter for handing over all her knowledge or she was just a loser, who knows. At any rate, it was worth hiring her, paying her an excellent wage and even having things stolen (I'm talking gallons of milk, toilet paper, not money).

    My point is, if you hire someone to teach you everything they know, make sure you pay them well and appreciate them and they will grow your business. But, be careful because they too could become bitter of your success - he will know HE is the reason for your success. Good luck to you in your venture!
     
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