5 Tips on How to Make the Most of Your Print Equipment Even if You Aren’t Quite an Expert
10,000 hours is a long time. But that’s how long you must practice something to become an expert (or so the experts tell us).
Just how long is 10,000 hours, exactly? Well, if you never sleep or take a break, you’ll become an expert in 1.43 years. If you’re not a robot, though, you’ll need about five years of daily practice — that’s at forty hours a week — to hit the 10,000-hour mark.
So, are you a print finishing expert?
Well, we all know the answer to that question is more theoretical than anything.
In today’s world of customers demanding fast turnarounds, you don’t have five years to master the art of print finishing. You need to master it now.
In other words, your customers aren’t going to wait around for 10,000 hours and neither will your competitors.
Hopeless as this may sound, worry not. We’ve got your back!
As it happens, we have a few of those true-blue experts on our team here at Brandtjen & Kluge LLC. (Hey, we’ve been at it for exactly a century, so we’ve had plenty of time to log those 10,000 hours! It’s how we became America’s leading print finishing company, after all.)
Below, we’ve put together The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Print Finishing.
It’s a series of practical, easy-to-apply tips for increasing speed, maximizing turnaround and improving profit margins within the print finishing industry — and all without sacrificing quality.
In fact, even if you do have those 10,000 hours behind you already (and we know many of our customers who have that and then some), we think you’ll find a tip or two to take your print finishing to the next level.
That’s what we’re all about at Kluge: next-level quality. We design a wide range of print finishing equipment for businesses in the folding carton and printing industries.
All our machines are hand-built and designed to last for lifetimes (that’s right, with an s). We’re here to help our clients make better products more efficiently, boosting their bottom line.
Are you ready to become a master of print finishing? Let’s get started!
Tip #1: The Operating Manual Is Your Friend
Isn’t it amazing how often we carry our childhood instincts over into adulthood?
We can all remember tearing into a toy Christmas morning and tossing the instructions to the side right along with the wrapping paper. A bunch of black-and-white pages stapled together is not nearly as exciting as the shiny red fire engine or a new video game system in front of you.
Have you ever realized how most adults do the exact same thing? Only for an adult it’s with much bigger, more expensive toys — vehicles, grills, big-screen TVs, etc. Even newly constructed homes come with instruction manuals! Of course, how many homeowners actually read them?
Well we’re here to tell you that taking a little time to read the operator’s manual on your print finishing machine has real dollars-and-cents business value. That black and white booklet is not something that should just be tossed aside when it comes to getting the most out of your Kluge equipment.
Every machine is different, and so is every job. When you not only understand the machine itself but also how to optimize the settings for the job at hand, you can get most effective yield.
To that end, here at Kluge, we emphasize two things:
- Machines that are easy to use and
- Manuals that are easy to read and understand.
With those two things combined, you can take full command of your print finishing machine — and that makes you a master.
Tip #2: Never Underestimate a Good Mechanic’s Worth
When it comes to unexpected errors on the print floor, there are at least three rules of thumb:
- It’s easier (and cheaper) to prevent a problem than to fix it.
- It’s typically easier to fix a problem than to replace a part.
- The quicker the fix, the smaller the financial impact — but the wrong kind of “quick fix” can be the most expensive option of all.
Having a good mechanic on hand can help with all three. In fact, many of the mechanics we meet in this field are among those 10,000-hour-plus experts we talked about earlier. When something goes wrong, they can minimize the damage, and that asset alone is sometimes worth its weight in gold.
Your mechanic’s wages might not be the lowest on your payroll, but your profit/loss statements might look a lot different without them! Keep that in mind before you let a good mechanic go.
Of course, the best way to head off problems with machinery is simply to invest in high-quality, long-lasting print finishing equipment in the first place. Those are the very kinds of machines we make here at Kluge, and we assemble them by hand with the help of mechanics who know every part inside and out.
Tip #3: Take Advantage of Print Finishing Training & Tech Support!
Did you know that Kluge offers both installation and training with every machine sold? And did you know that a customer’s relationship with Kluge does not end once training is over? Our helpful customer support is ready for you when you need them – backed by very knowledgeable people with decades of experience.
Even more, we produce parts right at our facility in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, US. That means if you need a replacement part, it’s built by the same hands that built your machine.
Our customers have consistently rated our support as timely, helpful and responsive.
The quality and ease of use of our new ApexFoil™ machine, along with the sale, installation and support of the Kluge team, especially Kenneth ‘K.C.’ Chapin, has exceeded our expectations.” Brad Phinny, Slate Group.
We’re here to help, and we might even be able to teach you a few print finishing tricks we’ve learned along the way that’ll revolutionize the way you do business.
Tip #4: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
No man is an island, and no one becomes a print finishing expert overnight. No matter how long you’ve been in the business, chances are you know someone who’s been around even longer – someone with decades of knowledge they can’t wait to share with you!
On the other hand, younger and less experienced workers might have a better handle on the latest print finishing technology. These people are so important in order to stay current and competitive. You can make them feel valued by letting them demonstrate their technical skills.
Don’t underestimate either of these resources by hesitating to reach out for help!
Tip #5: Give Yourself Time
You might not need 10,000 hours but give yourself more than ten minutes.
Mastery takes some time. Keep an open mind and remain committed to these principles:
- If someone else can do it, you can too.
- The way you’ve always done things isn’t necessarily the best way.
- Technology is your servant and a friend — not an enemy or your boss.
- There are no problems, only solutions. Your only job is to figure out the latter, and there is always a solution within reach.
Give yourself a little time to do some reading, ask for help when you need it, take advantage of support and before you know it you will be your own print finishing master!
Get a Quick Quote for Your Business
Of course, the best way to master your craft is to work with a print finishing company you can trust. At Kluge we build machines you can use without having to think much about your machines at all.
Take your printing or finishing business to the next level. Boost your bottom line with a Kluge print finishing machine.
Get a quick and easy, no-pressure quote today: simply call 866-501-7741 or contact us online.