Contract Screen Printing – What You Need to Know


So, you’re a successful printer, you are operating in a competitive industry, and you have a decent clientele. You have been serving the industry for a while but what’s keeping you from becoming the top screen printer with big orders? Want to become one of the most successful screen printers in the industry? Welcome to the world of contract screen printing!

But what is contract screen printing and who is a contract screen printer? Let’s explore.

Contract Screen Printing –What is it all about?

Contract Printing usually consists of high volume printing processes that are commonly associated with major clothing and athletic companies or brokerage and management corporations having a worldwide or a nationwide presence. Whereas a contract printer by definition means that the garments and most often the artwork is provided by the customers, unlike custom printing where the decorator usually provides for these.

Contract Screen Printing – Things to watch out for.

With only a few exceptions, the biggest and successful screen printers are either contract screen printers or pre printers. In order to become a successful contract printer, you need to bear in mind this very important fact that contract printing isn’t a ‘getting rich overnight’ kind of industry. It is not always about big paydays and huge orders.

For starters, the major difference between a costly job and a profitable one relies heavily on cost you incur on each shirt, so it is critical to reduce mistakes and keep your machines running. The percentage of mistakes allowed by most contract clients is 1 to 2%. However, this percentage may be lower or higher depending upon the garments you are handling. For instance, the percentage may be lower when you are dealing with highly expensive garments and a little higher when dealing with cut parts where the mistakes are less costly. But, if you are hitting more than 3 to 5%, contract printing is definitely not for you.

Operating in an industry, where the same equipment, printing methods and inks are used by companies, the only way to outperform your competition is competitive pricing. Additionally, you can gain an edge over your competitors;

  • By procuring raw materials at cheap rates through scale; and
  • By investing in technology that improves your efficiency and effectiveness.

Bottom Line

Nevertheless, contract printing is far more sophisticated than what its apparently simple definition suggests. It is a highly competitive industry where competition is intense, profit margins are tight, and deadlines are strict; and your success relies heavily on your key clientele. But if you think you are one of those people who like challenges, contract printing may lead to you to bigger profits.

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