A print shop mistake to avoid—rejects!

The thumbnail version:

  • Rejects cost money
  • There’s a quick calculation to bring the cost of rejects into perspective
  • Everyone in the shop must work to avoid rejects

The full version:

Don’t even tell me there are more rejects!

It should be a mantra: “Rejects are bad!” Any number of mistakes and oversights can result in a reject. It’s important to be reminded of this whether you’re a new sole-operator or an owner of a large shop.

If the reject rate is not watched carefully it can become costly. Do the math . . . what is your margin on an impression on customer-supplied shirts? (Let’s call this A). Now, what is the cost of replacing the customer’s rejected shirt plus the cost of making the impression? (Let’s call this B). Now divide B by A. This tells you how many impressions you have to do just to get back to break-even after incurring a rejection. You can’t make money when you’re working for nothing to pay for rejects.

Even if you can fix a mistake with a spot-remover gun, that’s time and chemical cost incurred.

And that’s just the money side of it. What about the embarrassment of having to admit to a customer that you’ve messed up a bunch of their shirts? What will too much of this do to your shop’s reputation?

Rejects are bad! Instill it in everyone in your shop from the person that takes the order, to the artist, to the screen person, to the printer, to everyone.