Zachary Traxler is a big advocate for using technology to improve the way he runs his business. Over his career, he’s discovered so many helpful technological tools that can revolutionize the way you work — saving time, lowering costs, and boosting efficiency. Today, he gives us a rundown of his favorite pieces of technology that could help your business too.
When we spoke to Zachary Traxler from Traxler Printing, it was clear just how much he was motivated by efficiency. For him (like most) - time is precious. Time-consuming processes not only sacrifice current and new work opportunities but can get very costly in employee wages. Traxler tells us how he saves time, as it is one of the best ways you can lower your spending. He explains how technology can be a big player in helping that happen. Here are some of the technologies, big and small, that majorly helped streamline his business.
For Traxler, switching from film to direct-to-screen was one of the best investments he ever made. “While it was an average of $7-10 per screen to shoot on film,” he recalls, “with direct-to-screen, the cost went down to less than $3 and took less than a quarter of the time. It’ll pay itself off, very, very quickly.” He also mentions how much you’ll save on maintenance costs. Film often requires special climate-controlled storage, maintenance costs for the film and the printer, and the inventory of all the inks and supplies — meaning you’re looking at a lot to take care of. The only demand with direct-to-screen is maintaining one machine and its inks. With direct-to-screen printers becoming more readily available at lower prices, He believes it’s a great time to invest in one to level-up your business. Per screen you can potentially reduce costs by more than 75%.
Computers and internet
Although it may seem like the most basic of the bunch, computers and a reliable and fast internet connection play a massive role in any business: “If you have fast internet and fast computers,” Traxler tells us, “everything is that faster.” It can save a lot of time in the long run by investing in faster computers to make the daily running of your shop swifter.
Tri-Loc and pin registration systems
“If you have an automatic (press) that’s less than 5 years old, the cheapest investment you can make would be Tri-Loc or a pin registration system,” Traxler advises. “It’ll save you a ton of time and is a really affordable investment that creates less friction in the whole printing process.” Keep in mind, not all presses and screen frames are made the same. Tri-Loc was developed for M&R, however, may work on other presses and systems if they have adopted the technology. Traxler has learned the hard way that the outside dimensions of their screens are not all the same as they have purchased from several distributors over the year. Screens that are not all the same inside or outside dimensions may not be compatible with Tri-Loc.
Color separation software
Traxler’s top recommendation at the moment is to tap into a variety of software that can help automate manual tasks. One such piece of software is a color separation program like Spot Process Separation Studio. “Within 3 clicks, you’ve got your 10-color separation done in seconds versus spending an hour or hours,” he points out. Additionally, speeding up color separation has the added bonus of boosting the morale of your designers and artists. With less time spent on a tedious task like separating, they can concentrate on treating client artwork and being more creative.
Another piece of software Traxler recommends is an ERP system, or Production Management Software. Helping you oversee and streamline your whole manufacturing process, programs like InkSoft and Printavo allow you to get a lot of data about how efficiently your business is running and where it can improve. In short, they can help you manage your workplace, giving you one less thing to track. Although it can take a little bit of training and time to get used to it, Traxler believes ERP systems have revolutionized the way he tracks his business performance every single day.
Some final advice
Traxler acknowledges that all of these technological developments can seem overwhelming. But he leaves some very wise words of advice: “As fearful as change and growth with technology can be, you should embrace it. Look at all your failures as successes, because you can keep them from happening again.”
Traxler recommends everyone to read these two books: ‘Creating a Lean Culture’ by David Mann and ‘The Toyota Way’ by Jeffrey Liker.