10 Things We Would Like to See – Part 2


The second BONUS session of 10 Things we would like to see. Aaron and Terry aren’t predicting the future on this week’s show, but they are talking about what they wish the future would bring in 2021. In this annual show, the 2 Regular Guys talk about what they’d like to see happening in the industry for the coming year. Come join in this annual discussion and we will also review past desires and see what happened.

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10 Things we would like to see...

6) Erich: I’d like to see businesses of all sizes, specialties, and strengths in this industry seen as and working in a more integrative rather than exclusive way. This one can be a tall order, but I think we have all noticed shifts over the years in order styles and sizes, work environments, customer niches, etc. and rather than bemoan the way things were or what territories we had, I’d like to see businesses looking to find their ‘best fit’ clientele and finding partnerships, using subcontracting, or using mutual referrals to get customers to the right people. It happens now, but I’d like to see everyone move forward, own their space, and help others in their own spaces fit into the ecosystem. It’s not a simple goal, though it’s simply expressed. 

7) Terry: I’d like to see a broader range of garments available that are already pretreated for DTG printing. I think the folks at RTP Apparel have done a great job with that product, but availability is limited. A little bird told me some other players in the market have been doing testing. I think the lack of shows has slowed the introduction.

8) Aaron: I’d like to see some new innovations and creative thinking out of the blanks product space. Specifically garments. I know no one could have predicted the events of 2020, and there were lots of things conspiring against things going smoothly, but for example the Fleece shortage and the fact that hard-working small businesses can’t get the product they depend on to try to survive. But I’m not complaining about it, I think this is a great opportunity to flex their creative muscle and find alternatives to fleece that can be as well-loved and economical to produce. Find some creative ways to fix the broken supply chain, and focus on their customer as opposed to the shareholder. Can more manufacturing be brought back to the states so issues can be detected earlier, solutions can be found or information can be shared before the run out of a core product that many decorators rely on?

BONUS) Erich: I’d like to see more companies thinking about their unique purpose and value proposition, because I think they are closely related. Why is your company here from the perspective of a customer, also why are you here?  How are you and your business solving problems and fulfilling needs? What is it that you or your business are uniquely qualified to offer and what makes working with you special? What ultimately do you want to achieve for yourself and your customers?

9) Terry: The industry could use a refresher course in Customer Service in 2021. I feel like I constantly hear people saying, “I couldn’t get anyone to call me back.” “They told me they would train me but the tech was only there for an hour!” Or companies saying, “Call the manufacturer… call your dealer… call anybody but me for help.” Look at Matt Vasallo. He and The Rhinestone World don’t win all those customer service awards for nothing. It’s because they kill you with service and support. Every business could benefit from that example.

10) Aaron: The last thing I would like to see is some sort of a group, organization, or regular coming together of our industry as a whole to work in the spirit of raising the tide for everyone. I know that we have the Printing United group and they are doing amazing things for us with work with lawmakers, and all the other benefits they bring. The integration with the print industry definitely brings a lot of value, but I think the shirt and ancillary groups, like sublimation, heat transfer, and embroidery get lost in that shuffle. They have a state of the industry event on the 26th for digital textile with a focus on signage, apparel, and home decor, yet there is not a single panelist from the apparel world from what I can see. BUT again this is not a knock on PU as they are again bringing tons of value. I just want to see a more inclusive and diverse group of not only people and companies but decorating techniques that represents our specific Decorators Community. I’d like to see this group come together and work to pinpoint the issues, come up with solutions, and work together to raise the tide as I mentioned.

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