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IMPRINT CANADA THE MARKETING AND INFORMATION SOURCE FOR IMPRINTABLE PRODUCTS

A Tristan Communications Ltd. Publication

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Volume 21, Issue 1

Pricing for Sublimation Profits

Trends for 2014

By Jimmy Lamb, Sawgrass Technologies

What to look for this coming year

Pricing is one of the most challenging subjects in the world of sublimation, as there are no real standards to go by. Everyone does it differently and no two shops have the same approach. As such, there is a wide disparity across the industry in terms of what to charge. But that is okay, as long as you are actually making a profit. The sad truth is that too many business owners donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a scientific approach that takes into account operational and production costs such that appropriate margins can be calculated and applied. For example, in the world of sublimation there is a lot of emphasis placed on ink costs; yet in reality, ink accounts for a very small percentage of overall production costs. It's understandable that when faced with spending several hundred dollars at a time on replacement inks, the costs may seem significant, but it needs to noted that inventory costs are quite different from production costs, as sublimation ink averages $0.01 per square inch. Thus in terms of its affect on actual selling price, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really insignificant. The reality is that the cost to produce something is based on how many units you can produce in a given time period versus the operational costs assigned to that same period of time plus the cost of the blank substrate. The material cost (not the cost of the blank) is just a percentage of your operational costs. Time is the key, as all of your overhead can be equated into a cost per hour figure which will then assign a portion of your operational costs to every product that is produced. For example, assume you are a full-time sublimation shop (this concepts can be applied to heat transfers and DTG printing) and you have calculated your hourly cost of operation to be $30. If it takes two minutes on average to print and press something, you could theoretically produce 30 items per hour, which works out to $1 each. But that is not realistic. <]JTQUI\QWV ,WV\QV]ML WV 9IOM 

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By Adriano Aldini, Imprint Canada

Every new year, brings with it a fresh start, new hope and a general feeling of optimism. As we get set to foray into another new year, we look forward and try to pinpoint some of the trends that will make an impact in our industry over the next 12 months.

BRIGHTEN UP! If you haven't noticed the mass proliferation of bright colours at the retail level, then you may very well need to open you eyes and look around. From apparel to accessories, vibrant shades and tones are being featured in many product categories. These bright colours will continue their foray into the corporate and promotional marketplace throughout the coming year. =ZMVL[ KWV\QV]ML WV 9IOM !

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Pulse Mircosystem's Alex Papaioannou explains how to simply your digitizing process 6 6;>10;42>=><82>DC;>>:

Imprint Canada highlights economic indicators for 2014 in developed and emerging markets 12 B>280;<4380BCA0C4684B

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IMPRINT CANADA January/February 2014 - Volume 21, Number 1

Follow us: twitter.com/imprint_canada

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 coils, and $1 each when purchased individually (up from the current price of a $0.63 cents a stamp for a standard letter). CPC also announced it is planning to cut between 6,000 and 8,000 jobs over the next few years, but noted that most of this workforce reduction should come naturally through attrition as nearly 15,000 employees are expected to retire or leave the company within the next five years.

Jobs For Life Last month, the Canada Post Corporation (CPC) announced it will stop delivering regular mail door-to-door to homes in urban centres countrywide, as part of sweeping costcutting measures aimed at improving its bottom line. The increase in digital communication and huge reduction in letter mail volume had put the CPC on track to lose $1 billion annually by the end of this decade (based on the findings of a think tank commissioned by CPC early 2013). Approximately one-third of Canadian households currently receive door mail delivery of their mail. Transition to community mail boxes for theses households will begin to be implemented in the second half of 2014.  Coinciding with this change was the CPC's announcement that, effective March 31, 2014, consumers will have to pay $0.85 for stamps purchased in booklets or

Of these three impending changes, I find the state of their workforce announcement as the one which is most troubling. As I understand it, the CPC is stating that its labour cost structure of its long-tenured employees has led to higher than normal salaries after years of pay increases that were indexed to inflation (whereas private sector competitors have been able to deal and negotiate with employees with free market adaptability).

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2014 TRENDS CONTINUED PG 8 PRICING SUBLIMATION CONTINUED PG 22 INDUSTRY NEWS VECTOR BASED EMBROIDERY SCREEN PRINTING Q+A 2014 GLOBAL ECONOMIC OUTLOOK SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES DESIGN TO FABRIC ESSENTIALS BY THE NUMBERS

A government job should not mean a job for life, nor should it be one where remuneration is completely out of line with similar jobs preformed in the free market.

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So now, we, the tax payers, are being told that services are being scaled back, prices are going up and staffing will be diminished over time. Can you imagine what would happen if any publicly or privately-owned company came out with similar announcements?

28

WEARABLES SHOWCASE

40

AD SPECIALTY SHOWCASE

42

SUPPLIES & EQUIPMENT SHOWCASE

Ugh is right! I can't help but wonder how long ago the decision makers at the CPC realized that they had a recipe for disaster on their hands. And did they e-mail or mail each other with their observations? What other kind of cost cutting and efficiency increasing discussions were held? Did anyone think TM about using bikes in the summer instead of gas-powered vehicles? ',*,7$/ How are foreign postal '(&25$7,1* services managing their 6833/,(6 businesses. Go public DOVRDYDLODEOH and float shares?

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To accompany these announcements, the CPC should have had their detailed business plan on hand and let it be known to the public. As a Crown Corporation, the CPC should have gone public with this plan immediately; instead it decided to deal with a 'do as I say attitude', leaving thousands of tax paying Canadians with a bad taste in their mouth, and eventually no mail at the door.

PUBLISHER Tony Muccilli : tony@imprintcanada.com PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT Adriano Aldini : news@imprintcanada.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jimmy Lamb, Fran McAvity, Neil Shaffer, Mike Hishon, Alex Papaioannou MARKETING COORDINATOR Steve Silva: feedback@imprintcanada.com OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Maria Natale: shows@imprintcanada.com GENERAL INQUIRIES feedback@imprintcanada.com, (905)856-2600 ADVERTISING SALES

Tony Muccilli (Toronto) Tel: (905) 856-2600 Fax: (905) 856-2667 Imprint Canada is published six times per year by Tristan Communications Ltd. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in part or in whole without the consent of the copyright owner. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. Request for missing issues are not accepted after three months from the date of publication. TRISTAN COMMUNICATIONS LTD. Publications mail agreement no. 40025740 Return undeliverable mail to: 190 Marycroft Avenue, Unit 16, Woodbridge, Ontario, L4L 5Y2 Email: shows@imprintcanada.com ISSN: 1480-1884

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Industry News Tajima Industries and Rubenstein RB Digital Inc. announces Twiga Industries Inc. as an Authorized Tajima Sales and Service Representative Rubenstein RB Digital Inc., a 150 year old Canadian company that has been selling and servicing Tajima Embroidery Machines across Canada for almost 40 years has announced that Mississauga, Ontario's Twiga Industries Inc. has been appointed as an Authorized Tajima Sales and Service sub-distributor for Ontario and the Maritime provinces. Alnoor Remtullah, president of Twiga Industries, is well known in the industry with more than 20 years of sales and service experience. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the

task having been trained by Tajima. "Those customers who already know Alnoor are confident that he can service all their embroidery machine needs," says Kevin Price, president of RB Digital. "I have known and worked with Alnoor for over 20 years and am very excited to have him as part of our Canadian solutions team. His addition to our traditional sales channel will ensure that Tajima will have the most complete coverage in Canada of any brand," added Price.

Fersten Worldwide announces new Director of Sales Fersten Worldwide (FW) is excited to announce the promotion of Jonathan Epstein to Director of Sales. Jonathan will be responsible for all internal and external sales staff for FW/ FILA across North America. "His vast experience and knowledge within the company as well as his years of building outside relationships and success stories with our valued distributors made this a natural fit for our growing team. We are excited to have Jonathan lead our strong and dynamic sales force in the marketplace," said Mitchell Fersten, President of FW/FILA. Jonathan Epstein has been with Fersten Worldwide since 2005 where he started as a Senior Account Executive build-

ing sales through solutions and relationships with dedicated customers. In 2009, he was promoted to Customer Service Manager and soon after took on the role of Sales Manager. "I am very excited to take on this new challenge and will work hard with our sales and service teams to continue our goal of providing the Ultimate Customer Experience. We have such a young, creative, knowledgeable and enthusiastic team and believe that we are now built to bring our ideas and vision to the forefront of the industry. FW is a team and culture that is a pleasure to work with and an honor to be part of," said Epstein.

WS & Co. announces moving date for factory expansion WS & Co., parent company of Redwood Classics Apparel, has announced that as of December 20th, 2013, the factory will relocate to its new headquarters to a space which nearly double the size of the prior space. "Having endured in an often-volatile North American industry, we are thrilled and humbled by this move," said Chak Cheng, Founder & CEO, WS & Co. "Our thanks and appreciation go out to our craftspeople as well as the designers, wholesalers and retail brands who have remained faithful to the North American textile trade." As a result of the move, office and factory operations will cease operation on December 20th, 2013 and will resume immediately in the New Year on January 2nd, 2014. As such, in-house dye and special-wash services will be disrupted. Please contact your respective Merchandiser to

make arrangements for upcoming sampling or bulk production needs. WS & Co. asks for your patience should any minor disruptions arise during the transition. WS & Co.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new address: 138 Nugget Ave., Scarborough, ON, M1S 3A7. All other forms of communication (phone, fax, email) will remain status quo. WS & Co. would like to thank all stakeholders for their patience throughout this expansion process. "Being one of the few full-serviced garment manufacturers still producing on North American soil, we are faced with fierce competition in the way of lower prices on off-shore produced products," added Chak. "We are so grateful to all those who continue to contribute to building our countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy by buying local and creating jobs."

Ash City's "The Tom & Ang Show" to be broadcast live at the 2014 Toronto Imprint Canada Show Imprint Canada is very pleased to announce that Ash City's popular webinar series, The Tom & Ang Show, will present a special live broadcast from the 2014 Toronto Imprint Canada Show on Friday January 10th from 1-2 p.m. This broadcast will focus on the best selling approaches for distributors; whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trending in technology; e-mail marketing, social media, and much more. Hosted by Tom Alavi, Inside Sales Supervisor for Ash City and Angelo Morra, Trade Marketing Manager for Ash City, the series offers a new way to approach and tackle today's promotional products hot button topics. See them live at the Toronto Imprint Canada Show as they shed light on topics such as branding, decoration, corporate responsibility, icons & technology, matchables. The Tom & Ang show has had some high profile guests from Ash City to help elaborate on the topics and to give a closer look from an experienced angel. Along with the many other segments that they will host; the Hot Seat discussion is quickly becoming a fan favorite! Other segments include; #hashitout, the scenarios, over/under, break that beat, tag youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re it, the discussion and much more! Check back to ImprintCanada.com often for details on an exciting contest to be announced shortly. Register today to attend the 2014 Toronto Imprint Canada Show to watch the live broadcast and see Ash City and over 100 other exhibitors displaying the newest promotional wearables, ad specialty products, embroidery and printing technologies and equipment, and so much more. To register for the webinar, please go to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/577570017.

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Simplify Your Digitizing Process with Vector Based Embroidery By Alex Papaioannou, Pulse Microsystems

Digitizing can be a frustrating process for all embroiderers regardless of expertise. Adjusting and recreating each and every stitch, corner and outline with traditional embroidery can seem overwhelming and becomes quite cumbersome. Some professional digitizers continue to employ this tried and true method, but many have adopted the technological advantages and innovations of Vector Based Embroidery. Vector Based Embroidery (VBE) is a technology that simplifies the process of turning artwork into embroidery by reducing the number of nodes a user must manage and easing the transition from artwork to embroidery. VBE eliminates the need to draw, trace or digitize design segments individually. The entire conversion process 7WV+MQbMZ from artwork to embroidery consists of selecting the desired segments and simply applying a stitch type. In addition to saving you time, VBE also provides many advantages in terms of design and stitch quality. For example, it has the ability to support Beizer Curves, which allow for the creation of outlines with the least number of control points possible. This results in quicker and more precise embroidery creation. Simply put, you are editing the shape instead of completely recreating it from scratch.

tures work by taking vector artwork from popular design programs and turning them into top quality embroidery. Fusion features can import vector files while preserving the original vector points and colours, aiding in the VBE process of turning the artwork into embroidery with speed, precision and ease. The editing process with fusion features updates files dynamically, meaning any changes made to the artwork will be automatically reflected in the embroidery file. Changing stitch types is easy as well, simply convert the satin to a complex fill or vice versa, or choose from any of the other available stitch types. A fusion feature will also match the colours in your design to the actual threads that connect to your embroidery machine. As the apparel decoration busi>[QVO +MQbMZ[ ness grows, digital print companies are becoming more involved in the embroidery sector and vice versa. This means that graphic designers have begun to enter the digitizing space. These designers are familiar with tools like Combine, Offset and Cut. With VBE, these features are included in your software. In addition to these tools, your VBE software should also include an Auto BreakUp feature. This type of feature will increase the productivity of your embroidery business. In a single automated step, an Auto BreakUp feature slices 0b cWT P__PaT[ STR^aPcX^] QdbX]Tbb R^]cX]dTb complex satin segments into c^ Va^f SXVXcP[ _aX]c R^\_P]XTb PaT QTR^\X]V simpler segments which are then combined and branched X]RaTPbX]V[h X]e^[eTS X] cWT T\Qa^XSTah bTRc^a appropriately before automatically applying stitch dirP]SeXRTeTabP ection lines. This timesaving tool takes all the guesswork A great addition to VBE software is the ability to have and grunt work out of creating a beautiful, embroidery design. a fusion feature included in your software. Fusion feaTraditionally, digital print companies and their pro-

fessional designers are accustomed to the use of graphic programs such as CorelDRAWÂŽ and AdobeÂŽ IllustratorÂŽ. The transition from these programs to most embroidery software is a rough one. Learning to work with new file types and mastering the embroidery technique can be a headache.

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The solution to this issue is to install an embroidery plug-in program to either your CorelDRAWÂŽ or AdobeÂŽ IllustratorÂŽ program. Once the plug-in is installed, designers do not need to worry about learning new tools. The only learning curve is to understand the basic embroidery stitch types. The plug-in will offer all other features necessary for control over design quality with CorelÂŽ or AdobeÂŽ. Organizations that have implemented Vector Based Embroidery or a plug in to either CorelÂŽ or AdobeÂŽ are sure to experience an increase in productivity. The end result is high quality embroidery that will dazzle your customers. By employing VBE software, you will eliminate the hours spent recreating artwork, and instead, spend that time growing your business. When choosing your embroidery software, Vector Based Embroidery and a top rate plug-in to either CorelDRAWÂŽ or AdobeÂŽ IllustratorÂŽ are essential for best results in terms of digitizing quality and productivity. This article was provided courtesy of Alex Papaioannou, Business Development Manager, Pulse Microsystems. Alex is an expert on embroidery software and will be delivering a presentation at the Imprint show in Toronto.

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Simultaneous white ink under or overprint that does not slow down the printing speed

Please attend the presentation on Friday, January 10 from 12:30-2:00 pm to learn about Vector Based Embroidery and how to become faster and more effective in your design creation. Pulse Microsystems is a Canadian company that provides software solutions to organizations around the world. If you are ready to bring Vector Based Embroidery to your business, or to learn more, please contact your local Pulse Microsystems distributor or visit www.pulsemicro. com/embroidery.

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"What I am seeing this spring is a lot of bright, fresh colours - like your oranges and yellows - which will in turn translate to our industry very well," says Elson Yeung, Product Line Manager at Ash City Worldwide. "Colour block styles are also very popular," adds Yeung, "this industry is so used to seeing the combination of dark greys, but look for bright pops of vibrant colours which give a refreshing look to get us ready for the spring." "One of the things we've focused on this spring is incorporating more colours because we are seeing that especially in the retail space," says Matt Gosse, Brand Manager at Whiteridge Inc. "Customers are looking for more vibrant shades in apparel." Gosse explains that above and beyond the traditional blacks, greys and navy shades which dominate corporate apparel campaigns, many of the upcoming collections you will see offered by leading suppliers in the industry will reflect and incorporate these brighter shades, thereby tapping into the current retail trends. In fact, Pantone - the world-renowned authority on colour and provider of color systems - recently announced that the 2014 colour of the year is Radiant Orchid. "Radiant Orchid is a captivating purple that draws you in with its beguiling charm. People associate purple with creativity and originality â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and those are very valued today. We see words like that being used to describe technologies and products that are seen as innovative and with an approach you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tried before," says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color InstituteÂŽ.

But not only is apparel becoming more vibrant, even hard goods and advertising specialty products are brightening up. "There are so many neons that you see coming into our market, which are everywhere in retail right now" explains Alex Morin, Debco's VP, Sales and Marketing. While apparel suppliers will more predominately reflect these brighter shades through2VVW^I\Q^M \MKPVWTWOa Q\MU[

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Morin notes that increasingly \W OIQV QV XWX]TIZQ\a \PZW]OPW]\  more technology products are now being offered in neon oranges and pinks, and you'll see those colour palettes continue to develop and evolve into 2014 and beyond. "People want brighter and brighter colours these days, and not just on T-shirts and apparel but also on ceramics and glassware," explains Windmill Canada National Sales Manager, Eric Vachon. "Over the past little while, we've invested heavily in new equipment that will allow us to maximize this new demand from the market."

FABRICS The innovative use and application of fabrics is another emerging trend developing in the promotional marketplace for 2014. Yeung points out that the different ways to create fabric texture - be it through printing, embossing or yarn-dyes - creates an added dimension to wearable pieces that will continue to evolve in popularity among leading suppliers. "MĂŠlange, which is a yarn-dyed fabric featuring a textured color pattern that is visually unique as it is on trend is something were are broadening our existing selection to include," explains Kathy Cheng, President, Redwood Classics Apparel. "We're also seeing retailers and designers leaning toward French Terry fabrics."

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One of the biggest trends that will continue throughout the coming year is the innovative placement and application of branded logos and designs. "The biggest shift I have witnessed is in the application of decoration," explains Gosse. "People are looking for more unique logo placement and digital decoration methods lend well to that." While the days of the left chest decoration are far from over, a growing number of customers are becoming increasingly comfortable with idea of breaking the traditional mold when it comes to branding their corporate apparel. "We're seeing companies put more thought and care into branding and the different locations of decorated logo placement are becoming more popular to show off the creativity of a brand," notes Yeung. This creativity is showing up in the form of vertical logos along sleeves or on upper back shoulders, similar to what some of the more popular outdoor and retail sport brands are currently showing. A decorating technique which is sure to be popular in 2014 is laser etching, which delivers a tone-on-tone effect on a garment. This technique makes quite the impression, both on bright colours as well as darks and greys, as the decorated image essentially takes on the colour of the garment to which it is being applied. While this method is still relatively new, having debuted only several years ago, it has experienced quite the surge in popularity over only the past 12 months, as buyers have gradually become more comfortable and familiar with it.

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Outside of apparel, an ongoing trend is the continued dependence on technology in our day-to-day lives. With this, comes the wave of accessories for each category of item, and this grows exponentially with each year. "Technology is where we are seeing the biggest growth, specifically 'screen marketing" explains Morin, which incorporates any device with a screen, be it smart phones, laptops, GPS units, tablets, thermostats, et cetera. "Trend wise, anything that revolves around screen marketing has a better shot at being popular than other accessories," he added. While cross compatibility for tech products is always an issue due to operating system idiosyncrasies, one of the emerging trends will be the race to develop universally functional products that work across all platforms. "We are developing some products that are universal fits for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android platforms, which we call 'no tech'," says Morin. No tech basically means that the accessories and devices are not powered and do not require batteries. While 2014 is sure to feature the trends listed above, it will also undoubtedly be the spawn of new trends. So, be sure to keep your head up and an eye out for what's becoming popular. And most importantly, have a happy, healthy and prosperous year!


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Answer: This is a process called scumming. What is happening is the emulsion around your stencil is seeping in after you have washed it. Wiping down your screen with an old tee and putting it in front of a fan will prevent this from happening.

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A: Either you need to change a bulb in the exposing unit, or you need to make sure that the vacuum on the unit is working properly. My guess is itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the bulbs, especially if the problem is in the same location all the time.

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Answers to these questions were provided in part, courtesy of Mike Hishon of Hishons Custom. With over 18 years experience in textile screen printing, Mike is a graphic artist who has amassed such clients as the Stratford Festival (North America's biggest Shakespearean Theatre) for which he designs and prints for their world renowned Theatre Stores. 

For more tips and tricks, please visit www.thescreenprintersguide.com

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A: You can wait awhile if your screen is in the dark. For instance: I have burned out a screen before I left work for the day, and left it in the exposing unit until the morning. I brought it out the next day and it worked fine. Once exposed to light, it is best to wash it out right away. @)>daR[XT]cbbd__[h_^^aaPbcTaXiTSX\PVTbBW^d[S fTeTRc^aXiTPacfXcW^dcRWPaVX]VcWT\P_aT\Xd\.

A: What I have done is used Fiverr.com. Fiverr allows you to outsource such things as vector redraws. This is a tool that will only cost you - yup, you guessed it - $5! This allows you to get top notch artwork without ever having to produce it yourself. There is no possible way you can redraw any design for less than what you have to pay with this site. What you decide to charge the end user is up to your company, but as far as Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m concerned, $35 - $50 dollars is not out of the question.

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A: Yes, you can use a flash unit, but I would suggest hitting them with a heat press and a Teflon sheet to make sure your design stays on the garment.

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There is a big difference; water-based inks are specialty inks where the ink sinks into the fibers of shirt, thus becoming part of the fabric. Water-based inks are comprised of a mixture of water, co-solvents and dye (or pigment). For the print to be cured, the water needs to evaporate completely. Plastisol is the standard, economical ink made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) particles and plasticizer which is an additive that keeps the PVC particles from clumping. Once dry, most plastisol prints sit on top of the material of the shirt. On light-colored or white shirts, water based inks will show up vibrantly. However, on a darker garment water-based inks will influenced by the colour of the shirt. Plastisol on the other hand is consistent in hue no matter the garment colour, provided a under base is used, however the feel of the print is typically heavier. F0C4A10B438=: 0SeP]cPVTb) More Environmentally-friendlier; Softer hand. 3XbPSeP]cPVTb) Colour of the shirt greatly impacts the print;

expensive; time consuming; clogs screens easily when water evoporates.

Stahls.ca â&#x20AC;˘ 800.521.5255 â&#x20AC;˘ canada@StahlsCanada.com

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?;0BC8B>; 0SeP]cPVTb) Inexpensive; great opacity, easy to use; won't clog screens 3XbPSeP]cPVTb) Thicker hand; can bunch around seams

In the end, the ink you choose will depend on what your needs are, and the demands of your customers.


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The U.S. & Canada: A modest recovery is unfolding

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THE HEAVY TERRY CLUB JACKET Our 13oz Heavy Terry Fleece is our heaviest fleece ever providing a cozy terry interior and a smooth, tight-knit exterior that is perfect for all types of embellishments. The Heavy Terry Collection is available in classic cuts with a sporty appeal making them ideal for sports licensing apparel lines as well as collegiate wear.

HVT401 XXS | XS | S | M | L | XL | 2XL (2XL available in select colors) - Dual Side Welt Pockets - 8 button Snap Closure Zinc: 65% Combed Cotton Fleece 28% Polyester 7% Rayon 11.28 oz/yd² (382 g/m²) Colors: 71% Combed Cotton Fleece 29% Polyester 13 oz/yd² (441 g/m²) Red Royal Zinc Black White Maroon (Shown)

Founded in Montreal. Made in Los Angeles. Sweatshop Free.

American Apparel is Jobs. At American Apparel we leverage art, design, innovation, and technology to advance our business. Our workers earn fair wages, pay millions of dollars in taxes, and have access to comprehensive medical programs. —Canada 1550 Metcalfe Room 704 Montreal, QC H3A 1X6 Tel: +1 (514) 940–1301 Fax: +1 (514) 908-3884 canadacsr@americanapparel.net Exterior

Interior

Wholesale Imprintable Division americanapparel.net/wholesale




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Canadian household indebtedness

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1990

1992

1994

1996

1998

2000

2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

2012

Source: Statistics Canada, RBC Economics Research

Credit market debt as a % of personal disposable income

170 160

US

Canada

150 140 130 120 110 100

90 80 70

1990

1992

1994

1996

1998

2000

2002

2004

2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

Source: Statistics Canada, Federal Reserve Board, RBC Economics Research



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Europe - A fledgling recovery 8LIGSVIIGSRSQMIWSJ)YVSTILEZIWLS[RWSQIWMKRWSJVIGSZIV]EWKVS[XLMWFIKMR RMRKXSVIWYQIFYXSZIVEPPMXVIQEMRW[IEO 9RIQTPS]QIRXMRXLIIYVS^SRIVIQEMRWZIV]LMKLERHWSGMEPERHTSPMXMGEPXIRWMSRWEVI LYVXMRKXLIVIJSVQQSQIRXYQMRXLIIYVSEVIE%GXMSRWXSVIWXSVI½RERGMEPWIGXSVLIEPXL ERHWXVIRKXLIRMRJVEWXVYGXYVIEVIIWWIRXMEPXSIRWYVIWXEFMPMX]ERHWYTTSVXXLIVIGSZIV] FYXXLIVIVIQEMRWPMRKIVMRKYRGIVXEMRX]EFSYXXLIFEPERGIWLIIXWSJQSWX)YVSTIERFEROW *YVXLIVQSVIGSRXMRYIHWLSVXXIVQWYTTSVXERHHIITIVWXVYGXYVEPVIJSVQWXSVEMWIGSQ TIXMXMZIRIWWERHTSXIRXMEPSYXTYXEVIIWWIRXMEP JSVKVS[XLERHNSFGVIEXMSR as of Novemeber 22, 2013 8LIIYVSEVIEVIXYVRIHXSKVS[XLMRXLI T S J J GDP (%) WIGSRHUYEVXIVSJEJXIVWM\UYEVXIVWSJ  VIGIWWMSR 6IGIRXLMKLJVIUYIRG]MRHMGEXSVW  WYKKIWXXLEXEGXMZMX]MWFIKMRRMRKXSWXEFMPM^I  4  MRXLITIVMTLIV]ERHVIGSZIVMRXLIGSVI WII   /I]-RHMGEXSVWVMKLX   1SVISZIVMR¾EXMSRVIQEMRWFIPS[XLI)YVSTIER  'IRXVEP&ERO´ W )'&´W QIHMYQXIVQSFNIGXMZI        VEMWMRKGSRGIVRWEFSYXYRHIVP]MRKHMWMR¾EXMSREV] SVHI¾EXMSREV]XVIRHW Unemployment Rate (%)  %QYPXMXYHISJJEGXSVW EPPPIKEGMIWSJXLI 6HS KPSFEP½RERGMEPGVMWMW [MPPGSRXMRYIXSVIWXVEMR   KVS[XLERHMR¾EXMSRMRXLIIYVSEVIE SRXST  SJ[IEOIRMRKI\TSVXWJVSQXLIHIGIPIVEXMSRMR  QER]IQIVKMRKQEVOIXIGSRSQMIW(IQERHMW  TIVWMWXIRXP][IEOEWXLITYFPMGERHTVMZEXIWIG  XSVWGSRXMRYIXSHIPIZIVEKI       +VS[XLMWEPWSPMOIP]XSFIWYFHYIHMRSXLIV EHZERGIHIGSRSQMIWMR)YVSTI  -RXLI9RMXIH Industrial Production ,QGH[  /MRKHSQ VIGIRXHEXELEWWLS[RWMKRWSJER  MQTVSZMRKIGSRSQ]GSRWMWXIRX[MXLMRGVIEWMRK   GSRWYQIVERHFYWMRIWWGSR½HIRGIFYXSYXTYX 6HS   VIQEMRW[IPPFIPS[MXWTVIGVMWMWTIEO  +VS[XLMWI\TIGXIHXSFIETTVS\MQEXIP]  TIVGIRXMR  WPS[P]VIXYVRMRKXSXVIRHMR  XLIQIHMYQXIVQFYXSYXTYXPIZIPW[MPPVIQEMR        FIPS[TSXIRXMEPJSVQER]]IEVW 7SYVGI*IHIVEP6IWIVZI&EROSJ2I[=SVO,EZIV 6MWOWLEZIFIGSQIQSVIFEPERGIHXLERWM\ QSRXLWEKSFYXWXMPPVIQEMRXMPXIHXSXLIHS[RWMHI%QMHEJVEKMPIVIGSZIV]PMQMXIHTSPMG] WTEGIERHWYFWXERXMEPWPEGOXLIVIKMSRGSYPHFILMXF]JYVXLIVHSQIWXMGSVI\XIVREPWLSGOW %R]XYVFYPIRGIMRKPSFEP½RERGMEPQEVOIXWJSVI\EQTPIEWEVIWYPXSJJYVXLIVXMKLXIRMRK MR97QSRIXEV]GSRHMXMSRWGSYPHEKKVEZEXIJVEKQIRXEXMSRERHHMWVYTXVIGSZIV]

Key Indicators - Europe

Asia: A lower growth trajectory 3RISJXLIQENSVHIZIPSTQIRXWGSQIWJVSQIQIVKMRKQEVOIXIGSRSQMIW[LIVI KVS[XLLEWHIGPMRIH'LMREERHEKVS[MRKRYQFIVSJIQIVKMRKQEVOIXIGSRSQMIWEVI GSQMRKSJJTIEOW ERHXLIUYIWXMSRMW[LIXLIVXLMWWPS[HS[RVI¾IGXW G]GPMGEPJEGXSVWSVEHIGVIEWIMRTSXIRXMEPSYXTYXKVS[XL 8LIERW[IVMWXLEXMXVIJPIGXWFSXLEPFIMXXSHMJJIVIRXHIKVIIWMRZEVMSYWGSYRXVMIW QSVIG]GPMGEPMR6YWWMEERH7SYXL%JVMGEQSVIHIGVIEWIHTSXIRXMEPMR'LMREERH-RHME 9RYWYEPP]JEZSYVEFPI[SVPHGSRHMXMSRWMRGPYHMRKLMKLGSQQSHMX]TVMGIW ERHVETMH½RERGMEPQEVOIXHIZIPSTQIRX MRGVIEWIHTSXIRXMEPKVS[XLMR XLIWIIGSRSQMIWHYVMRKXLIWERHMRERYQFIVSJXLIQXLIVI[EW EG]GPMGEPGSQTSRIRXMRZSPZIH -R'LMREKVS[XLMWTVSNIGXIHXSHIGIPIVEXIXSTIVGIRXMR 4SPMG]QEOIVWLEZIVIJVEMRIHJVSQJYVXLIVWXMQYPEXMRKKVS[XL[LMGLMW GSRWMWXIRX[MXLXLISFNIGXMZIWSJWEJIKYEVHMRK½RERGMEPWXEFMPMX]ERHQSZ MRKXLIIGSRSQ]XSEQSVIFEPERGIHERHWYWXEMREFPIKVS[XL .ETER´WIGSRSQ][LMPIIRNS]MRKEZMKSVSYWVIFSYRHMR[MPPPSWI EFMXSJWXIEQMREWHSQIWXMG½WGEPTSPMG]XMKLXIRW,IPTIHF]]IR HITVIGMEXMSRERHERMRGVIEWIMRI\XIVREPHIQERH I\TSVXWWLSYPHEPWS WXVIRKXLIR +VS[XLMWJSVIGEWXXSHIGIPIVEXIXSTIVGIRXMR[MXL½WGEP WXMQYPYW[MXLHVE[EPERHXLIMRGVIEWIMRXLIGSRWYQTXMSRXE\,S[IZIV MJEREHHMXMSREP±WXMQYPYWTEGOEKI²HSIWKSELIEHKVS[XLMR[SYPH FILMKLIVXLERGYVVIRXP]TVSNIGXIHERHMR¾EXMSR[MPPVMWIXS[EVHTIV GIRXMRVI¾IGXMRKXLIIJJIGXWSJXLIGSRWYQTXMSRXE\LMOIGYVVIRXP] YRHIVP]MRKMR¾EXMSRMWTVSNIGXIHXSFIGPSWIVXSTIVGIRXMR


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Is Your Company Posting without a Plan? Essential Components of a Successful Social Media Strategy By Neal Schaffer

Many company leaders understand that their business tions: your voice. requires a social media presence, but to the detriment of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Although your brand guidelines might make mention many organizations, strategy is lagging behind. of tone and vocabulary for use in Web copy, social media A recent survey by Social Media Examiner showed that will challenge those guidelines when you need to have creating a social media strategy is still a major concern a conversation with an average person,â&#x20AC;? Schaffer points out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In most instances itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s okay to be less formal on of 83 per cent of marketers. Author and social media strategy consultant Neal social media channelsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;just make sure that your updates, Schaffer stresses that companies engaging in social statuses, and comments â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;speakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with a unified voice.â&#x20AC;? media need a strategy because, among other things Content: Engage and share in meaningful it: standardizes messaging, conversations determines how resources are Social media is really about used, defines which tactics to the convergence of compursue, serves as a road map, munication and information. and will carry on its purpose Content provides the through personnel changes. medium to help you engage When no strategy is in conversationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and crepresent, says Schaffer, hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ating content that is truly what typically happens: resourceful and shareable individuals from different can have many long-term departments tweet at will, benefits to your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s using the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offisocial media presence. cial handle. Some of these @Q\P UWZM \PIV  [WKQIT VM\_WZS[ K]ZZMV\Ta IK\Q^M LMKQLQVO

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isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just about blog posts, be loaded down with cumWN aW]Z [WKQIT UMLQI [\ZI\MOa photos, and videos,â&#x20AC;? reminds bersome language from the Schaff er. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just talking about yourself in social companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Web copy guidelines; others are peppered media, no one wants to listen (much like regular converwith abbreviations like â&#x20AC;&#x153;u,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;r,â&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;2.â&#x20AC;? On Facebook, sation). Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only when you begin to curate content that users who â&#x20AC;&#x153;likeâ&#x20AC;? the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s page find that their newsfeeds are bombarded with promotions, surveys, and so is of interest to your followers and promote it, together called â&#x20AC;&#x153;news.â&#x20AC;? Meanwhile, clients are posting positive and with your own content, that your social media accounts negative feedback. Sometimes these comments receive begin to breathe new life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you work in a business-to-business (B2B) company, responses; sometimes they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. (And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not even taking into account LinkedIn, Pinterest, the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s this will often come down to content that you might already be sharing with your current and prospective blog, and others!) â&#x20AC;&#x153;In using such a scattershot approach, organizations clients on sales calls, in newsletters, or during informative are missing major opportunities to engage with poten- webinars,â&#x20AC;? Schaffer shares. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you work for a company tial and current customers, and they may be alienating that sells directly to consumers, it might mean sharing social media users in the process,â&#x20AC;? says Schaffer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without more photos and videos of who is using your product, a social media strategy, how do you know what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re or stories about your brand that have never been pubtrying to achieve, what you should be doing, how well licly discussed.â&#x20AC;? youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing, what you should be measuring, and what Channels: Join the right networks for your company the ROI of your social media program is?â&#x20AC;? There are currently more than 50 social networks In his book, Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to with more than 10 million members. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;tâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;have a presence on every single one of them. Success, Schaffer explains Deciding which social how companies can networks to engage in, create a strategic social 2aTPcX]VPb^RXP[\TSXPbcaPcTVh and creating internal best media framework, leverXbbcX[[P\PY^aR^]RTa]^U'"_Ta practices and tactical age opportunities that plans for each of these each social media chan- RT]c^U\PaZTcTabFXcW^dc^]T networks, will form a siznel offers, and implement ^aVP]XiPcX^]bPaT\XbbX]V\PY^a able part of your social a data-driven approach ^__^acd]XcXTbc^T]VPVTfXcW media strategy. to monitor the success While most companor failure of their social _^cT]cXP[P]SRdaaT]cRdbc^\Tab ies concentrate on the media programs. P]ScWTh\PhQTP[XT]PcX]Vb^RXP[ more established social In the following, Schaffer networks, depending on \TSXPdbTabX]cWT_a^RTbb shares essential componyour industry, the new ents of a comprehensive emerging social netsocial media strategy. works of Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram might be

Branding: Be consistent across all channels

equally important.

Branding is about consistency; most businesses already have brand guidelines (including naming, color scheme, and imagery), and these should be applied to social media as well. The challenge, though, is that most branding guidelines donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t include any guidance for the most important part of your brand in social media conversa-

Frequency: Post strategically, not constantly No two social networks are alike, and with limited resources, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need to decide how much time you are going to spend on each platform, as well as what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be doing there. ,WV\QV]ML NZWU 9IOM !

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NewsJB^RXP[<TSXPL ,WV\QV]ML NZWU 9IOM 

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Believe it or not, frequent posting doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily make your social media more effective,â&#x20AC;? shares Schaffer. Research from tracksocial.com, a social media analytics blog for smart marketing, shows that when a brand posts on Facebook twice a day, those posts receive only 57 per cent and 78 per cent of the likes and comments per post, respectively, that a single post receives.

Listening: Interact meaningfully with your audience

be considered as potential collaborators in future social media campaigns.

Brand Ambassadors: Recruit fans to spread the word Brand ambassadors are current loyal customers and fans who help spread the word about your brand through their own social networks. They can also act as an advisory board during a crisis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whether they are current employees, alumni of your company, or loyal fans to your brand, your social media strategy should always be looking for ways to engageâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; and rewardâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;brand loyalty and amplification in social media,â&#x20AC;? he explains.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official: The customer service desk has gone digital. From complaints to questions to praise, consumers (67 per cent of them, in fact) are using social media to convey their thoughts, opinions, and queries. But according to Schaffer, many companies are blowing this golden Crisis Management: Be prepared to handle problems quickly as they arise opportunity to interact. Given the speed at which information travels and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Your company needs to have a listening and fact that social media is now a primary news source for responding strategy in place,â&#x20AC;? Schaffer confirms. Remember that listening means more than mere- consumers and the media, it is inevitable that some sort of crisis will occur. ly being on the lookout â&#x20AC;&#x153;Make sure that your for complaints to defuse. pinterest likes analytics vine communication content channels crisis communications web Every engagement with organization youtube facebook twitterinstagram plan includes messaa social media user is lasting company mobilegoogle+ audio ging for each of the social network monitoring a golden opportunity, engagement media channels youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be because it can give you vimeo investing in,â&#x20AC;? Schaffer customers real-time feedback on conversion links business engage conversion instructs. Beyond that, what your customers are ideas he adds, make sure that thinking. You can also sales consistency online time employees your employees are utilize big social data to global networking users web followers message proficient at (or bethelp understand potenlikes people departments stakeholders communication channels ter yet, expert users of) tial future trends for your content feedback real-time influencers service ambassadors the social media tools products and services. your organization utilAnd lastly, remember that 0Q^MV \PM [XMML I\ _PQKP QVNWZUI\QWV \ZI^MT[ IVL \PM NIK\ \PI\ [WKQIT UMLQI

Q[ VW_ I XZQUIZa VM_[ [W]ZKM NWZ KWV[]UMZ[ IVL \PM UMLQI Q\ Q[ QVM^Q\I izes so that they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a meaningful interaction JTM \PI\ [WUM [WZ\ WN KZQ[Q[ _QTT WKK]Z 2V\MOZI\QVO [WKQIT UMLQI QV\W aW]Z

KWUXIVao[ KZQ[Q[ UIVIOMUMV\ XTIVVQVO Q[ I ^MZa _Q[M LMKQ[QWV inadvertently make a with a customerâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;a probcrisis worse. Secondly, lem resolved or a question answered, for instanceâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;can win you the type of loyalty you should try to proactively build a community of goodwill with followers of your brand. that money canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buy. Over time, your word will become more trusted, and Campaign: Regularly introduce new ways to more brand advocates will be born; both of which will engage customers help lessen the potential negative effects of any crisis. Social media campaigns should not be confused with These recommendations listed above look primarily traditional campaigns that are used in marketing to proat the elements for creating a robust social media stratmote new products or discounts. egy from a marketing perspective, however some of Again, in the social media world, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not speakthese components can be easily expanded to help other ing to or at customers; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re speaking with them. That internal departments achieve their respective social being the case, social media campaigns should leverage media objectives. the social aspect of social media, combined with its viral â&#x20AC;&#x153;Regardless of your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s social media goals, functionality, to create events that trigger engagement make sure that you address these concepts in a written from followers in a new and exciting way. document so that everyone in your companyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;now and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Think of it less as a promotional marketing campaign in the futureâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;understands what they are and how they and more of an experiment to better understandâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and are meant to work together," stresses Shaffer. more effectively engage withâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;your social media followThe clearer you are in developing your strategy, ers,â&#x20AC;? Schaffer recommends. the more productive your organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s social media presence will be. Influencers: Take a cue from other users Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no need to navigate the world of social media on your own. Use the examples and successes of other users - called influencers - to help shape your own strat- About the Author: Neal Schaffer is the author of Maximize Your Social: A OneStop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business egy and make it more effective. Success. Named a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer two years in Influencers can consist of individual users, companies, a row, Neal is the creator of Advertising Ageâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Top 100 Global Marketing Blog, or media outlets that 1) are a part of, or serve your target Windmill Networking (recently rebranded as Maximize Social Business), and a demographic audience; 2) yield online influence through global speaker on social media who also teaches as part of Rutgers Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reporting, blogging, and being active on platforms such Mini-MBAâ&#x201E;˘ in Social Media Marketing Program. as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn. As a leading social media strategist, Neal has created social media strategies, â&#x20AC;&#x153;At minimum, influencers provide a source for content coached implementation, and helped train dozens of companies, from startups curation, and by retweeting their content, you increase and small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises and even a Grammy Awardthe chances that they will notice you and reciprocate winning musician. Neal has previously written two award-winning books on the favor, thus broadening your reach in social media,â&#x20AC;? LinkedIn. His work has been recognized by the media, appearing in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Yahoo!, and the American notes Shaffer. Beyond merely utilizing influencers for content cura- Express OPEN Forum. tion and to broaden social media reach, they should also For more information, please visit www.maximizeyoursocial.com.

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Design to Fabric Essentials By Fran McAvity

Design to fabric, why do we need to understand this concept? No one just runs an embroidery machine; no one just digitizes designs; no one just sells or takes orders for embroidery. It is crucial that every person involved in the embroidery process clearly understands the design components. This means understanding more about the construction of the design and how each stitch or group of stitches affects the fabrics to which they are being applied. It follows that the person who takes the order understands the limitations of design to fabric, and can communicate this clearly to the buyer as well as the artist/ digitizer/embroidery programmer and machine operator. The artist/digitizer/embroidery programmer provides technical skill combined with creative talent, producing efficient running designs helping ensure the â&#x20AC;&#x153;wowâ&#x20AC;? for the buyer. The machine operator has the final bow â&#x20AC;&#x201C; producing finished projects using embroidery threads and aids with skill and proficiency. Remember that no one makes money until the order is off the embroidery machine.

THE DESIGN: What is a design? Designs may be looked at from three perspectives: 1. Keyboard lettering - which you create yourself. (YES, keyboard lettering is creating a â&#x20AC;&#x153;designâ&#x20AC;?) 2. Stock designs (This is definitely the â&#x20AC;&#x153;buyer bewareâ&#x20AC;? section!) 3. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Originalâ&#x20AC;? designs - these can be ones you digitize yourself, or ones that you order from a digitizer.

Key Questions Regarding Design: â&#x20AC;˘ Do you know where the design came from? â&#x20AC;˘ For which fabric the design was digitized? â&#x20AC;˘ Did you watch the new design sew out? The stitch length, density, underlay, stitch direction, and compensation are the five components of a design. Density is described as the number of stitches per inch or per millimeter and can be called the â&#x20AC;&#x153;cover stitch"; underlay is best thought of as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;foundationâ&#x20AC;? stitches; the stitch angle or "direction" of the stitches provides fabric control.; Compensation says that embroidery is really the art of â&#x20AC;&#x153;distortionâ&#x20AC;?; and lastly, stitch lengths, which are the single most abused factor in the wheel.

THE FABRIC: Fabrics have construction components such as yarn size, texture, weave, stretch factor, and â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;?, and each fabric requires design attention. Try to categorize your fabrics. The chart below will help you visualize how a thread of only 0.4mm size will behave on different structures and which embroidery aids you will need to overcome fabric challenges. Note: Can you find the mistake in this chart? - Did you test the design on the fabric you will use?

rect combination of embroidery aids should be applied. BACKINGS: should be of high quality and consistency. If cheap tear aways are tearing before the embroidery process is finished, then they are not providing proper stabilization for the process. Inappropriate backings will also look â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;thick and thinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and provide uneven stability. TOPPINGS: Stop stitches from getting â&#x20AC;&#x153;lostâ&#x20AC;? in textured or stretch fabrics. Water-soluble toppings such as SolvyÂŽ is the most common. Toppings can also be a light tear away backing or a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;heat awayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; material. ADHESIVES: Temporary and â&#x20AC;&#x153;absorbableâ&#x20AC;? adhesives are perfect for holding fabrics in their own natural lie and also for hoopless embroidery. You may get the same effect from a â&#x20AC;&#x153;stickyâ&#x20AC;? sided backing such as FilmoplastÂŽ.

FABRICS MUST ALWAYS BE STABILIZED IN THEIR OWN NATURAL LIE Correct hooping is critical! This means that all fabrics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even seemingly stable ones â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MUST NOT be stretched in the hooping process. Fabrics must be â&#x20AC;&#x153;drumâ&#x20AC;? tight not â&#x20AC;&#x153;stretchâ&#x20AC;? tight. â&#x20AC;˘ Stabilize stretch fabrics BEFORE hooping. This will preserve the natural lie even during the hooping process. â&#x20AC;˘ NEVER pull fabrics tight after hooping. This stretching action will produce waved embroidery on any fabric as well as holes in stretch fabrics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; particularly in the closed parts of letters such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;Râ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;˘ ALWAYS cover the entire area of the hoop with at least one layer of backing. Here is a test for a design on a stretch fabric: First, stabilize â&#x20AC;&#x201C; meaning STOP the mobility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of the stretch fabric to one piece of good 2.5oz cutaway backing. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t skip this step; stabilizing can be achieved with temporary adhesive spray or by using a pressure sensitive sticky backing, or an iron-on backing. Then, once the fabric is totally stable, hoop it with a piece of water-soluble topping and run your design. If you experience any problems - such as holes in the fill stitches, or fills leaking out under your satin stitches, or â&#x20AC;&#x153;wavesâ&#x20AC;? of fabric being pushed out of place, or any other flaw that leaves your embroidery or your fabric out of shape â&#x20AC;&#x201C; then you do not have a good design to fabric fit. It is time to head back to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;designâ&#x20AC;? table and determine what is doing the damage. Remember that if you â&#x20AC;&#x153;technicalâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;aidâ&#x20AC;? variables are controlled and constant, then you only need to focus on why this design doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work with this fabric. Always think Design to Fabric and test, test, test before you run! Embroidery is not rocket science. When your embroidery is not running well, head back to the design variables and see if they are appropriate for the fabric.

Some rules of thumb: Â&#x2C6;&EGOMRKWSVWXEFMPM^IVWEVIYWIHJSVX[SQEMR VIEWSRWXSWYTTSVXXLIJEFVMGHYVMRKXLIWI[MRK TVSGIWWERHSVXSTVSZMHIHIWMKRPSRKIZMX]JSV YRWXEFPIJEFVMGW Â&#x2C6;8IEVE[E]FEGOMRKJSV[SZIRGYXE[E]FEGOMRK JSVORMXW Â&#x2C6;2IZIVYWIQSVIXLERX[SPE]IVWSJFEGOMRK Â&#x2C6;9WIEXSTTMRKJSVEPPJEFVMGWXLEXWXVIXGLSVLEZI EVSYKLXI\XYVIHWYVJEGI Â&#x2C6;2IZIVYWIGLIETEHLIWMZIWFIGEYWIQEGLMRIWERH JEFVMGWLEXIKPYI Â&#x2C6;0SRKWXMXGLIWTYPPQSVI Â&#x2C6;%RH]IWE8WLMVXMWGPEWWM½IHEWEORMX

MARRYING DESIGN TO FABRIC: EMBROIDERY AIDS Backings, toppings and adhesives are your embroidery aids. They are designed to assist in stabilizing fabric for the embroidery process. They will not overcome design to fabric gross errors such as vertical fills on a stretch fabric, or a design with a density that is far too high for the fabric to hold (i.e. too many stitches). In order to provide proper stitch registration, the cor-

This article was provided courtesy of Imprint Canada's resident "Embroidery Dinosaur." Fran McAvity is the President of Gunold Canada. She has lectured for Stitches magazine, the Imprinted Sportswear Shows and Imprint Canada since 1995. She is the developer of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Embroidery Wheelâ&#x20AC;? seminar and has written a series of embroidery articles for Imprint Canada. She is also the Recipient of Imprint Canada's Robert L. Scott Award.

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You will have downtime associated with setup and postproduction tasks; thus, if it took you 20 minutes on average to process something from beginning to end, the total cost is going to be $10, not $1. If you want to lower the production cost, the most effective method is to reduce the production time. In contrast, many shops try to focus on bringing down their costs by reducing consumables cost such as ink and paper, though in reality it may have little to no impact on your margins. Here is why: Suppose you were using a sublimation printer that with an average media cost of $0.50 for an 8" x 10" area â&#x20AC;&#x201C; potentially a full front design on a T-shirt. If you were able to cut your ink costs by 50 per cent, it would save $0.25 in production costs (hardly a make or break scenario). On the other hand, if you could improve your efficiency in terms of setup and post production time by 50 per cent (based on the same scenario above) you would save $5.00 in production costs. The end result would be more pieces per hour and a lower cost per piece. It should also be noted that for sublimation on smaller pieces - such as coasters, name badges, dog tags, et cetera - you can print and press multiple pieces at the same time, which further increases your efficiency. And because of the smaller image size, your ink costs may well drop below $0.15 per piece. But understanding what things cost is one thing, figuring out how to calculate your operational costs and then create a price structure that makes sense is another thing entirely.

Developing A Profitable Pricing Strategy The first element of a profitable price strategy is the most important: cost; if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what it costs to operate your business, then itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s highly unlikely that you can create a pricing system that works. There are many costs to running a business, and these expenses must be factored into your pricing system in order to recoup them and earn a profit on top of that. Thus, you must start the process of pricing with a focused cost analysis strategy.

Step 1 - Determine Operational Costs Your first step is to identify and add up all of the projected costs for operating your business for one year. Keep in mind that some costs are fixed, while others may be changing as your business grows. Thus, you should put everything in a spreadsheet so that you can constantly update it as your business changes. Also, costs such as merchandise for resale will be recovered in the sales process, so donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t include it here, unless you are entering into a payment plan for purchasing such merchandise. In addition, be sure to include your desired paycheck! The final result will be the total estimated dollars that you need to pay all of your yearly bills plus your paycheck. But always keep in mind that there will be unexpected costs and fluctuations in some of your costs, so donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t assume this number is carved in stone. But it is a reasonable starting point for your cost analysis.

Step 2 - Break Down Costs Into Usable Increments

information will make it easier to track the performance as well, because you essentially have a series of production goals that must be met in order to generate the required amount of annual revenue needed to pay the bills and yourself.

Step 3 - Compare Production Against Costs Once you have usable operating cost figures, then itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to compare them against your â&#x20AC;&#x153;logicalâ&#x20AC;? production capabilities in order to see what it really costs to generate sublimated images. Unlike many other decoration processes, sublimation is pretty constant in terms of production time. Regardless of the size of an image, the pressing time remains the same â&#x20AC;&#x201C; about one minute for most applications. Printing time can vary with the size of the image and with the printer being used, but in the case of some systems like the Ricoh, printing time rarely exceeds 40 seconds for anything. For simplicity, assume that it take 30 seconds to print, 30 seconds to prepare substrate for press and 60 seconds to press per item. That works out to 2 minutes. Thus, within reason you have a maximum output POTENTIAL of 30 production cycles per hour. (Depending on the size of the substrate, one production cycle might yield one piece of several.) If your hourly cost of operation is $31.25 (calculated earlier) and your potential maximum production is 30 pieces per hour, then a quick bit of math reveals your cost per item to produce is $1.04. That includes ink, paper, labour, insurance, utilities, et cetera. In fact, the only thing it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t include is the cost of the substrate and of course a sizable markup. If you play with the figures, you will also see that if you increase your production output per hour against the same overhead, you will reduce the cost per item. And if you go the other way, you will of course see the numbers increase. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to understand this concept, as different variables in different jobs will affect the cost of the item being produced. For example, if you are sublimating coasters, you can usually print out 5 images on one sheet of 8 ½â&#x20AC;? x 11â&#x20AC;? paper and press 5 coasters at once as a result. Thus you are producing 5 items per cycle instead of one. In theory, that would yield: 30 cycles/hour X 5 items/cycle or 150 pieces per hour - now the production cost is $0.21 per coaster (not including substrate). But of course these are just numbers on paper. If you think it through, there will be more prep time for setting up five coasters to press than for setting up one, because you need to tape each one into place on the transfer then flip it upside down and place on the press without shifting - more like a minute (or more) than 30 seconds for prep time. But if you take the time to play with numbers and variables, you can start to generate some pretty decent base figures for pricing. So far your numbers assume you are running your equipment non-stop, all day long, but that will not be the case; every job requires setup and finishing, which means pre and post production downtime. In fact, these downtimes can be higher than the actual production time when dealing with small orders. For example, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s say you have to produce 12 plaques, each taking about 2 minutes to print and press for a total production time of 24 minutes. However, you need to do some logo work which will take another 15 minutes. And at the end of the production cycle you will need to wrap and box the plaques, something that will take about 15 minutes. Now your total job time is 54 minutes, which can be rounded

Taking the information gathered in the initial assessment phase, you should now have an approximate figure for the annual cost of operation. Suppose that number was $60,000. What does that tell you? Pretty much nothing at all, so you need to break this number down into something that is easier to deal with.  

   $""' Decide how many weeks you plan to operate       %+*your business per year. Most people go with 48   *+.",/*"!+3  %((0 initially, as this equals two weeks of vacation  #  %*(( and ten business holidays. Divide $60,000 by

  %-++ 48 and you come up with $1250, which is your  %*,./ 0*3 ! %*,./   %+((( weekly cost of operation. Said another way, you need to bring in at least   #!  !   this amount of money in net dollars each week,   48 weeks per year, in order to reach your yearly     %+*number. Divide this number by 5 to see what   *+.",/*"!03  %((0  #  %*(( the daily figure is ($250) and by 40 to determine

  %-++ the hourly figure ($31.25).  %-++ -(3 ! %-++ You can now see quite realistically what it   %)(.. costs to run your business on a daily basis. This  IMPRINT CANADA _ -DQXDU\)HEUXDU\

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off to 60 minutes. So the reality is that you produced, beginning to end, 12 items in 1 hour. At an hourly cost of $31.25, each plaque cost $2.60 to produce when you add in the pre and post production times. Once you have worked out your production costs, you will need to plug-in different quantities as exlpained earlier in order to get a handle on being able to offer discounts for larger volume production. The concept is to pass along the savings, not arbitrarily offer reduced prices. The next step beyond that 9ZWL]K\[ LMKWZI\ML _Q\P N]TT KWTWZ 1-

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be the most expensive part IVL JI[QK \M`\ ZM\IQT NWZ IJW]\  of any given job. For example, a blank poly-performance T-shirt has an average cost of $5.00 whereas the production cost of sublimation is in the range of $2.00 (total costs). And of course you have to account for shipping charges as well on your blanks which can be done by calculating out average shipping and then assigning a fixed cost to every substrate. So that takes care of the true cost of sublimation production which tells you what it costs to produce and hand to the customer. But what about markups? Obviously you need to make a profit with everything you produce.

Setting Prices â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Leave Money On The Table Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to understand your costs, but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave money on the table. Products decorated with full color, HD (high definition) photographic and personalized images tend to have a higher perceived value. For example, full-color sublimated photo awards have a higher perceived value than engraved ones, though they cost less to produce. Many award suppliers recognize this and charge accordingly, thereby enjoying higher margins. However, others base their pricing on an outdated formula that is essentially TIME + MATERIALS X 2, thus missing out on a significant amount of revenue by not realizing the true value of the product in the eyes of the customer. Similarly, some mistakenly try to sell a performance T-shirt with a full color image and a personalized name at the same price as a one-color screen print or iron-on letters. Certainly price is the driving factor on many orders, however itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s critical you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fall into the trap of selling a premium product at a commodity price. More than a few have gone out of business with this race-to-the-bottom mentality. To better understand this concept letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s look at a specific example that involves a personalized iPhone cover that has been sublimated with a photo and basic text. The blank substrate is $3.25 and the image is $0.08 (see chart). Add in about $2 for labour and overhead and your total cost of production is $5.33. With retail prices averaging $30 for this type of product your gross profit will be $24.67. Not bad for two minutes of production time. However, if you chose to use the â&#x20AC;&#x153;otherâ&#x20AC;? method of TIME + MATERIALS X 2, your retail price would have been $10.66 with a gross profit of $5.33. By contrast, the perceived value method generated almost 500% more revenue for the same effort. The end result here is that you must be sure you are covering the true job costs as a starting point in any pricing scheme you use. Beyond that you must apply market research and sales creativity to establish the highest possible margins based on perceived value, not some fixed multiplier. It takes time, energy and a lot of thought to build a reasonable price list but you have to start somewhere and then continuously fine tune the numbers in order to avoid leaving any money on the table. This article was written by Sawgrass Technologies' Jimmy Lamb, an AwardWinning Author and International Speaker who has over 25 years of business and technology experience. Milestones include owning and operating a successful production facility, developing a retail personalization franchise, and production consulting for several Fortune 500 Companies. Consistently ranked as one of the top Decoration Industry Influencers, Mr. Lamb is a regular contributor to Impressions, Printwear, Awards & Engraving, and ASI / Stitches magazines.


PROFILE

In just over five short years, Raised Edge – the Aurora, for some of the Sochi Olympic products,” says Di Schiavi. Ontario-based specialty decorator – has built quite a reputaIn addition to direct manufacturers, Raised Edge does tion among the industry’s notable promotional houses and the majority of its work as a third-party decorator for large retail manufacturers for delivering on promotional distributors in our industry. “We do not work with any end-users, and what others promise: service. * TWWS QV[QLM ;IQ[ML .LOM[ XZWL]K\QWV NIKQTQ\a TWKI\ML QV *]ZWZI 8V\IZQW The company was founded in 2008 our customers respect that,” explains Di by Thomas Milne who, prior to buying Schiavi. “We are here to partner with out the company of former NHLer and them and assist them, not to bite the and they are very particular regarding what work comes in and what leaves the facility. This attention to detail is reflected three-time Stanley Cup champion Jeff hand that feeds.” Beukeboom, was decorating official Raised Edge also handles all of the in its client base and in the company’s position in the ever game worn jerseys at the Air Canada on-ice cresting for the Toronto Marlies price-competitive decorating marketplace. “We are not the cheapest out there, (nor do we want to Centre for the Toronto Maple Leafs. and the Hamilton Bulldogs, in addition “At that time, I wanted to venture out to the on-field cresting for the Toronto be), notes Di Schiavi. “You basically get what you pay for, on my own and Jeff owned a debossing Rock and – up until last year – for the and if you are paying $100 for a jacket, there is no sense in nickel and diming the decoration.” company but was looking to get back Toronto FC as well. As specialists in embossing, debossing, laser, and heat into coaching hockey, so I purchased “We have a mobile cresting trailer transfers, Raised Edge are experts in uniquely decorating the equipment as a bulk asset sale, Jeff which was used at every home game,” ;IQ[ML .LOM 9IZ\VMZ[# 6IZK -Q <KPQI^Q TMN\ IVL =PWUI[ 6QTVM ZQOP\ says Milne. Fans would buy TFC team the more complex fabrics which are currently available. trained me on all the equipment and I started Raised Edge,” recalls Milne. apparel and Raised Edge would decorate Another area of specialization for the company is laser etching, which is a decorating method While Beukeboom remained a minority partner, Marc it on-site at BMO Field. that has recently caught on in terms In addition to partnering with Di Schiavi, who cut his teeth in the decorating industry of popularity in the corporate marat Stahls’ Canada, joined on as principle partner in 2011 numerous professional sports teams, ket. Having been one of the first to bringing with him the latest in heat transfer knowledge and Raised Edge also works with a large offer this technique upon it’s release experience. “We are now seen as a industry specialist on the number of minor hockey associaseveral years ago, Raised Edge is heat transfer side of the decorating business,” says Di Schiavi. tions, mainly due to its specialization well positioned to accommodate Only five plus years into the business, Raised Edge has grown in tackle twill - one of their many the increasing surge in demand for exponentially year over year and its client list is as diverse as strengths that sets them apart from this process which it is impressive, reading like a who’s who of industry players. their competition. they foresee in the In addition to operating as Trimark Sportswear’s third-party “When you coming years. decorator from 2008 through to 2012 for all heat transfers, work with pro “As fabric techembossing, debossing, laser etching and tackle twill decora- teams, you are nology changes, tion projects, the company recently entered into a vendor’s basically on call and company’s agreement with Stormtech Performance Apparel in which 24 hours a day,” logos continue to they will handle all of the brand’s embossing, debossing, explains Milne, evolve and become laser, heat printing and other decorations. stressing that they more complex – The company also decorates for NIKE GOLF, handling all have never missed with more colours of the merchandise for the brand’s Club Link Green Grass a deadline. “We *UWVO \PM V]UMZW][ LMKWZI\QVO UM\PWL[ \PI\ ;IQ[ML .LOM [XMKQITQbM[ QV QVKT]LM# =IKSTM =_QTT \WX -MJW[[QVO IJW^M TMN\ IVL 5I[MZ .UJMTTQ[PUMV\ IJW^M ZQOP\ and gradations Program as well as some of the apparel for the Canadian take on as much many of the new Open Golf Championships. work as we can, decorating technologies we specialize in allow us to achieve “On behalf of Nike, we also decorate for Hockey Canada, and our work ends up being quality over quantity.” that complexity, “ notes Di Schiavi, who briefl y hints at Quality and service are the top priorities at Raised Edge, the World Juniors, and right now we are working with Nike something his company is currently developing. “We are going to be releasing a new type of transfer that, once it is tested, will revolutionize the industry.” Constantly evolving and improving one’s craft comes with its own inherent challenges. For Raised Edge, refining its services to the point of specialization as a third party decorator has become ever more complex as the company strives to always stay ahead of the curve when it comes to handling new fabric compositions which are utilized in the )´ )´ manufacturing process. To achieve this competitive advantage, the company undergoes extensive R&D, comprised of elaborate and rigorous testing - something Di Schiavi refers to as “our fun weekends and late nights.” This unyielding dedication )/$735(66(6 to service and IURP´[´ specialization is XSWR´[´ a critical factor for the success =PM KWUXIVa[ QVVW^I\Q^M UWJQTM LMKWZI\QVO \ZIQTMZ

Raised Edge has _PQKP Q[ ][ML WV[Q\M I\ M^MV\[ enjoyed over Service Supplies Training such a relatively short time frame. As decorating technology continues to evolve and fabrics become ever more complex, Raised Edge has already positioned itself ahead of the next curve for years to come.

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VAPOR APPAREL

High-quality performance apparel. Manufactured with PURE-tech™ permanent moisture wicking technology. Does not fade or wash away with time. Partnered with Unifi, Inc. to develop the Eco line. Men, Women and Youth lines. Other features include: UV Protection, Microbacterial Resistant, Stain Resistant, Reduced Static and Fast Drying.

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PARKDALE NOVELTY CO. LTD.

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WINNER GARMENT

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Shown on model L00460 Distressed nappa. Quilted thermal insulation. Size: S - 4XL Colour: Dark Brown

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WHOLESALE & RETAIL SALES; SURVEY OF LARGE CANADIAN RETAILERS Wholesale sales up third month in a row

year to just over $1 billion, while inventories also rose in kind, up 10.6 per cent from last year to $2.04 billion (see Figure 3).

Wholesale sales were up for the third month in a row in September, rising 0.2 Retail sales increase for third consecutive month per cent to $49.8 billion. Figure1 Sales increased in four of the Retailers reported sales increases of 1.0 per cent to $40.7 billion in September, Canadian Wholesale Sales Increase seven subsectors, accounta third consecutive Billions ($) 52 Figure 4 Retail sales ing for 45 per cent of total monthly increase. This 50 (Clothing & Clothing Accessory stores) wholesale sales in Canada. advance was largely 48 46 In terms of overall volume, attributable to higher 44 4 wholesale sales were up 0.2 sales at motor vehicle 42 per cent (see Figure 1). and parts dealers. 40 38 Increases were realized in Gains were observed 3 36 the miscellaneous subsector $2,047 in 6 of the 11 sub+4.8% 34 (+1.3 per cent), the motor sectors, accounting for $ +5.2% 32 2 $2.27 billons S J J J J J S vehicle and parts subsector 55 per cent of retail $2.17 billion 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 $1.76 (0.6 per cent), and the farm trade, however folbillion $1.67 billion Source: Statistics Canada 1 product subsector (4.8 per lowing gains in July billion cent). The largest decline in dollar terms was in the food, beverage and tobacco suband August, sales at sector (-0.4 per cent). This drop was the result of a 0.6 per cent decrease in the food clothing and clothing 0 Sept 2012 Sept 2013 Sept 2012 Sept 2013 industry, which accounts for 90 per cent of the subsector’s sales. accessories stores were RETAIL CLOTHING & RETAIL CLOTHING STORES CLOTHNING ACCESSORY STORES In Ontario, sales rose down 0.6 per cent in Figure 2 Source: Statistics Canada Provincial Wholesale Sales 0.7 per cent which repreSeptember. (% change) sents a sixth increase in While this decrease in September was largely attributable to lower sales at CANADA seven months (see Figure clothing stores (-1.0 per cent), 2013 retail sales of clothing and clothing accesNL 2). Wholesale sales were up PEI sories are up 5.2 per cent and 4.8 per cent, respectively from the same period last NS in Saskatchewan (4.6 per year (see Figure 4). NB cent) as a result of higher QC Sales of Clothing and Clothing Accessories at large retailers drop slightly sales in the farm product as ON well as the building material In Statistics Canada’s most recently released survey of Large Canada Retailers, MB and supplies subsectors. data reported shows that sales SK In September, three of Figure 5 of men’s clothing and accesAB Monthly Sales of Clothing & Accessories BC the four Atlantic provsories totalled $317.4 million (survey of large Canadian retailers ) 800 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 inces reported gains. in September 2013, which was Newfoundland and down slightly from $325.4 700 $700.6 Labrador was the lone Atlantic province to post lower sales (-3.1 per cent), its million in August 2013 (see $691.5 million million $671.7 600 third consecutive decrease. Figure 5). million Following seven gains in eight months, Figure 3 Wholesale merchants’ sales & inventory Sales of women’s 500 (Textile Clothing & Footwear) sales in British Columbia fell 2.5 per clothing and acces($) millions cent in September, mainly attributable sories rose to $691.5 400 2500 to lower sales in the building material million from $671.7 300 $329 $325.4 $317.4 +10.6% and supplies subsector; sales in Quebec million in August 2013, million 2100 million million decreased 0.6 per cent in September. however compared to 200 $2,047 1700 the same period last $ $1,851 100 Sales and inventories of Textiles, millons year, both men’s and Sept 2012 August 2013 Sept 2013 1300 women’s clothing at Clothing & Footwear are up Women’s Clothing and Accessories +9.4% large Canadian retailMen’s Clothing and Accessories $1,007 900 Wholesale merchants’ sales of tex$920 ers were down -3.5 per Source: Stats Canada tile, clothing and footwear rose 9.4 cent and -1.3 per cent, 500 Sept 2012 Sept 2013 Sept 2012 Sept 2013 per cent from the same period last respectively. WHOLESALE MERCHANTS’ INVENTORY WHOLESALE MERCHANTS’ SALES Source: Statistics Canada

Source: Statistics Canada

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SOURCE: STATISTICS CANADA


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Imprint Canada January/February 2014  

Volume 21 Issue 1

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