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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Direct to Garment Return on Investment

Is There a Quick and Easy Way to Estimate ROI?

If you are looking to comprehensively project when you will see your return on any investment, it is going to take a lot of research. You should know the who you are selling to, how many pieces you can expect to sell, and for what price you will sell them before you start to make any other projections.

But for getting a quick general idea of return on investment, there are several  ROI calculators available for DTG on the web. Here, we will talk about some key features of a few of them, and point you to where you can try them out for yourself.

In alphabetical order, the three we are going to review come from:
  • Anajet
  • BelQuette
  • Brother
Anajet ROI Calculator (Click on the link to try the calculator)
We could only find this calculator as an .xls file. It is not very pretty, but it does offer a wide array of editable options for your calculations. Of the three calculators in this article, the Anajet calculator is the only one that currently allows the user to edit the cost of ink. Anajet provides a Cost and Pricing Guide on the third page of the document.

Sample of Anajet's ROI Calculator
A user may want to get a more accurate average price than what is listed on the guide, such as in the case of a dark garment print. Here Anajet provides a range of $1.25 to $2.50, and while this may be a fair range for a dark garment, it also leaves a big question mark when it to accurately predicting the cost of an average Anajet print. Anajet does provide a default number in this cell of $0.50, which seems to be an arbitrary number, unless representative of printing on dark garments. In either case, it shouldn't be used for any reliable projecting of average printing cost with white ink. Anajet does allow the user to edit the price of the machine, and this is a great feature because it allows a buyer to use the calculator to compare ROI with other machines.

BelQuette ROI Calculator (Click on the link to try the calculator)
The BelQuette ROI calculator is the cleanest looking of the three in this article. Like the Anajet calculator, the BelQuette calculator allows the user to modify the price of the printer for comparison purposes, and as stated before, this is a a great feature. Unlike the Anajet model, the BelQuette ink cost field is a static number. They estimate an average cost of $1.75 for a dark garment print, and $0.25 for a light garment print. $1.75 for a dark garment print falls within the averages given on Anajet's Cost and Pricing Guide.

Sample of BelQuette's ROI Calculator

One thing to note with the BelQuette version is that they include an option for adding in their EDGE pretreatment system. If this is not a desired piece of equipment, be sure that the quantity is set to zero, or else the entire calculation will be off. A terrific feature of BelQuette's calculator is that it will tell the user the estimated number of shirts that will need to be printed in order to recoup the original investment, while at the same time calculating the number of shirts that can be produced in a given hour based on the number of machines in use. This seems like a very practical way to estimate return.

Brother ROI Calculator (Click on the link to try the calculator)
Of the three discussed in the article, the Brother ROI calculator has the fewest number of editable fields. Like the Anajet calculator, Brother expects the user to enter the number of expected prints, instead of informing the user as to how many prints they can anticipate printing in a given time period with their machine. This can be helpful for comparison purposes, but only if the user already knows how many prints they can expect on any given machine.

Sample of Brother's ROI Calculator

Once again, like the other two calculators, the Brother allows the user to manipulate the cost of equipment. Brother also includes a table that shows a month by month sample of time until payoff and profitability, along with a bar graph depiction of the same information. For people who are "visual learners", these are nice features. Brother, like BelQuette, uses a static cost for ink per print. Unlike BelQuette, Brother combines the cost of ink and pretreat, where BelQuette shows the cost of pretreat in a separate field. Brother estimates total cost of ink and pretreat at $1.64.

Whether you are seriously considering purchasing a DTG printer, or you are just curious about the technology, using these calculators can be educational. Try one, or try them all! Have fun!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

City of Trenton Tragically Wastes Tax Payer Money on Sucky One-Color Print T-Shirts

...Oh Yeah, There is Also Something About an Alleged "Kickback Scheme"

Nasty 4-Headed Cleaning Monster T-Shirt Picture Courtesy of
The city of Trenton NJ paid almost $17,000 for the ugly shirts pictured to the right. To be sure, they would claim that they received a lot of shirts for that money. Who cares? They are boring and ugly, and do a poor job of promoting the program because people don't like to wear crappy stuff. Of course, you know that I am going to say that if they printed the shirts digitally on a Direct to Garment printer, that they could have printed many shades of green or even a thousand different colors, and still kept their price down. Maybe not as cheap as what they paid, but the shirts would have been far more attractive and kept peoples' attention. People like to wear nice stuff, so the Direct-to-Garment shirts would be worn more, thus giving the program more exposure.

But what am I talking about? Trenton should trust that their politicians know how to efficiently market their "Litter March", just like they know how to run their city. I mean, it's not like there's some weird scandal surrounding the T-shirt contract.

Here's the full story: