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Is Automation the Future of the Printing Industry?

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Is Automation the Future of the Printing Industry?

Some fabricators have doubts about how printing automation could help them improve their business. They wonder how technology could do a better job than the humans who have done it for so long. However, if you’re not utilizing automation for printing jobs, you’re not embracing the industry’s future.

Better technology can make jobs safer, faster and of higher quality. Can printing automation do the same for fabrication? Here’s a look at how this new tech can benefit you, your employees and your customers.

Why Should You Consider Automation?

When faced with the thought of introducing new technologies to your work floor, your first thought may be, “What can automation do for me? I’ve gotten along fine without it for years.” This is an excellent question to ask because there are plenty of ways it’s already improving manufacturing.

One company recently upgraded to automation in its fabrication and has seen impressive results. RenewAire experienced a boom in business and kept up with demand and production with automated machines. Its robotic laser punch, P4 panel bender and B3 press brake provided faster operation time. Reduced path time, precision and material-waste trimming have allowed the business to cut the lead time down by 40% on some parts. That’s beneficial for managers, workers and customers.

The benefits of an automated warehouse are also pretty impressive. Many businesses have reported automation has helped them improve delivery times, package-handling efficiency and order-fulfillment rates. Some have even reduced the need for humans. However, rest assured if you’re worried about automation affecting your employees. It’s entirely up to you if you’d like to implement it to that extent. Many companies have found ways to use automation alongside their workers, reducing wasted time, human error and injury rates.

Automation can also help improve sustainability. The machines operate as efficiently as possible, so you’ll reduce waste and unnecessary electricity use. You could start helping the planet with this new tech, combined with better supply and recycling. More efficient use of your machinery can help cut costs. The automated machines can tell where your facility is using too much energy and reduce your bills. New technologies may initially be costly, but they often end up saving money.

All in all, automation truly is the future of the printing industry. There are so many benefits it can offer to workplaces. Reducing human error, saving time and producing less waste are just a few. This technology lets you run more jobs in less time and makes them of better quality. You, your workers and your customers will love the efficiency and speed printing automation affords.

Ways to Use Printing Automation

You might be interested in finding some ways to integrate printing automation tech in your fabrication if all that sounds promising to you. These examples may pique your interest in investing in this exciting development.

1.    Auto Teaching

You’ll likely have to switch out colors often while printing. Each job can have different requirements. One might need to change after five or six colors, while the other needs laminating after two or three. Mistakes are easy with all these adjustments, and wasted time can fly by. The number of web paths you have to use can get overwhelming.

Luckily, printing automation can help solve that problem. You can tell the machine what web paths it needs to use and it will follow instructions without error. It can register the colors instantly, making the printing process more efficient. Automation makes job changing speedier than ever before.

2.    Printing Plate Pressure

The pressure on the plates transferring ink to material can change when humans use them. Each job can come out differently because of this. One label or print may get too much ink, soaking through the material, while another is far too light. This lack of quality control can lead to excessive waste and extended production times.

Automation controlling the plates will change things entirely. You can program the machine to keep the same pressure for an entire job. Instead of using too much or too little color, you’ll use exactly as much as you need every time. Any errors will be much easier to spot and change. These quick adjustments can improve quality control and make every product match.

3.    Feedback Systems

There isn’t a way to know when things start going wrong with traditional printing. One moment the job is running smoothly, and the next, you need to scrap a whole set of prints because an error started occurring during the process. Without getting feedback from the machine, you’ll have to guess what caused the problem and start over again.

Automation changes that. The machine can let you know exactly what’s going on once pressure-setting problems begin. This tells you where and why the error occurred so you can adjust the settings accordingly. Minimizing mistakes is a large part of printing automation, and this is a perfect example of how it can improve the process.

4.    Ink Use

Roller settings can significantly affect the quality of a print. Humans won’t intrinsically know how much ink to apply, making the quality of each project different. Extra ink can cause damage, while too little will decrease your efficiency. This part of the job can be a large source of error and unnecessary waste.

Automating this process lets the machine automatically know the right amount and density of ink to apply. This means each print comes out the same, creating consistency and showing where changes may be needed. You’ll also reduce the amount of wasted ink and flawed printing jobs.

Printing Automation Can Be the Future

New technology can only improve upon the ways of the past. Each advancement makes workers’ lives easier, with fewer mistakes, increased productivity and a stronger commitment to the company. Using printing automation technology allows you to embrace this progress.

Implementation may have a high initial cost, but the improvements you’ll see will likely make up the difference. Better production speeds, less waste and improved machine efficiency make automation the future of the printing industry.

Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine showing how technology is disrupting many industries.

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7 Quick Ways to Take the Startup Hiring Process to the Next Level

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Startup Hiring

Recruiting for a startup is one of the first and most rewarding hurdles to overcome in a new business, whether in tech or fabrication. To propel your dreams that may have been developing in your entrepreneurial mind for years, you need some help. But the job market is troubled and quality talent is hard to find.

Fortunately, there are tech tools and strategies to optimize your hiring process, no matter the size of your enterprise. Startups can enjoy time and money saved by researching – before hiring new talent – ways to make your startup hiring process streamlined, fair, and effective.

1. Create a Wishlist

One of the most efficient ways to sift through copious amounts of candidate information is to create filters from a wishlist. Using technology can automatically eliminate any candidates who do not fit certain criteria.

Each person hired costs $4,700 on average, so being strict with your company’s values and desires will help mitigate those costs. These wishlists don’t have to be just hard skills, either, like having a certain academic degree. They could also represent company culture, such as individuals who have added specific skills to online applications, such as problem-solving and team-building.

2. Solidify Your Brand Identity

Even if you do not yet have a graphic designer or creative team, there are free online tools to help build a brand identity. You can choose fonts, colors, and iconography that speak to your brand’s mission. You will also want to consider brand voice because social media can be a profitable and organic way to publicize your job openings. The style you post in could entice professionals to research further.

Free graphic design tools like Canva, GIMP, and Photopea – and countless free brand identity brainstorming templates – can jumpstart any branding campaign until you hire more qualified staff. Professionalism will go a long way in helping candidates be tempted to apply, especially if they know you’re investing time in creating a company that will thrive for the long term.

3. Make Specific Job Descriptions

Vague requirements in job descriptions are attractive to employers since it requires less effort to be specific. To applicants, it could reveal the employer hasn’t given the position enough consideration. Therefore, the responsibilities of entrants could be muddled. Non-specific descriptions can lead to a surplus of applications that could become impossible to manage.

Job candidates want transparency in job descriptions, such as specific job titles, salaries, and explicitly mentioning company benefits. This means putting exact starting salary information instead of a range.

Especially with startups that don’t have household name recognition, it helps create credibility with employers to load descriptions with information. Startups have inconsistent reputations, and this provides applicants with the sense that they shouldn’t fear submitting because they know the company is stable.

4. Get Immediate Face-to-Face Contact

The pandemic forced the adoption of higher-quality video conferencing tech for video interviews and allowed professionals to network digitally, unlike in previous years.

Startups can use platforms like Facebook and MeetUp to find local career events for meeting candidates in person without wasting time scheduling and sifting through applications. Embrace the value of going to in-person hiring events, as it helps employers get genuine first impressions that a written online interview may not reveal.

It also helps put text to faces. Most applications are screen-focused, and job-seekers have unique personalities and concerns that aren’t reflected in an automated application.

5. Implement Smart Screening Software

Automate processes that aren’t worth your time. You’ll save hours by leaving various responsibilities to different software. Many career platforms like Indeed and LinkedIn use applicant-tracking software (ATS) to expedite processes like:

  • Creating a talent pipeline
  • Optimizing application flow
  • Gathering applicant intelligence
  • Sending automated communications
  • Advertising positions
  • Requesting paperwork and tasks

AI is even helping refugees obtain jobs because it can analyze the gaps between languages. It allows everyone worldwide – especially as remote jobs become more commonplace – to communicate easily while providing equal opportunities worldwide.

6. Highlight What Professionals Want

Job seekers are looking for more than just salaries from workplaces nowadays. They look for flexible schedules, work-life balance, ongoing learning opportunities, and definite career advancement. The Great Resignation proves that new and seasoned professionals are realizing employers should have greater respect for their workers.

You can decrease turnover and simplify startup hiring by being as honest as possible so professionals with specific and high standards know what they’re signing up for when they apply. This involves creating an employee value proposition (EVP) or a portfolio of what comes along with their job offer.

Avoid candidate rejections after weeks of wasted time when they find the salary or remote work opportunities aren’t what they expected.

7. Don’t Ignore Onboarding

The hiring process isn’t just about the interviews – plenty of hiring aspects come after you send the offer letter and before your new hire takes on their first assignment. There’s tax information, procedures, and vacation protocols, among all the other rules about your startup, to brief new hires on. This part of the process is easily streamlined with the help of technological aids.

Ignore lengthy background checks and printing out paperwork for drug screenings. Create a robust learning management system (LMS) that houses videos, informational paperwork, processes, and first-day expectations without even setting up a formal meeting.

Smooth Out Your Startup Hiring Process

Startups lack the financial support to engage in lengthy hiring processes and excessive interviews that yield no entrants. Recruitment for startups is highly competitive, as young professionals see the potential in areas like Silicon Valley and sometimes put startups on a pedestal, believing they lead to quick career development.

Startup recruiters are responsible for creating enticing but also realistic expectations, and to provide young professionals with a seamless and transparent hiring process that briefs them on their responsibilities and benefits. Despite the financial and time investment needed to find the perfect candidates, the benefits will become apparent when profits soar in the coming years.

Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized, an online magazine showing how technology is disrupting many industries.

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The rise of the teacherpreneur

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rise of the teacherpreneur

Disruption in the education  market 

Over the past few decades, education has been radically transformed. Today, there are hundreds of millions of people learning things outside of the traditional classroom… things like yoga, fitness, dance… music, drama, art… languages, programming, business skills… we could call this the “alternative education” market.

But traditional academia, too, is experiencing massive disruption: enrollment in undergraduate and graduate programs has been declining since roughly 2012. More and more people are realizing that to learn something useful or to build a solid foundation for a career, they don’t have to pay the massive tuition that traditional “gatekeeper” institutions charge. All they need are some good teachers.

Covid19 and the associated lockdowns have only served to dramatically accelerate this transformation. All around the world, remote learning and remote employment became completely normalized during the pandemic. Even those (few) people who previously hadn’t used the internet much for anything beyond shopping are now very familiar and comfortable with Zoom.

It turns out that in the post-covid world, students actually prefer taking classes remotely. Online classes and e-learning are not only here to stay, but things are increasingly moving in that direction.

In 2021, the e-learning market surpassed $320 billion, and it’s projected to reach an astounding $1 trillion in 2028. The global online fitness market alone is predicted to increase at an annual growth rate of nearly 50%, from $11.4 billion in 2021 to $80 billion by 2026.

Teachers and instructors of all sorts make up the “passion economy“, which in turn is a subset of the so-called “creator economy” that includes millions of independent content creators. Creator economy startups which enable these content producers pulled in US$1.3 billion in capital investment in 2021, roughly three times more than in 2020.

These major changes imply that the outlook for schools, studios and institutions is bleak. With more and more people learning online, it’s no longer clear what role, if any, these brick and mortar businesses still have to play.

On the flip-side, the shift is good news for teachers, bringing massive opportunities to independent teachers and instructors. Because fundamentally, nothing has changed in the market: there are still hundreds of millions of people who want to learn or practice something with a teacher.

Startups in the passion economy  

There are a number of tech companies that are gaining traction in the passion economy. Some are helping teacherpreneurs with marketing and finding new clients, as marketplaces for classes and courses. Some are helping instructors to manage their business and logistics with payment and admin solutions. And there are numerous products that facilitate new ways of monetizing the content that teachers produce. Below are just a few examples:

Tutoring marketplace: thousands of teachers in the United States are earning thousands of dollars each month teaching live, virtual lessons on Outschool, an online marketplace for live video lessons for children. These classes are taught primarily by former school instructors and stay-at-home parents.

Course creation: for alternative education subjects, Podia, Teachable, and Thinkific are three major SaaS platforms that enable educators to create and sell video courses and digital subscriptions. The top educator on Podia earns more than $100,000 a month.

Teacher admin solutions: for managing live classes (both in-person or online), there are already numerous platforms that have been in existence for many years — but they largely cater to schools or gyms that have complex requirements. This makes them prohibitively expensive and much too complicated for indie instructors. For example, MindBody Online is the most well-known class management platform for yoga studios and gyms — but it costs $300/month and requires a person to take a course to learn how to use it.

But some newer startups are focusing on the teacherpreneur opportunity. For example, an emerging player that’s exclusively designed for individual teachers is Ubindi. Billed as “simple software for teachers”, Ubindi satisfies the needs of educators who are not very tech-savvy, who don’t need complicated rocket-ship dashboards and who don’t want to pay for expensive bulky class management systems.

Other tools for teacherpreneurs: an interesting example of a platform that helps educators monetize their craft is Teachers Pay Teachers, an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials that they create themselves.

The dawn of a new age

Professor Klotz at Texas A&M University coined the phrase “The Great Resignation,” forecasting a large number of people who will be abandoning their employment after the covid pandemic, simply because they are no longer happy doing things they don’t enjoy and not being very paid well for it.

The passion economy offers anyone with a skill or passion alternative ways of earning income, providing innovative paths towards both personal and financial freedom. People can pursue their interests and hobbies in ways that also allow them to earn a living.

And it’s not just about personal fulfillment: independent teachers are also finding that they can do very well financially. This is especially true when it comes to teaching online:

  • When teaching from home, overhead and expenses are minimal.
  • On the internet, the size of a potential client base is virtually unlimited.
  • Independent teachers can keep virtually 100% of any revenue that students bring in — in stark contrast to how things used to be when teachers earned between 10 and 20% of the revenue collected by a gym or school.

In today’s world, it’s incredibly easy to set up and operate your own teaching business — one where you can teach exactly what you want and how you want. Teachers can pursue their passion on their own terms and enjoy the highest level of professional fulfillment as teacherpreneurs.

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6 Effective Ways to Improve Your Employability in 2022 and Beyond

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Employability

You really don’t have to be an expert to see that the present-day labor market is a mass. On the one hand, the global economy is experiencing a prolonged labor shortage. On the other, the recent crisis has caused massive layoffs and the shutdown of entire industries.

Throw into the mix the lightning development of digital tech, changing job profiles, generational shifts, and gradual transition toward new work models like contingent teams and telecommuting and you will get a pretty hectic environment that offers very few certainties and easily throws aspiring job candidates off the rails.

So, what are the skills that should help you land the job you always wanted, and what you can do to improve your employability in 2022 and beyond? Let us try to find out.

Master the interview techniques

Sure, it’s always good to have a rock-solid and well-put-together CV to back you up. But, if you fail to make a good first impression at the interview your academic accomplishments and previous work experience will be worth very little. With that in mind, we would like to point out that interviewers don’t really want to get practiced answers to generic questions. They will use this short time to assess your communication skills, your ability to stay calm under pressure, your ability to engage in creative thinking and problem solving, and your confidence. So, be sure to give these soft skills a proper workout before applying.

Embrace the attitude of lifelong learning

We are living in a time when the business world moves so fast that the skills you have mastered this morning may become obsolete the very next day. So, instead of trying to nail down any specific part of the business landscape or specific technology so you are able to move on, you should embrace the attitude of lifelong learning and use every new day to try to keep up with everything going on in the world. With that in mind, proper learning, memorization, and time-management techniques will prove to be much more valuable than any bits of knowledge since you will be able to use them on any future task you get.

Develop entrepreneurial mindset

The times of obedient grunts are long gone. Modern employers much prefer workers who are able to demonstrate a bit more initiative and bring more value to the table. And you can’t possibly be more valuable than by thinking like an entrepreneur. If you are, for instance, working in the construction sector you can try to improve the efficiency of your team by using the more comfortable Hi Vis workwear, trying out new construction techniques of adjusting the shifts. The workers who are able of improving the operations that way are not only in higher demand but also climb up the ranks much faster.

Start developing a professional network

For better or for worse, the business world was always built on strong personal and professional relationships. So, if you want to increase your chances of finding a good job. Make sure then to get to know the people that can help you out. Start by creating a website, making a presence on relevant social media platforms, and, why not, even engaging in casual blogging. Also, try attending courses regarding the industry you are most interested in since you will be able to meet a lot of future business leaders and high-value professionals. Eat where successful people eat and hang out where they like to hang out.

Expand your interests and hobbies

Even though this doesn’t look like having anything to do with your career outlook finding an interesting hobby can prove to be of tremendous help here. First, you will find some areas where you can excel and, thus, improve your self-worth and mitigate the pressure of professional accomplishment. Second, you will be able to meet dozens of new, interesting, and possibly even influential people that may not be present in your current social circles. Finally, new hobbies and interests always make you a more worldly and social person, and out of all the soft skills you need to land a job, these are the hardest to acquire.

Set clear and tangible goals

Last but not least, we would like that all the pursuits we have covered above should be driven by clear and very specific objectives. Otherwise, your efforts will soon become very muddled and your career plans wishful thinking. So, break all the ongoing plans into more immediate short-term objectives and then break these objectives into concrete steps you need to make every single day to get to the finish line. While you are doing that make sure your objectives are made SMART, or in other words, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Measurable, and Time-constrained to always get the best possible results.

We hope these few examples gave you a general idea about the strategies you can use to make your pursuit of your next employment, faster, more effortless, and even more fun and engaging. The old times when you would spend whole decades at the same job are now long over. But, this new more dynamic labor market also presents endless opportunities for personal and professional growth if approached correctly. The tips we gave you should definitely nudge you in the right direction.

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