The title of this article is a sentiment made famous by American poet, Robert Frost, when he published ‘The Road Not Taken’. But what does it mean and how does it relate to us in the heat transfer industry?
In business like in life, we sometimes find ourselves following the crowd. Listening to others and blindly following their advice, without ever questioning why? Now I’m not suggesting go and question every instruction your boss has ever given you - that could be a disastrous for your career progression. But maybe, just maybe, next time you are doing something because “that’s just the way we have always done it”, stop and think, why? And how could it be done better?
We speak to a number of people in the heat transfer industry about challenges and frustrations they have each month. Often their problem could have been solved quickly and painlessly if they had simply questioned if there was something they could be doing differently to get a better long-term result instead of coming up with a short-term (band-aid) solution.
Sometimes taking a different path is simply using a different, but more suitable, product. Instead of having the attitude “but that’s the product we always use.”, or “but that’s the only product we have.”, try something new. What have you got to lose?
The vast majority of all print jobs our customers produce are made using PRINT Light. But if you are seeing dye migrating through the transfer over time and customers are returning the garment to you. Putting another transfer over the top might solve the problem in the short term, but the real (long-term) solution is to start using PRINT Subblock on all garments where heavily dyed polyester or sublimated polyester has been used to make them. You won't have to dance around an awkward conversation with a customer then. Likewise for nylon based fabrics, use PRINT Stretch, which is rated for nylon. You will find that it will have better longevity on nylon based fabrics.
So next time you find yourself hitting your head against a wall, coming up with a band-aid solution for the same issue again and again, maybe ask yourself if taking a different path might lead to a better solution. If you get stuck along the way, we are always here for you to call and bounce ideas off. Maybe taking the road less traveled will make all the difference.
For those who want to read the poem by Robert Frost, here it is in full, enjoy:
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
by Robert Frost