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By The Image Group

A Matter of Pride

A Matter of Pride

One of our team members recently returned to work after a holiday vacation that was followed by two snow-emergency days. Luz has been with The Image Group for nearly two years, and she immediately proved her value to our company. She’s a quick learner with a strong work ethic and a keen eye for quality.

On her first day back to work, Luz told her supervisor that she’s proud to work at The Image Group. She listed our profit sharing program, meals the company frequently provides at meetings and celebrations, and the logoed apparel employees get throughout the year among the reasons for her pride. Those extra perks, she said, make her feel appreciated.

There’s probably no better compliment an employer can receive than hearing that employees are proud to work for there. But we can’t help feeling that Luz has it somewhat backward.

You see, we’re the ones who are proud—proud to have someone with Luz’s talent and devotion working at The Image Group. Indeed, we’re proud of our entire team of hard-working people who consider it their mission to make us the best at what we do. A year-end bonus, an occasional pizza party, and some free clothing are small ways for us to show our appreciation.

So, as it turns out, we share Luz’s sense of pride in The Image Group. And we hope you’re proud to be associated with our company.

By The Image Group

Custom Calendar Raises a Roof

During the months of November and December, all Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan McDonald’s restaurants will be selling a custom calendar that was developed right here at The Image Group.

Area McDonald’s are selling the calendars to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Ohio, with all proceeds going toward a capital campaign to build a brand new Ronald McDonald House in Toledo.

Local school children drew pictures of the House, and those drawings were the inspiration for the colorful designs that appear on the monthly pages. Also included for each month are two McDonald’s food coupons worth a total of $35 for the year.

“Along with the appointment-style calendar, we also created collateral materials,” explains our own Vicky Brymer, who developed the idea for McDonald’s. “There are yard signs that will be positioned at all McDonald’s drive-thru lanes, as well as window clings for each drive-thru window and poster-sized clings for the store fronts.”

Be sure to check out Toledo-area McD’s this holiday season to see The Image Group’s handy work. While you’re there, buy a calendar – at only $3.00, they’re a great gift idea! – to help out the Ronald McDonald House.

By The Image Group

Where Does Quality Start?

In keeping with our commitment to excellence, every employee at The Image Group has the authority to stop a production run for quality concerns. When a logo’s color isn’t exact, or its placement is slightly off, anyone can call “foul.” That’s our rule, whether it’s the CEO or a newly hired trainee making the decision.

How, then, could errors happen? And yet they sometimes do.

As it turns out, the problem is not that mistakes are going unnoticed, it’s the difficulty of rating quality when considering what customers want.

For example, we recently screen-printed a rush T-shirt order that our customer said they needed the next day. There were intricate details in the design, and our test printing rendered an imperfect result. Clearly, the quality failed to meet our own standards – not to mention the customer’s – but our decorators faced a dilemma: that is, how to balance the expectation of quality with the expectation of speedy delivery.

It’s not uncommon for our salespeople to mark their orders “rush,” to the extent that our screen printers sense that customers value speed over quality. It’s true that many of our orders require quick turnaround (indeed, customer procrastination occasionally creates urgency on our part). So, when it comes to choosing between quality and timeliness, which should prevail?

It’s our belief that, above all, clients expect every order to meet their high quality standards, even if it means waiting a bit longer. Therefore, if we make a mistake, we’ll take the time to fix it.

Quality, then, starts with an expectation: the expectation that quality supersedes all other customer desires. It’s our goal to get all involved – customers, salespeople, and screen printers, alike – to share that expectation.

By The Image Group

Safety First

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) established numerous regulations and testing requirements for children’s products. Under CPSIA, consumer goods are considered children’s products if they are designed or intended primarily for use by children 12 years of age or younger.

Aimed at enhancing child safety, CPSIA requires stringent testing for lead content, phthalates, removable parts, flammable textiles, and other proven risks. In addition, the law necessitates that children’s products (a) be tested for compliance through a third-party laboratory approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission; (b) have written Children’s Product Certificates providing evidence of CPSIA compliance; and (c) come with permanent tracking information affixed to the product and its packaging. While those are costly and complicated requirements, The Image Group agrees that all are essential for keeping children safe from harm.

Although The Image Group purchases the products we imprint from third-party manufacturers, under CPSIA we become the manufacturer of record once we decorate an item. Screen-printed tee shirts are a good example: At the time we acquire blank tee shirts from a supplier, CPSIA considers our supplier the manufacturer. However, as soon as we screen print a logo or other design on the shirts, we become the manufacturer of record. And at that point, we assume liability for CPSIA conformity, including testing, providing Children’s Product Certificates, and affixing tracking information.

It’s important to note that CPSIA requirements also apply to retailers and anyone distributing children’s products. Similar to manufacturers, organizations that resell promotional items, or give them away to employees or clients, are responsible for complying with all CPSIA requisites. For that reason, The Image Group has an added obligation to ensure that everything we sell meets social and safety legal standards.

While The Image Group is committed to abiding by CPSIA in all of our internal decorating processes, we are not currently equipped to test all items sourced from every vendor who supplies us goods. Therefore, in order to protect children from potential harm — and our clients and company from the penalties of any inadvertent noncompliance with CPSIA — The Image Group has suspended in-house decorating of children’s products.

Rest assured that many of our suppliers have the capability to decorate children’s products and the resources necessary to ensure 100 percent compliance with all aspects of CPSIA. Until we reach that same capacity, The Image Group will rely on these trusted partners to decorate all children’s products for our customers.

To learn more about the requirements of CPSIA, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at www.cpsc.gov.

By The Image Group

Award Winning Web Design

Could we ask your indulgence while we blow our own horn for a moment?

Last evening, the Advertising Club of Toledo awarded The Image Group its prestigious ADDY Award for creative excellence. We received a Silver ADDY In the Advertising Industry Self-Promotion/Digital Advertising category for our own recently unveiled website.

We’re positively giddy about this. You see, the Image Group has a long history of developing online stores for our clients who want to sell merchandise imprinted with their logos. But it’s only recently that we teamed our graphic design artists with our web developers to create sites that greatly improve our clients’ online presence. This ADDY – our first ever – confirms that our approach to blending art with technology is a winning combination.

Okay, we’re done bragging. We’ll get back to working on next year’s entries.

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A Matter of Pride
Custom Calendar Raises a Roof
Where Does Quality Start?
Safety First
Award Winning Web Design