Where’s your Sign? Let me help you find it!

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By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!

In my previous column, I outlined the many reasons to Outsource your Wide-Format projects (in part and whole) as well as securing Parameters to make it a positive outcome for both parties.  Now let’s talk about how to add client value and add a much-needed healthy profit to your bottom-line!

Sign Company Visit:

predict future Wide FormatRecently, I had the privilege of visiting and touring an over-the-top, bonified Sign Company.

Upon arrival, I met with the two owners to learn about their company, how it operates, how they market their products/services, and what they understand their growth potential looks like over the next few years.

During the tour I was seriously blown away by the equipment on the floor (like a kid in a candy store).  I couldn’t soak up all the information and details fast enough…and yes, I asked a million questions.

What I realized, quickly – the Wide-Format Industry is missing out on specialized finishing and manufacturing because the level of this finishing equipment is not in-house.  Nor do we know where to go if it is needed.  However, it is available if we are willing to outsource to a viable and experienced Company.

Remember, the goal here is to add client value and profit.  Don’t decline projects that need specialized production and or finishing.  Make some calls, do research – it will be worth it.

I realize that not every company that offers Wide-Format Printing could utilize this equipment on a “daily or weekly” basis – but from time-to-time, it’s nice to know where and how a project could be completed with the most optimum manufacturing equipment.  Expand your offerings while expanding your way of thinking – a great partnership will evolve if there is a commitment of trust.

With respect, I asked my new client if I could list his equipment in this week’s column. 

Here is the short Equipment List to extend your customer offerings:

  • Cutter equipment wide formatIndustrial CNC Router 7” Thickness
  • 2 Auto Channel Letter Bender (3” to 10’ Tall – unlimited depth)
  • 14’ x 14’ x 30’ Size Paint Booth with Bake & Cure
  • Certified Matthews Paint Specialist (which is key - can match PMS colors)
  • CNC Plasma Steel Cutter Unlimited Size (cuts up to 1” Steel)
  • Welders (both Steel and Aluminum)
  • 150w 4’ x 8’ Bed C02 Laser & Engraver (.02 accuracy)
  • UV Flatbed 6.5’ x 10’
  • PVI 6’ x 10’ Vacuum Forming Machine
  • 3D Carving Capabilities
  • LED Illuminated Displays
  • Coming Soon, Braille applications
  • Coming Soon, Steel Channel Lettering (I saw a sample, simply beautiful)


Now, this is where you come in – a few new things you can add to your product line:

  • Channel Lettering (Indoor & Outdoor Signage) again, unlimited depth
  • Routed HDU & Sign Foam Signage (and painted)
  • Post & Panel Architectural Signs (Inside & Outside Signage)
  • Custom Shapes for Special Projects (Steel and Aluminum is a current trend)
  • Laser for Acrylic Signage (glass edge) layering two/three different substrates is unique
  • Steel & Aluminum Painted Plaques for Buildings, Offices, Malls, Education, etc.
  • Custom Logos for display (Interior & Exterior)
  • Hardware Manufacturing for Special Projects
  • 3D Carving is more popular than ever (high mark-up for this specialty application)
  • Interior LED Illuminated Wall Displays
  • Interior LED Illuminated Ceiling Displays
  • Match a customer’s PMS # with Certified Matthews Paint Mixing for any application
  • Purchase ADA Braille signage with confidence
  • Base plates for Awards and Engraving (Steel and Aluminum)
  • Streetscapes
  • Metal Archways for Design & Architecture
  • Metal Wayfinding Signage


In Closing:

Over the last few weeks, I have talked to many Wide-Format producers, unlike what you are hearing – they have been pretty slammed (customer’s offering to pay rush charges) because of the need for urgent signage due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Many of my clients are at full-throttle, having employees working overtime.  Yes, they all realize that this could come to a slow-down (due to the nature of current events).

As a few clients pointed out…they are also busy (business as usual) with the following verticals.

  • Lawn Services
  • Landscaping Companies
  • Construction Companies
  • Architecture & Engineering
  • Health Care


Remember, be an Order Maker, not an Order Taker!



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