Taking things in-house: What every sign shop needs to know to be self-sufficient

 

Many sign shops  have found great success and control  on their projects  by owning their installation equipment.

Many sign shops have found great success and control on their projects by owning their installation equipment.

Today, it seems everyone is pivoting their businesses to become a turnkey solution. If one cannot fully complete a project internally, they are forced to outsource, subcontract, rent (machines), or hire more staff. This poses a problem for many as they do not have the equipment or resources to support their workload internally.

When it comes to deciding on subcontractors, rental equipment, or outsourcing tasks and/or responsibilities, there are a variety of pros and cons sign shops must consider.

Subcontractors

Con: Can become expensive if problems occur during installation, fabrication, etc.

Con: More work is potentially required to ensure the quality meets the businesses’ standards.

Con: Unpredictable timelines. If the project is not a priority to the subcontractor, they may delay an install, which can not only become stressful for the client, but also a sign shop’s scheduling team.

Pro: No increase on the company’s payroll.

Pro: If it is a subcontractor-related issue, warranty work should not be a cost incurred by the sign shop.

Pro: Pricing can be quoted into the job so there are no surprises.

By having greater control over its products, sign shops take pride  in the fact a large percentage of their work is produced directly  by their skilled staff and operating equipment.

By having greater control over its products, sign shops take pride in the fact a large percentage of their work is produced directly by their skilled staff and operating equipment.

Rental equipment

Con: Expensive one-time fee.

Con: Potentially unreliable, i.e. damaged by previous renter and not caught by rental company, causing hours of lost time to replace.

Con: Dangerous, most rental companies will let customers rent any type of equipment even without proper experience. This can be very dangerous for unskilled employees who ‘think they can handle it.’

Con: Rentals extending past their intended pick-up time can become costly (if a problem occurs and the unit is needed for more than what was costed.)

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Pro: No maintenance costs.

Pro: Free return if there is an issue with
the equipment.

Pro: No storage needed for the equipment.

Pro: Pickup, drop-off, and rental can be accurately priced to a client.

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