Signs of the Times - July 2013 - (Page 56)

Electric-Sign Company 1 on 1’s Four companies weigh in on current trends. As ST did last year (see ST, July 2012, page 50), we’re again querying some prominent electric-sign companies about how they see themselves, as well as the entire sign industry, being impacted by current trends. The questions are different than those presented last year, and the relevance of questions will vary with each company. Tom Sellers • Luminous Neon Inc. • Hutchinson, KS To what extent does your company have an interest in pursuing dynamic digital signage? We have researched this product and see some opportunity with a portion of our customers.  We have also looked at the competitive market and typical margins associated with this product, and have decided not to pursue it at this time. How would you describe prevailing legislative attitudes toward electronic message centers? We have seen some municipalities work to place tighter controls on the placement and operation of EMCs. But, when the business community gets involved, with support from informed local sign companies, we’ve seen generally appropriate code changes as a result. Communities that don’t allow EMCs show no signs of weakening this position. How is/will the prevalence of LEDs changing/change for your company in the foreseeable future? We have been actively selling LED electronic-message centers and channel letters, using current LED technology, for many years. We are seeing more and more adaptation of LED lighting products for cabinet-sign lighting, and customers responding to the advantages of this product over standard T12 lighting in new-sign fabrication.  We continue to see increasing interest in retrofitting neon lighting systems with LED products in letter displays in the field, and 56 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / JULY 2013 / anticipate the continuing development of LED cabinet-sign lighting products that will be economical and advantageous for customers. How is the Affordable Health Care Act (ObamaCare) impacting your company? At this point, we have not seen an impact, but we continue to monitor it closely. We have always provided a comprehensive, reasonably priced, health insurance to our employees, and hope to be able to continue to do so. What’s the current availability of skilled sign fabricators/ installers? We see very few applicants that have sign-industry-specific experience.  We are training those with the required, basic skillsets to meet our needs. How does your current backlog compare with recent years? Our backlog is higher, with more projects in development, and discussions with customers, than in recent years.  What current trends surround RFPs and the bidding process? We see poorly written RFPs with little or no specifications, as well as very tightly specified RFPs that appear to have been written by a sole-source provider. In most cases, there are very weak, bidder-qualification requirements to separate highly competent providers from those who have no business bidding a project. There also appears to be excess capacity in the market, as companies awarded jobs are taking them at exceptionally low margins. Another trend is the deviation from the design intent and bid requirements of the final product.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - July 2013

Signs of the Times - July 2013
ST Update
Technology Update
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Commercial
Lighting Techniques
The Moving Message
Technology Review
Technology Review
Design Matters
New Products
Vehicle Graphics Contest Entry Form
Public Displays of Affection
Electric-Sign Company 1 on 1’s
Screenprinting for Signmakers
A Century of Going Places
Industry News
Advertising index
Editorially speaking

Signs of the Times - July 2013