Signs of the Times - July 2013 - (Page 56)
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
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 / www.signweb.com
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/
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
The Moving Message
Vehicle Graphics Contest Entry Form
Public Displays of Affection
Electric-Sign Company 1 on 1’s
Screenprinting for Signmakers
A Century of Going Places
Signs of the Times - July 2013