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Hello from Colorado

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Recelect, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Recelect

    Recelect New Member

    Hello From Colorado!

    I am adding a graphics division to my current business (Recreational Electrical) and stumbled upon this forum and thought it will be a great thing to join. I learn something new every time I read a post, and that can only help grow my business.

    We currently outfit over 300 vehicles a year for police, fire, ems, and public works agencies with lights, sirens, computer systems, prisoner cages, and whatever else they want. Nearly every one of them gets graphics on them. We were subcontracting all that out, but finally decided to invest in our own wide format graphics department.

    We currently have a wiring harness division that has an ultrasonic welder, and printers that print straight to wire, and a Fabrication division with a laser engraver, a CNC Plasma table, CNC press brake, all the welders, powder coating, and a CNC bridgeport Mill. This Graphics division will round out our business so we do not have to rely on outside contractors. Plus it makes it so we are capable of producing all sorts of cool stuff!

    I am here mainly to get inspiration, See what the industry says about certain materials for quality and durability, offer help when I can for all things dc electric, and learn some new tips or tricks other have found on the way along with providing some of my own.

    Most of my work will be in house government contracts, with reflective materials, and all though we plan to offer services to outside civilian clients, it is not our main goal.

    Adios for now!

    Patrick
     
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  2. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

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    :welcome:. Good stuff in here.
     
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Hello back atcha.

    We had a company locally here do the same thing some years ago. They figured they could do the graphics and make it a faster one-stop thing for the various municipalities. It didn't work out for them. Although they hired two guys who were very good at applying the graphics, they couldn't keep up with all the various municipalities, let alone from fire, to fire police to police and so on. Then, there were all the other vehicles and they just could not keep up with all the variations. They kept mixing things up from departments, changes of models and it just got crazy for them. They mixed up files and just thought they'd make this work, when it wasn't possible and they just were fighting a losing battle. They tried doing some things without laminating and failed. If these were construction vehicles, it would be bad enough, but with all these constant mistakes with critical fire and police apparatus, it was more than the municipalities could take. They were asked to go back to how it was done and stop their graphics program.

    Be careful, so you don't fall into the same trap, biting off more than you can chew.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Hire someone from the industry to help you with your new division. It's hard to learn all that on your own.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. ColoPrinthead

    ColoPrinthead Swollen Member

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    Welcome. What type of printer are you going with for printing reflective? How many designers are you guys going to use in this operation?
     
  6. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    :welcome: 2 :signs101smilie: from OK
     
  7. Ere

    Ere Member

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    Where are you in Colorado. We are in Colorado Springs and would be happy to help. In our town we like to help each other out when things get busy or just to help. We are pretty new to this too but have a few connections. My husband also went to wrapping classes so we could learn the correct way. We tried learning from someone who “Was wrapping for 20* years. “.I paid him way too much to wrap and it was not great. We have only done 2 Ambulances so far but we have plans for more. Unlike yours we are a small company and this is most of our work.
     
  8. Jburns

    Jburns Active Member

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    welcome from south of denver!
     
  9. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    Welcome, sounds like you may pi$s off a couple people by taking sign work away from sign companies, I don't have a problem with it if you do things right.

    Most of the time I find that companies who follow the path you are on end up making chit looking graphics, please make me wrong...
     
  10. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I'm kind of with Gino on this but you wont know til you try. Even though you have a captive clientele, it often times proves to not be a financially wise decision to stray far away from your core competency. How much do you really stand to gain? The way it is now, you should be getting 20-30% for nothing. I think you are going to find that this will slow your production down and you will still have to outsource.
     
  11. Rexerex

    Rexerex New Member

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    Hi Ere,
    To answer your question, he is in Loveland. If you look on the info bar to the right of the member ID on each posting there are a few blocks with icons, one is a location pointer like you see on mapping apps. It depends on what you have filled in your profile. Mine shows I am in Pueblo. I used to live in COS years ago.
    I have a question that you might help me. I volunteer with the Pueblo Air Museum which is where all my involvement with sign making happens, We have an old vinyl cutting system and I make a lot of paint masks and some signage.
    We have a Air Force Crash Truck which originally had USAF lettering in reflective material. It was peeled off before we got the truck and I'd like to restore it back. I did make it out of gold vinyl a couple of years ago but the summer heat damaged the vinyl so it needs to be remade of the proper material. I got a good sized piece of traffic sign reflective material from CDOT but it is too thick for our vinyl cutter. Can you help with this somehow?
     
  12. Ere

    Ere Member

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    I didn’t know that. We have a new latex printer that we print on reflective with but we have to cut reflective by hand. Our cutter can’t read reflective material properly even though it is new too. We do very affordable work for this volunteer groups such as this museum. I have driven by so many times and I have never stopped it. Always wanted too. Give us a call and I would be glad to see what we can figure out. We have a small company so we don’t answer to any body. Lol. Just call Enchanted Signs. I don’t know if we can put our number on here. Check out our web site. I Enchantedsigns.com
     
  13. ColoPrinthead

    ColoPrinthead Swollen Member

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    Is it true that the latex reflective printers don't have spot colors and just the regular inkset all others have? You can use masking tape around your registration marks to get your cutter to read reflective, I was able to get a graphtec to do it.
     
  14. Ere

    Ere Member

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    I don’t really know everything my husband tried to get it to read the reflective material but I was in a hurry and just cut it by hand. As for the first question. I have only owned this latex machine. It uses CYMK and CYM light and that’s it. What is a reflective printer? This printer can print on reflective material for latex but I wouldn’t call it a reflective printer. Can’t everything print on reflective. Sorry newbie on these printers. Thanks for the tip we will try it when we have time.
     
  15. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    Welcome from Denver. As mentioned above good luck in your new market. A lot goes into it - more than you could ever imagine. I've always been a stickler about "Perfect what you know, and then perfect it again" If we do not know how to do something we do no do it, period. We could learn, sure - But being the best at one or two things, is better than average at 10 things. We've perfected wraps, doing 800+ a year. Also not to mention, reflective is not easy. I wouldn't be surprised if you soon realize you made more money out sourcing the install then marking it up 20-30% rather than doing it yourself.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Ere

    Ere Member

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    Did you start off wrapping perfectly? I can tell you we don’t wrap perfectly, don’t do color changes on personal cars and we don’t charge top dollar. We have no overhead and are able to charge less. We have gone to wrapping classes and are getting better all of the time. Yes we have seen wraps around town that are subpar from competitors. We have also seen wraps from a competitor that charges top dollar and do a great job. I believe as long as your customers know what they are getting for the price, than do it. We do use top quality materials there is no way around this. How about we try to help, than cut down a decision they have already made. Sounds like you have a lot more experience than me. I just wanted to say some of us have a different point of view.
     
  17. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    Huh? How am I cutting anyone down? This is hard truths, and facts and they might actually thank me for it.

    I'm happy for you not having overhead, and able to charge cheaper prices. Honestly that isn't the way to grow your business. Overhead should only set a minimum, and then charge accordingly. All that does is "cheapen" our market... also very odd way of thinking.. "we do subpar work but they know ahead of time" I honestly wish you the best, but I couldn't run a business like that.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Ere

    Ere Member

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    I never said we do subpar work but you think you wrap perfectly? I don’t think I will ever use that word. There is no room for any little missteps a customer wouldn’t notice. I find that hard to believe. You have already written him down as failed. You might be right we will find out. Unlike you I don’t believe everyone is looking for a perfect job done. There are plenty of small companies that would love to save $2k out there. I have trained wrappers unlike many companies that charge more and do not do good work. I make enough money and don’t have the expenses big companies do. I do charity work too with minimal charges. I don’t believe every company needs to charge the same amount just to not upset the big companies out there. We help each other in my town and this has worked for us.
     
  19. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    I'm honestly at a loss for words. I think you're missing the point. This is a professional sign forum where professionals come and get advice on how to become better. Giving someone advice that it is ok.. TO DO OKAY work and charge less for it.. is just really disappointing to see.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Ere

    Ere Member

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    Maybe I am. You do have way more experience than me. I realize you think I am down grading our profession but I just don’t agree. I haven’t been an owner very long but we don’t have a need to advertise. We have narrowed what we do and say no for the reasons you have stated. We send business to other shops and they send us business. I do agree with a fare amount of what you have written. I think everyone started somewhere so it is doable. Colorado is growing so fast there is work everywhere. I do have a lot to learn and appreciate your response.
     
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