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Wrap Certification

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Sign-Man Signs, Oct 7, 2009.

Does a wrap certification mean anything to your customer?

  1. Yes

    23 vote(s)
    17.3%
  2. No

    110 vote(s)
    82.7%

  1. Good Post Dan.

    :goodpost:
     
  2. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    Sep 30, 2009
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    i dont know what kind of cert that was. because i can tell you right now, you dont pay money, take a class and get certified from UASG, PDAA or Lowen. Not even close. if you can get past rob ivers of the pdaa you did a hell of a lot more than just pay money.
     
  3. grafixemporium

    grafixemporium Very Active Member

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    Feb 5, 2008
    Houston, TX
    If you think those certifications are anything more than another revenue stream for the company offering the "certification" you are kidding yourself. It's a genius low overhead source of revenue targeted directly at the rapidly growing population of newbies who don't know the first thing about design, printing, vinyl or anything else. Lowen is really squeezing that turnip with their 5-levels of certification. Give me a break. A different certification for wrapping vehicles and applying fleet graphics?? Do you really need a certificate to stick vinyl on a rough wall??
     
  4. Well said and to the point.
    :goodpost:
     
  5. cdiesel

    cdiesel Very Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Great idea.. err.. wait, they already have that. It's called the PDAA.

    It's been said in this thread already. I've said it 100 times in various other posts. This topic will never officially go to bed because there is so much more to it than most see.

    UASG has 106 member companies
    PDAA has 67 master certified companies, and another 100 or so general members.
    Lowen has six installers certified according to what I've seen in the mags.

    Some at 3M want to certify 3000+ individuals. This will simply never happen because, like you see here, most don't care about certification.

    Most of our local customers don't care about certifications. However, we have a few other UASG members in our market, and it's a great selling point we use to elevate ourselves above the rest of the pack. Our local customers don't care at all about PDAA membership, because they don't know what it is.

    Now, a good portion of our contract install work comes from PDAA & UASG membership. Ask anyone at the big print service providers, and most of them will tell you they use the PDAA and UASG members first when sourcing installations. Like Cptcorn said, Best Buy (or the company printing for Best Buy) does not pick up the phone book and call sign shops when they're rolling out a national ad campaign.

    I was able to meet and talk to representatives from many different print companies this past week at SGIA in New Orleans. They were all very interested in what the PDAA was doing at the show.

    Also, the participating manufacturers in the programs use the associations when they refer work out. When 3M receives a call from Delta, they call on their certified companies.

    One last point. Personally, I'd rather not have a million members, so I'm actually very happy to see there isn't much interest here in the programs.
     
  6. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Jun 24, 2003
    michigan
    Lets see here. Aerobics instructors are supposed to be certified. Who does issues the certificates? Any number of self appointed governing authority hands out the paper.

    Years ago the kickboxing and taebo craze swept the country. These programs filled work out centers wall to wall with those who wanted a real experience taught by real kick boxers without all the injury. The lessons were real and gave the clients real self defense skills.

    Then came along several "certification" programs offering a kickboxing certification. Many of those offering certificates were nothing more than the same old aerobics governing bodies offering the latest ripoff paper work.

    They charged huge fees to certify perky boobed little 20 somethings to hold kickboxing classes by teaching them a few basic moves that were nothing more than some add on dance moves over the course of a few hours on a Saturday.

    Then came the crash. These same perky little 20 somethings charged just $10 bux a week for their classes. The result was that the real kick boxer instructors who were charging $100 bux a month for each client soon saw their base evaporate in favor of those perky boobs.

    Today we have the same old incestuous game of women's kickboxing that is nothing more than a glorified aerobics class using some punch and kick type movements.

    That certification was nothing but paper and a fee. It didn't do anything to help the business. In fact it destroyed it simply because of the flood of young women who had absolutely no skills other than being able to mimic the real thing.. Only the governing bodies profited.

    Another case in the heat pump industry. Installers became members of some heat pump governing body and had to adhere to some lofty ideal as installers. The only problem was that it was only a shingle. It didn't guarantee that installers were any better. It did not prevent lamers from installing heat pumps. It did not stop lamers from getting parts. It did not give good installers any discounts or exclusive access to parts that would give them a competitive advantage.. But it did create some bad feelings when a non certified installer would do work just as good but charged a lesser amount because he didn't have to pay the several thousands in membership fees and training expenses.

    Now we have wrap certifications. Will this be the same offerings? Will this certification just give someone a shingle? Or will the installers come home with some real technical skills, business skills and the savy to charge a true value for their work?

    Will it remove the perky posers or will it promote and develop a true professional installer and designer? If this can develop into a genuine certificate where an installer is obviously better with some regulatory teeth then it will work.
     
  7. cdiesel

    cdiesel Very Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Curtis, you're missing the point entirely. Installers don't go take a certification test and "come home with some real technical skills..." They have to have the skills FIRST and then demonstrate these skills to pass the test and attain certification.

    Keep in mind I'm referring only to the PDAA and UASG testing. Anyone who knows anything about the industry know that these are the two standards for installation certification.

    There was a guy at SGIA with a message "Are you Wraptor Certified?" he was using to sell his new installation tool. While the tool was kinda cool (it was a little gimmicky), come on. Wraptor Certified? <sigh>
     
  8. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    michigan
    I do not think so..
    The same goes for the heat pumpers. They have to have some level of skill to get into their "Association" before they took their little test.

    The point is,, There are certification programs for just about every industry out there. The sign world and wrap world are not alone in this discussion. It happens in every single other job out there.

    I was a "certified" tool and die maker one time. I do not carry the certificate any more. I offered it several times at job interviews and was told to keep in in the wallet. It wasn't worth anything. I had to have the skills BEFORE the test.

    I have at least 11 different certificates here for other services. None of them are worth the paper and ink in value. One is for hazardous materials. Another is for fire protection. One is for law enforcement. All of them are junk simply because there is no "governing authority".

    Yes they are the gods of certificates. But do they have teeth and will they bring more bux into my register?
     
  9. cdiesel

    cdiesel Very Active Member

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    Jan 28, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Yes and Yes. The UASG and PDAA certification tests are just that--tests. Either association will have no problem sending you home without a certificate if you can't perform to the level they expect. There will always be ignorant people out there who do not know what the programs are all about, and honestly don't care. There are, however, many people who use both the UASG and PDAA everyday as a resource in their day-to-day business.

    The presence of a governing authority will not by itself make the certificate valid. The program must be recognized by the people who it is aimed at, both potential members and people looking to use the programs participants as a resource.
     
  10. onesmf

    onesmf Member

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    Nov 6, 2007
    Boy! The recent posts regarding wrap certification and the like sure have reached a boiling point. Exactly who is governing what regarding this issue? Someone is supposed to govern visual pollution, I guess. If your portfolio doesn't sell a customer, then you likely are not the design expert you believe you are. Like any other profession, only 5 percent active in such profession are professionals. All the remaining 95 percent are average or below average in ability, application and success. Sign making, wrapping, doctors, police, fireman, sales people, etc... Only a small percentage of individuals are the cream of the crop. It's proven. It's fact. I guess my point is that certification regarding this issue is pointless. You will always have the great, then everybody else.
    Besides, and this will offend many, many individuals on this forum, designing wraps is an exact science. If you haven't mastered this exact science, your work is just an annoying vehicle driving up and down the local boulevard garnering zero mental retention. Hence the visual pollution reference earlier. There are so many elements involved with most wraps out there that the KISS principle is tossed out the window in exchange for fancy printing and design software. The basic message is lost from all of the frills. Bottom line, certification means nothing to the customer, the designer and the masses viewing the end design. Wraps mean nothing if they don't produce sales or positive exposure for the customer. Period. Natural selection will let the successfull rise to the top and the hacks sink to the bottom.
     
  11. TB designs

    TB designs New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007
    Has anyone heard of or has taken a class at "Wrap University". I recently got an email from a friend that was thinking of taking the class and I want to also. I've been wrapping for a few years now and want to get a cert. other clients that come in here actually look for the certs?
     
  12. CSOCSO

    CSOCSO I don't hate paint, I just overlay it.

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    Jul 18, 2012
    Florida
    I am not certified bit I know someone who is fellers, pdaa, sgia, lowen certified and he's got NOTHING on me. Maybe I should get some certification. Too bad I wouldn't get paid any better. I design, print, laminate and install and get $14 on 1099..............
     
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