Working on graphics installs for retail is not an easy task. As an installation project manager, you have to handle many obstacles to the successful delivery of your retail graphics installations projects.
In our work helping print & signage companies to manage their installation workflow, we often hear about common challenges they face during retail graphics installs. If you’re in the game they’ll no doubt be familiar to you too; odd hours of installations, communication challenges, the risk of missed deadlines and poor planning.
What can we do to prevent those?
We have prepared a list of ideas to help you avert those stressful problems that can crop up and ensure the smoothest retail installation workflow. This way, your projects can be completed effectively on time and on budget, keeping your customers happy.
Challenge #1: Missed deadlines and late sign-off
Retail graphics installs often require graphics installers working odd hours when the store is closed. As a result, communication gaps may appear and disturb the general workflow of the project. It is difficult to pass on the information to the client without having all the completion photos and signed documents by the installer.
Solution #1: Reconsider time estimates and deadlines
Taking the factor of nighttime shifts into consideration, time estimates of a job as well as the schedule of a signage installer should be reconsidered. Make sure that installers are aware of the sign off steps and have the necessary tools to do so. For example, Vism helps to save time by signing off your signage installations in a faster & simpler way. It also improves your cash flow and keeps customers satisfied, which helps you to win more business in the future.
Challenge #2: Too many questions, but no one to ask
As retail graphics installations mostly happen after hours, another challenge that often arises is communicating with the client regarding the details. This often occurs when the team is working on a new campaign or a graphic installation where changes to the existing store graphics are required. In such cases, the work majorly slows down as you cannot ask client questions essential for the crew to progress with the installation or complete everything suited to their needs.
Solution #2: Clear up communication challenges with the client beforehand
Checking with the client who will be the first point of contact and always available on the phone, will help you prevent many issues during and after the installation is complete. So you can always reach out to them when questions arise.
Challenge #3: Mistakes when managing retail graphics installs
Mistakes can happen, but they often occur because of poor communication and missed updates, whether an installer was not part of the communication cycle or didn’t receive the updated version of RAMS.
Solution #3: Keep everyone in the loop
To improve your team communication flow, decide on a single channel and include every installer in the group chats. So when changes in the requirements occur, everyone is immediately updated. You can also step up your game by using a project management tool, such as Vism. It will help you keep everyone having a shared vision and understanding when you update any details regarding the job, whether it’s a new version of a file or changed time and location.
Challenge #4: Materials and equipment arriving late
It often happens when installers are ready to start working on the installation project, but materials and equipment needed for the retail signage installations are not there yet. There is another side to this problem when everything has arrived at the site, but the installation work is not starting until next week. This means everything will be moved from one side of the storage room to another, putting one more thing on your client’s mind to take care of.
Solution #4: Check your logistics scheduling
Review when the graphics are due to be delivered and when signage installers are starting their work. This way, you will avoid your crew waiting for the materials to arrive (and vice versa!). If your schedule is designed unrealistically, it will perform inconsistently. Investigate performance data and time stamps of your supply chain to identify where delays appear and adjust the schedule accordingly.
Challenge #5: Crews becoming unavailable
That’s probably the most frustrating challenge on this list, and we feel your pain. On top of it, you often have no idea where to look for an experienced substitute to have the installation completed with the best quality and on time. As a result, this requires the need to reallocate the teams and postpone deadlines.
Solution #5: Plan a backup for your retail graphics installation
It’s easier said than done, but this way, you will always have a reliable signage installer ready to step in any minute. In case your network of installers is quite limited, check out the Signage Installations Directory. The database is free of charge and covers all regions in the UK. Using it, you can quickly find signage installers with such skills as POS and deliver the highest quality retail installations for your customers.
Dedicating a bit of time to prevent these challenges will help you save lots of time and expenses in the future and the project’s success will be in the bag. High-quality work by installer + met deadlines = happier customers that will return for more.