Many of us spend more time at the office than at home, so we want and need to be in the surroundings that positively impact us and our work. So, what is a customer’s primary requirement when you receive a new request for an office interior installation? A functional and productive workspace.
As an installation project manager, your goal is to drive the installation process of signage and graphics where all the elements merge. This requires creative thinking, quality implementation, a personalised approach, and a well-developed flow of communication with your customer.
However, no one understands the ins & outs of branded interiors better than the managers who handle those projects daily. So, we asked the winner of the UK Graphic Awards 2021 in Best Branded Interiors — Signbox — to share their experience with us about working with branded interior projects. Read on to learn all the know-how on the way to a successful installation of corporate interior signage and graphics!
Face your challenges
To prevail, we first need to face our challenges. For Signbox, the most common challenge is time and scope.
Mark Bartlett, MD at Signbox says: “Time always pressures to deliver and have the capacity to install large projects and meet completion dates. A common challenge is when walls and glazed partitions are not complete on-site.
One of the major challenges worth including that we also are facing on an increasing basis is the need for Blue CSCS cards on construction sites. All contractors are now insisting that graphics cannot be installed by green card holders and installers have to upskill by taking an NVQ. It is leading to an extreme shortage of skilled labour in our industry.”
Apart from these pressing issues, other common challenges and things that require rational decision-making include:
- Arranging site surveys. As you know, it’s an important part of nearly every installation to avoid unnecessary site revisits or planning mistakes. Whether for interior or exterior signage, a thorough inspection ensures the final product will be built to your client’s satisfaction.
- Choosing the right materials. Customers often ask for a recommendation for signage material, and there are a few important considerations to take into account before deciding at an early stage, for example, the surface of the application area, colours around, and lighting.
- Coordinating the best time for installation. When working on interior installations, the office is often busy during regular working hours, so determining the best hours for the installers to begin working has to be settled.
So, how can you simplify the corporate interior installations process?
1. The way you begin defines your success
There are a few things that you should consider when embarking on this kind of project. For Signbox, it’s a meticulous focus: “Attention to detail with choosing the right material for the budget, sourcing high-resolution images from the client, and robust project management.”
Different starting positions also require different approaches. For example, the client might want to design new graphics or work with the office branding and interior graphics from a subcontractor. The project can also be part of a wider building program, where the work with other contractors is essential.
Mark told us: “So often we pick up the pieces from a contractor who has used cheap vinyl, and we have to start afresh, stripping the graphics, priming, and applying a new surface. While we are a finishing trade, engaging with the end client at an early stage is essential to allow time for design, pre-press, sampling, and production. Establish the brief and timeline involved if the project is part of a wider building program and work with the other contractors to ensure a seamless delivery.”
2. Consider current office interior trends & what is coming
As businesses reopen amid COVID-19, a market tendency for changing co-working spaces and re-inventing office interiors is sharply increasing. Significant changes are needed to create a safe environment for employees and visitors. These include a variety of posters, signs, and floor graphics that aim to provide crucial information.
In this case, site surveys play an essential role in printing and installing corporate interior graphics for safety and wellness.
Mark adds: “Having the flexibility to update brand experiences in the future is key, and we deliver this with either soft signage such as digital fabric with keber frames, digitally printed optically clear manifestation graphics, Digimura wallcoverings, or retack vinyl. All are relatively cost-effective solutions for branded interiors. In addition, we can enhance by adding 3D elements from fabricated lettering, internally illuminated with LED’s.”
3. Get the most out of your site surveys
Several types of information are needed when conducting site surveys. Accurate measurements are required to ensure the new signage will fit the space. So that a client doesn’t under- or overestimate the size of environmental graphics, they need a particular wall or surface.
Taking photos when you’re on-site will help your team of installers to discover any features or surfaces that might cause delays later, while the design team can use the pictures to create mockups to present to customers to show how the finished installation will look.
Site surveys also play an essential role in helping clients choose colours and materials. Colour matching, lighting, and surfaces where certain materials won’t work are all considered.
Delays often occur when signage and graphics installers find various imperfections like peeling paint, scratches, or gauges after they arrive at the site or have already started their rollout. This way, site surveys will be the most helpful to assess if the application area is ready for vinyl to be installed or some changes are needed prior to applying corporate interior graphics.
4. Make time your friend
For Signbox, the best solution to deal with time pressures is to work with a professional team and agree with the main contractor on key dates, as well as have a robust project manager to keep tabs on any delays.
For example, having to replace damaged interior graphics on-site by other contractors is the easiest way to lose profit on a project, so good protection and scheduling are key. Let the client know beforehand that any extra wait time should also be covered.
To help a signage and graphics installation project manager keep up with all their projects, an installation project management tool may be of massive help. This way, you will be able to build a realistic schedule for your team and help to prevent scheduling overlaps. There are many options available on the market, so you can easily find one that best suits your needsю
For example, Vism is specially designed for signage & graphics installation project management. It can help you save time, money, and resources. Its features allow you, as an installation project manager, to oversee every aspect of all the graphics and signage installation jobs in one place. You can allocate jobs to all your teams in one easy view and fix any scheduling conflicts before they happen. So you can take on a larger workload and grow your business!