It’s a great order to get mate and it’s more than doable for you.
The issue at the moment is “in your head”. Understandably, you are focusing on your limits.
Your machines, your ability, your staff, your customers etc.
The train company subbing this job to you should really provide you with the required vinyl spec sheets on the materials that should be used on their trains. This will be the brand of material and the actual spec/series of the vinyl.
If they do not specify the material, they might be expecting you to do that.
For instance, Hexis do a train-certified vinyl and anti-graffiti laminate.
I have no doubt the train customer will have all the artwork, colours and specs for you. So that aside.
You now have 25m x 1m deep per side with some logos and probably small stickers and graphics here and there. On both sides, you now have 50 metres of print, the laminate of panels and some logos which might be possible to run in the print runs above the panels. i.e. 1600mm wide roll.
So you need to get some quotes based on 50m x 1600mm of print, laminate and some contour cutting.
Keep in mind, if the train company ask for a specific vinyl and laminate to be used, the trade supplier MUST base their quote on providing the prints based on that spec.
Once you establish what this will cost you, you can then ask for a price based on 100 Metres of the same, per month for the next 16 months.
Once you decide on the supplier for your printed graphics. you must get some samples sent to you with the exact spec of the materials used, colours etc. There is zero point in assuming anything, so get the samples and confirmation of spec a.s.a.p.
Personally, I would look at finding two freelance installers, or one with an apprentice.
It might be worth asking your vinyl suppliers, or even the trade printers your getting quotes from, “if they know of any good installers”. Once you obtain a list of installers, contact them and get a “daily rate” from them, but make sure you establish:
* Start time – break times – finish times. etc?
* Do they hold any proper vinyl accrediations as an installer?
* That they are expected to pay for the replacement of damaged graphics and panels.
* that they will commit to set day/days each month to complete the job.
etc. etc. etc. I am sure you get the idea…
The first installation is always the longest. It is the time all time-consuming parts will be discovered and any issues will arise. From this one, forward, they should get quicker and quicker.
You should be present throughout the full initial installation. watching the installers and making sure it is installed and finished as you expect it to be.
Take notes and photos throughout so that you are creating a checklist of things for the next train done.
Work with the guys in overcoming the installation issues rather than dictating how it should be done.
both you and them work as a team, even though you personally are not on the tools. you must check over each train along with the lads, once each is completed.
Make sure the lads wear “your” company sweatshirts and “your” branded high viz vests on-site.
What you are obviously doing here is overseeing the entire project, from:
* working with the customer
* Sourcing and working with the graphics manufacturers
* Sourcing and overseeing the installation process
* Checking the installation and correcting any snags from the list and so on.
So your role here is being a Project Manager, which is a job in itself.
But what it is doing is completely freeing up your current resources. It is taking the manufacturing completely off your shoulders. It is taking the installation completely away from you and letting you focus on making sure the job is delivered the way you think and want it to be.
Expectations of the customer:
Don’t forget it is one thing to deliver on your customer’s expectations. but their requests and demands cannot be one-sided. Trains are huge and the locations they have to be worked on are often filthy, cold and more. They cannot spec a requirement of perfection and life expectancy of the job, without them also conforming to requirements, “within reason, at least”.
there is no point turning up with two freelance fitters charging x-amount per day. only for them to spend 4 hours trying to clean a train, before getting started.
These types of things need to be established in writing before starting.
* Will the train be cleaned properly and ready to fit?
* do you clean the trains prior to fitting?
This is easy fixed, if the customer expects you to do it, then simply get a couple of random guys in to clean the train at a lower rate than installers. they arrive the day before and do all the donkey work. the installers arrive the next day to install and just give it a general wipe down with isopropanol.
Every person you bring in on the job, should have a percentage of their hourly rate added for yourself.
i.e. if they charge you £20 per hour, they cost your customer £30per hour.
The same with your print, and materials. everything must have a markup on it for you!
You then must have money added for your overseeing and doing the whole thing.
You might be thinking, this customer bill is going up and up and you are making a slice of profit here there and everywhere. well, that’s just how it works mate. because rest assured if something goes wrong or something isn’t just as the customer wants it. they will point the finger at you to get it fixed and expect you to pay for it. so cover your back at every turn.
Do not be daunted by the whole thing. it might be overwhelming to think about, but it really isn’t. break it down and attack each aspect one part at a time. it will be a learning curve, but see it as an opportunity, not as a hurdle.
hope this gives you some food for thought mate.