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  • Sub-Contracted work! What would you do?

    Posted by Martin Pearson on September 15, 2002 at 11:51 pm

    I can see this post running for a while with some very different views.
    Personally I would do the instalations, I have already done a few instalations for other sign companies, I am sure it was because they were not sure how to do it themselves, or it was to much like hard work after taking on the job.
    I have also done one install for a company who bought signs via the internet and then didn’t have a clue how to put them up. The way I see it is if I don’t do it someone else will and I can’t afford to lose the work. Also when you invoice the company for the work you have done if you include a flyer or brochure with all the work you do they may come directly to you in the future if they have work in your area.

    John Childs replied 21 years, 6 months ago 11 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • Mike Brown

    September 16, 2002 at 12:08 am

    Personally I think it’s a bit ‘iffy’ – that is…

    IF I like the sign company/people concerned, and

    IF I can get a good professional hourly wage to justify being away from my own work, and

    IF I’m gunna get paid pronto, and

    IF the stuff I’m fitting isn’t crap!, and

    IF it’s not for one of my existing customers, and

    IF there is no liability on me or my business for any future fault with the sign…

    …then I might just do it! 😉

    more soon

  • steve

    September 16, 2002 at 8:08 am

    Steve here Ive got to go with Uncle Mike on this one do the installations with strings attached pity we don’t have a BIG ISLAND to fall back on 😆

  • Sparky

    September 16, 2002 at 8:14 am

    Installer ….
    I think I follow along the lines of almost NO !
    Depepnds on the circumstances, but if they have bought mail order or frem a competitor why should I do the monkey work ?
    I, like others, can probably earn a lot more per hour cutting & sticking than I can by fitting, even fitting my own work is sometimes a pain because it means I am away from the phone, computer & cutter.
    Does this mean that if I am out fitting, I can lose other (more lucrative) work because I’m not there for a new customer …… probably / possibly !

    Just another tuppence worth FWIW


  • Deleted User

    Deleted User
    September 16, 2002 at 1:37 pm

    IF ya wanna eat , and If they pay fast are the only If’s i would be woried about I’ll do anything fer cash money as long as it pays the bills. 😆 Serously tho I would figure out if its worth it and if its pofitable for yer time then get out there and hang them there signs cause if u dont a guy like me will 😆

  • Joe McNamara

    September 16, 2002 at 6:57 pm

    Hi all,
    Not been round much lately cause I’ve been V-busy!
    I agree with mike and others on this one……I try to farm out all installation now and I’m making more money in real terms….
    Like steve said…I don’t want to be away from my phone and cutter because I’m losing potential business.
    And it’s getting cold out there!!!!!

  • Phill Fenton

    September 16, 2002 at 10:55 pm

    I usually say no Gray. 🙂

    First and foremost – we are a signmaking business. Fitting signs is secondary but part of the service when we supply and fit signs.

    I was recently asked to fit vinyls in a recent new large retail oulet in my area. I was never asked to quote for this job – and I sure as hell don’t want to go fiiting signs for a manufacturer based in the south of England. There are plenty of local signmakers perefctly capable of doing these jobs so I resent the fact local supplier aren’t given the opportunity to quote for these jobs.

    I usually offer a stupid price to get rid of these people – then if they still want me to do the work, I dont mind because I will be getting extremely well paid for doing it.

  • Jon Aston

    September 29, 2002 at 2:34 pm

    An interesting dillemna, to be sure, Gray.

    If I may suggest, try looking at this from a different perspective…If you are the only qualified installer in the area, you might look at these installation jobs as an opportunity to CHARGE THE MAXIMUM THE MARKET WILL BARE.

    If your market is somewhat remote and expensive to access, the”offshore” sign companies don’t have many choices available to them. However, if you wan’t to sell signage on the big island, you might need at least one ally there to do your installations.

    The added benefit of this strategy is that signs which are both manufactured and installed by you will be relatively innexpensive (by comparison to signage sourced “offshore”)…either way, you win.

    Then, of course, I could be quite mad (<(

  • Robert Lambie

    September 29, 2002 at 10:19 pm

    It’s a tough one gray… everyone that’s replied has given good reason to & not to do the work.
    I know the annoyance of not getting to do the work from scratch and fitting. But our company
    Does the same thing if possible.
    What I mean is this.
    Our company has a few national contracts. The companies that employ us ask for artwork and samples of the work, materials & prices etc to be supplied. Once this is done we are told if we have been successful in winning the contract.
    Now regardless if the sign is in “lands end” or “john “o” groats” they want the sign to be exactly the same throughout the UK… its like McDonalds. Pearce signs make the moulds for the whole country that way every sign up and down the country is the exact same. Corporate identification.
    Ok I hear some say well just send them the file and have the sub contracted guy cut and fit it… ok no problem!
    Or is it. We use oracal 751. Lets take the colour red… if the sub contracted sign maker says yeh yeh we have red in stock. But what shade? What’s to say he is using the exact same shade. After all he is 500 miles away.
    Ok, now say he has the same shade. What if the life is short… in a few months the red will be pink and the contracting sign company responsible will be held liable.
    They are expected to sort these types of problems pronto. So that would mean redoing the work materials and sending their guys on location. And all that after paying for the same job to be done by another sign company.
    So there are sometimes reasons on why this happens…”work being sent to be fitted”
    On the other hand if someone wants you to just fit a sign they bought elsewhere then that’s up to you. Make it worth your while though. Or if you have a steady flow of work coming in knock it back.
    We do fit vehicles for other suppliers. We do make sure we make plenty money for doing it. But if the vinyls are digital printed or something you could not repair. Say so up front. Tell them yeh ill fit it but what happens if there’s a mistake made. Say. My fee is £150 to fit it but the graphics are worth £400. What happens if there’s a hiccup. Under normal circumstances you would just run the bit you wasted again but this cant happen if its digi print or whatever…so ask them do they cover it or must you….
    I won’t rabble on as I feel I could go on and on here I guess in short gray. If your quiet and you get a job like that… take it. But make sure you make plenty and make sure you know who is liable. If its you then say your fee has to cover the chances of a mistake and pump the price up more.
    Remember what your saving them… maybe a flight or a drive for many hours. Petrol, wages, accommodation etc… but also remember what steve says. If you don’t some other guy will!

  • Lee Attewell

    October 1, 2002 at 3:29 am

    Is the sign going to reflect negatively on your business? do you benefit financially? Mate, these days you’ve got to get it where you can. I’d do it .

  • Lee Attewell

    October 1, 2002 at 4:37 am

    Yeah you bet…I’ve a confession though…I’m one of them Well slightly, been here for twenty years, came out from near London in ’82 regard myself as mainly Aussie, Part Pom…Hence I’m a “possie”

  • Lee Attewell

    October 1, 2002 at 4:39 am

    Hey some great work is done in Tassie…My wife was manufactured and installed ( on the planet) in St Helens Tas. 😀

  • signscript

    October 1, 2002 at 7:39 am

    If your a “posssie” what does that make me ??

    My moter is half English half Canadian, My Father is Half English half Greek, I was born in the UK and Brought up in Israel and have dual British & Israeli Citizenship,

    so im a Engcangrekisraish!! 😕

    i think?? 🙄

  • Mike Brown

    October 1, 2002 at 9:04 am

    Dear confused of North Lincs…

    I would go to the hall of records and check out some of what your parents have told you – personally, I think they’re screwing with your mind (<( 😆

  • signscript

    October 1, 2002 at 1:40 pm

    mind ?????? what mind ???? 😮

  • John Childs

    December 4, 2002 at 1:47 am


    We don’t erect signs. We will only ever make them for a really good customer and even then get a local specialist to put them up so my attitude is biased towards vehicle work.

    We will always do fit only work. Whilst we will not actively canvass the end user for the supply side it is surprising how often we end up getting it. Sometimes after a few weeks and sometimes it takes two years but we often end up doing it. Clients fall out with suppliers all the time, sometimes for the silliest of reasons, but when they do their usual first call for a replacement is to the company that are already working on their vehicles. We have acquired some of our best clients this way.

    As for doing work for other signmakers, again we will always do it for them, and at reasonable prices, because we never know when we will need a favour in their area. We are often asked to travel considerable distances to fix an accident repaired vehicle which might only be half an hours work but involve a ridiculous amount of travel costs. It only makes sense to try to find a local company to fit for us as it benefits us, our client and the fitting company can earn a fair return. We have no problem in paying a reasonable price but take a dim view of being ripped off by fellow signmakers. Surely one of the aims of a group such as this is to help each other.

    Another example, six months ago, we did a batch of vans for a new client and made a stupid spelling error where one word, five 40mm letters, needed changing on each van. We caught all of the vans at the dealiers before they were delivered, except for two. Needless to say these two were in Scotland, which was about an eight hour drive each way for us. I got onto Yellow Pages and found the nearest sign company to our client, explained my problem and they said to send the new lettering to them and get the client to run the vans in to their factory. They fixed my mistake and then refused to charge me. Needless to say, if that signmaker needs a job doing in our area we will bend over backwards to help.

    Having written all that screed, if there is anyone in the Winchester area prepared to do a bit of fitting work, get in touch.

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