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Blue-Collar Fleets

(January 2012) posted on Tue Dec 13, 2011

"They do require that you take a few additional steps here and there, but overall they have a high probability for success and will certainly add to your company’s bottom line."

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By Jared Smith

Finalizing production
After the design is approved comes the “easy” part – printing. I would recommend printing as many of these vehicles at the same time as you can. We all know that color likes to drift as time passes and the environment changes from hot to cold or dry to humid. Printing a fleet as one big job saves time and money and has the best chance of maintaining color values. Items printed and laminated together also reduce the chance of a wrong material accidentally being used in the process.

Then, last, but certainly not least in the process comes installation. This part is usually dictated by the customer. In some cases, they can only be without one vehicle per day. In other cases, they will want 30 vehicles done over a three-day period when all of their reps are in town for training. The best advice I can give here is to have these discussions before you submit the estimate. How the install goes down is a vital parameter in the specs of these projects.

The more input and communication here the better. Fleets have the highest probability of using multiple installers; this means that your install diagrams and mockups need to be more thorough than usual. Diagram each piece of the project, the order the pieces should be installed, and include photograph mockups to show how the completed vehicle should look. Don’t forget to include unit numbers or required Department of Transportation numbers for tracking, as well. After each install is complete, update the online spreadsheet to reflect this and take professional photos from all sides.

Wrapping up
One of the most important lessons we’ve learned is to make it a point to have a wrap-up session with your client. This is the perfect opportunity to provide them with use and care information and to thank them for the business. Better yet, send a small appreciation gift like cookies.

And don’t make the mistake in thinking that the job is over once the fleets are back on the road. You need to remind them to keep an eye out for any lifting or peeling in the first few weeks of owning the wrap and that you are more than happy to do touch-ups free of charge. Set reminders for yourself for when to contact them about removals before the warranty expires. Stay on your client’s radar so that you’ll get the call for the next round of wraps and develop a life-long client.

Jared Smith is president of bluemedia (, a leading provider of design and printing for use in vehicle, large-format, and enviornmental applications, in Tempe, Arizona.