Aquire the plan, tools and the staff you need for in-house installation.
By Jared Smith
Keep these items in mind when working toward opening your install department for business. We could not do what we do without our in-house teams, but that doesn’t change the fact that we had to get a lot of items in order before we could bring install in-house. It takes a lot of work and time to get it right. As every facet of bluemedia is being scored and re-evaluated on a daily basis, so is our install department.
Some of the not-so-obvious drawbacks that we have experienced have caused a few issues that we were forced to quickly handle. If, for instance, you have a vehicle scheduled for install and your one installer calls in sick, you have a problem. Similarly, if you unwrap a vehicle to find cut marks on a car that your own in-house team installed, you have no recourse as you would with a subcontractor. The same goes for a panel that gets ruined or an install that’s not completed before the customer arrives. Keep in mind that if you get the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of having your own crew, you also get the issues that may arise.
I recommend that you draw out a list of all of these issues you could foresee happening and come up with a contingency plan for each one. As with anything worth doing, installation work is worth doing right and will come with its own challenges. The more advanced planning you do, the easier those issues are when they rear their ugly head.
With small forward progress steps and a sales force that can bring in enough work, you can realize this goal and it’s definitely worth it once you get there. Be patient, take the right steps in the right order, and you’ll soon be enjoying the benefits of having your own install department.
One final note: Even though it can be very beneficial to have your own install department, I cannot stress enough how important good subcontracted installers are. We would not be here without them and we know we will always need them. There is no way we could be in 10 states at once or handle 100 local buses in four weeks without them. Treat them right and never forget how vital they are to your existence.
Jared Smith is president of blue-media (www.bluemedia.com), a leading provider of design and printing for use in vehicle, large-format, and environmental graphic applications, in Tempe, AZ.