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Greatest moments of 2018

As companies look back over the last year, Genevieve Lewis asks: “What is your greatest moment or achievement in 2018 and how can other sign-makers and the industry learn from this?”

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John Davies, managing director, Fastsigns UK

Commitment to improving

There have been many moments that we’re especially proud of, such as signing four new franchisees and the completion of our national ‘Fastsigns goes the Extra Mile’ charity campaign, which raised over £3,280 for the Simon Cooper foundation.

However, one of our greatest achievements is our continued commitment to training all colleagues and staff within our business, seen through the various programmes we’ve executed for our UK franchisees. The tangible benefits this has given to the network in terms of customer retention, reviews and sales highlights why it’s such an important focus.

Alongside our University of Fastsigns, an internal intranet that provides over 518 courses focused on the sign creation and the wider industry, we’ve implemented various platforms and opportunities this year to ensure every member of the team can develop their skills further.

For example, 2018 is the third year in a row we’ve arranged for a digital signage expert to fly over from our corporate office in the US and offer a week of training for our UK staff. Production and workflow experts have also provided training to improve our network’s skills in this area, while a visit from a technical services specialist ensures each centre’s equipment is performing efficiently.

This year, we also launched an internal customer service representative training programme to further reinforce our dedication to superior customer service.


At Fastsigns, our people are at the heart of everything we do

At Fastsigns, our people are at the heart of everything we do. By investing in our team, helping them develop their career while ensuring each franchisee can run a successful business, we build a stable, happy workforce that in turn produces the best quality solutions for our clients.


Efficient and creative solutions

Brett Newman, chief operations manager, Hybrid Services

The rise in popularity of UV cure technology has had a substantial impact on the sign-making industry in the past 12 months. Mimaki’s launch of its UCJV Series LED UV printer/cutters and the subsequent addition of further models in the range now offers the award-winning solution in sizes from 800 to 1,610mm, capable of printing to a wide variety of substrates, making it a true Swiss Army Knife for sign-makers and print service providers.

Increased demand from the retail and exhibition sectors for printed textile graphics for use in display systems and lightboxes, as well as for banners and flags, has seen a rise in sales of machines capable of printing fabrics.

In addition to dye sublimation printers, machines like the Mimaki UJV55-320—a 3.2m LED UV cure printer with its built in lightbox for inline proofing of backlit graphics—have proved a very popular solution for volume production of grand format printed textiles.


We anticipate the trend for print service providers seeking a versatile solution will continue

We anticipate the trend for print service providers seeking a versatile solution will continue, whereby companies invest in print hardware that’s capable of delivering a wide variety of applications.

When companies are able to offer a range of products to their customers, they’re better able to retain current business and win new accounts thanks to the ease with which additional revenue generating product lines can be easily produced, which in turn benefits the printer with an improved return on their investment.

It’s a busy time at Hybrid on the back of multiple machine launches from Mimaki in 2018 and with more on the horizon, that we anticipate will take the company into new markets and better serve existing sectors with faster, more efficient and creative hardware solutions.

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