Some sign companies have hundreds of thousand of square feet of manufacturing space. They own the plants and, with all that overhead, must continually “feed the beast”. Other sign companies operate a “light asset” model and may not own any manufacturing facilities. They partner with one or more of dozens of available wholesale manufacturers.
So, which is best, light asset or 100% manufacturing ownership? When you issue an RFP, do you demand to know the sign company’s operating model, or do you even care?
The truth is, every sign company outsources some part of their sign production due to capacity constraints or inability to fabricate certain sign types. Their overhead cranes may not be able to support the largest high-rise sign cabinets. Or they outsource digital graphics, neon repairs, and/or vinyl banners to specialty sign shops.
Both models can work but the best sign companies are going to have excellent project management resources, superior tracking systems, and the ability to pull manufacturing demands together, regardless of where the signs are made. Do your research. Find out if the sign company makes the most of whichever model they use. Just because they own their own plant(s) doesn’t mean they are automatically the best choice.
The sign industry has multiple layers of service providers and manufacturing resources. Before you issue that RFP or sign a multi-year contract, do your homework. You’ve spent millions to develop your brand. You owe it to yourself to choose the best branding partner.