ikeGPS is changing the way the world is measured, utilizing its smart laser measurement solutions to capture, record and export measurement data.
While most sign shops concentrate on the manufacturing and installation sides of the business, New Castle, Delaware-based YESCO sets itself apart from competition by focusing on existing signage service, says General Manager Mike Hewitt. YESCO Delaware still offers new signage manufacturing and installation, but Mike finds that there’s more long-term business potential with existing signage service. A service-based model typically requires YESCO Delaware to visit a client’s site multiple times in a year, which allows Mike to develop better relationships with his clients than if he were to build a sign once and move on to the next project.
With such a large focus on relationship building, Mike believes it’s important to offer his customers quick turnaround times on estimates, but that can be difficult when the pipeline is filled with site surveys. Often these signs are located in hard-to-reach areas, so Mike would have to measure an object near the sign and then pull his designer off another job to scale the area. Although Mike could send a bucket truck to the job site to access those measurements, it’s an expensive and time-consuming move.
“Most jobs you’re measuring are for people who are not customers yet, so they may or may not even use you,” Mike says. “There’s nothing wrong with offering a free estimate, but if your estimate is free and you have to send a bucket truck, that starts to eat your profit margin big time.”
However, Mike found a better way to access those hard-to-reach signs when he discovered Spike, a laser measurement solution for site surveys and estimations, through the YESCO network. When Mike needs to measure a sign, he attaches Spike to his iPhone and takes a photo using the Spike app. The measurements are all saved within the Spike photo. Mike can then either take real-time measurements in the field or send the files to the Spike Cloud and measure on his office desktop, which is his preferred method.
“When you’re doing a lot of surveying, you need to find a way to be efficient, so when we saw what Spike could do, we knew it would save us a lot of time,” Mike says. “We can quote more projects without incurring the expense of additional equipment or involving other people at our shop, and we can provide quicker estimates to our customers.”
Since incorporating Spike into his workflow, Mike has used the device for a number of signage applications, including a recent project for Macy’s. To cut operating costs, Macy’s decided to replace its signs’ neon lighting with LEDs, so Macy’s contacted YESCO Delaware to get an estimate. Traditional measuring methods would have been difficult for this project, but Spike allowed Mike to quickly take the measurements without investing in expensive equipment.
“These Macy’s signs are large and not easily accessible,” Mike says. “You have to take your measurements after hours because mall management doesn’t want a crane truck in the middle of the parking lot while the mall is trying to conduct business.”
In order to retrofit a sign with LEDs, Mike needs the dimensions of the height, width and depth of the channel letters. To measure the height and width, Mike took his Spike photos from the front and then went underneath the sign to capture the depth. This allowed Mike to record all the measurements he needed with a couple of pictures during business hours and without disrupting his prospect’s business. Not only did this help Mike turn around estimates faster but it also elevated Mike’s professionalism.
“If you’re competing against a shop that doesn’t have the right tools for a big project but the client sees you show up with a sophisticated tool like Spike, it adds to your professionalism,” Mike says.
Now that Mike has implemented Spike into his estimating process, he finds that he uses Spike for almost every job. Spike has saved Mike valuable time and operating costs, and he believes Spike will help YESCO Delaware to continue providing the service his customers expect.
“The initial investment in Spike was absolutely worth it,” Mike says. “Spike easily paid for itself in about two or three jobs. I don’t think there’s a sign shop out there that couldn’t benefit from Spike.”
Meet Glenn Chambers, our business development manager for Spike. Glenn comes to us from the signage industry and was one of our biggest Spike customer advocates. In his new role, Glenn is responsible for strengthening Spike's presence in the signage market. Now let's get to know Glenn.
Describe your role.
My role at ikeGPS involves showing national and international sign companies the value of our Spike unit. I’m here to let the sign industry know what a great product we have and how Spike can benefit them in so many different areas of the sign industry – from initial surveys to design and estimating. I also work globally with resellers to help them market Spike.
What were you doing before you joined ikeGPS?
Before ikeGPS, I worked in the sign industry selling, designing, building and installing signs. I have been in the industry for 15 years now.
How did you hear about ikeGPS?
I was given the opportunity to work with the Spike device from an old boss of mine at Gordon Sign. He picked up a couple Spikes from the ISA Sign Expo in Las Vegas two years ago because he instantly recognized how Spike could help us work more efficiently.
Why was Spike such a valuable tool when you were working in the field?
Spike is a huge time saver, first of all. Spike essentially gets rid of any initial use of a tape measure and ladders. From a design perspective, all of the import options make scaling and imposing signs a lot easier. You can stay ahead of all the other sign companies when it comes to design and estimating.
Can you tell us about your favorite sign you’ve designed?
I designed a lot of signs for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The signs were mostly interior, and the thought process and design behind these hundreds of signs was time consuming. I got to spend a lot of time on-site, which allowed me to see what exactly we were a part of. The end results were amazing. On top of that, NREL made us do calisthenics every morning on-site, which I thought was great.
Why did you decide to join ikeGPS?
I have always been a gadget and tech guy. When I discovered Spike, I was amazed at how advanced the unit is. I still wanted to work in the sign industry, so joining ikeGPS allows me to be on the outside looking in.
What did you want to be when you grow up?
I wanted to be a professional snowboarder. An architect would have also been nice.
What are some of your favorite outside office activities?
Mostly rock climbing but I also like to snowboard, hike, camp and take my Jeep off-roading from time to time.
If you could create your perfect meal, what would it be?
Cedar-smoked salmon is my favorite., and a side of steamed veggies is always good.
What’s your dream vacation?
Switzerland, for sure, is my top spot.
In today’s competitive business environment, sales success often depends on taking care of the customer in a timely manner, but working efficiently in the field can be challenging without the right tools. That’s where Spike, a laser measurement solution, can help.
1. Turn around site surveys and estimates in record time.
Whether you’re bidding on a signage project or window film job, conducting site surveys is typically a time-consuming process. You have to lug around a heavy ladder, navigate an awkwardly large bucket truck or guess. In some cases, the survey area isn’t easily accessible, which can also put you behind schedule. Once you’re finally in place to measure, extending the tape measure before it breaks in midair isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Spike, however, simplifies the process, allowing you to finish site surveys in a matter of minutes. You’re now free to turn around more estimates in a day and meet with more potential customers.
2. Share files through the Spike Cloud while working in the field.
Your day may be filled with site surveys, but that doesn’t mean your customers have to wait until you’re back in the office for an estimate. Once you capture your Spike photo, send the file to the Spike Cloud. Your colleagues in the office can then access the measurements to create an estimate or even a design mock-up within hours instead of days.
3. Forget those return trips for additional measurements.
Inevitably, a time will come when you forget to record a measurement, which means you have to either hop back in your car for another site survey or take a guess. That’s just one more delay in the sales process you can’t afford when competition is nipping at your heels. Instead, pull up your Spike photo and make the additional measurements you need right on your smartphone or tablet or Spike Cloud.
4. Weather won’t slow you down.
Conducting a site survey on a perfect day already takes enough time, but throw rain, snow or wind into the mix, and you’re looking at an even longer, more frustrating site survey. And good luck finding a safe spot to plant a ladder on an ice-covered sidewalk in the winter. But adverse weather doesn’t get in the way when using Spike. As long as you can take your Spike photo, you can get the measurements you need.
5. Increase your sales coverage in the field.
If you head to your typical site survey, another co-worker often needs to join. Climbing a ladder by yourself can be dangerous, so rather than finding new prospects or closing current deals, that extra salesperson is stuck holding a ladder. But Spike turns site surveys into a one-person job. You never have to leave the ground, so that extra spotter is unnecessary.
Could your sales process use a productivity boost?
Here’s more information on how Spike can help your sales process run more efficiently in the field.