After years of conducting site surveys with the traditional bucket truck, ladder and tape measure, Lightning Quick Signs, a full-service sign shop in Waveland, Mississippi, decided there had to be a better way. Kyle Freeman, production and estimating manager of Lightning Quick Signs, began researching measuring devices at the major hardware stores, and while Freeman came across several devices, he struggled to find one that met his needs until he discovered Spike through a Google search. Freeman conducted a few tests and quickly discovered Spike fit his surveying and estimation requirements.
Since purchasing Spike, Freeman has used the device on a variety of signs and has even found that Spike works for creating vehicle wrap estimates. In fact, Spike recently came in handy when the country’s largest Domino’s Pizza franchise turned to Lightning Quick Signs to wrap a fleet of box trailers. Each fleet trailer was custom built to operate as a mobile store and kitchen. Templates weren’t available because every trailer had its own unique setup. For example, an AC unit on one trailer wasn’t necessarily in the same place on another trailer, which required that Freeman take a customized approach to designing the graphics.
If Freeman didn’t have Spike for this project, he says he’d have to hand sketch or photograph each vehicle, and then take about 15 different measurements. However, with Spike, Freeman only has to take a photo of the side of the trailer, and all the measurements he needs are stored within the picture. Freeman can then upload the photo to the Spike cloud-based tools where his designer can access the file, open it in SAi FlexiPRINT and create the graphics directly on the image.
Once the graphics are created and scaled, the designer sends the image to the printer, and Freeman’s installers can use her design as a proof when applying the vinyl. So far, Freeman and his team have used Spike to wrap seven trailers, and more vehicles are in the works.
“I would say Spike allows me to work about 75 percent faster than taking manual measurements, especially on a box trailer, and the accuracy is perfect for our use,” Freeman says. “It’s within an inch or two, and we already include an extra 6 inches in the estimate to accommodate for stretching.”
When the time comes for new vehicle wraps in a few years, Spike further simplifies the process because measurement data is saved with the photo. Freeman can label his folders in the Spike cloud based on trailer numbers, save the photos in their respective folders and refer to the original photos with dimensions when he needs them, he says. This eliminates the need to retake photos or measurements for future jobs. With these stored photos, Freeman can also capture any measurements he might have initially missed, which is a common problem during the estimation process.
“I’ve been doing this for 14 years, and it doesn’t matter whether you send a 10-year veteran or a brand-new person to conduct a survey on a building or vehicle,” Freeman says. “They always forget one or two measurements. Having that ability to go back and reference the measurements at any time is priceless.”
Now that Freeman understands how to get the most out of Spike for vehicle wraps, he can work more efficiently on projects that fit within device’s scope, he says. Freeman finds that flat vehicle surfaces and partial wraps typically work best with Spike. For the right vehicle wrap, however, Freeman finds Spike is well-worth the investment.
“I definitely recommend Spike to every sign company,” Freeman says. “We haven’t lost any money by using Spike; it’s only gained us time. It doesn’t matter if you do outdoor signs or just vehicles. Spike is an invaluable tool.”
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