How to Overcome Communication Challenges in Signage and Graphics Installation Process
Communication in signage and graphics installations is not the easiest of tasks. As an installation project manager, you might face many communication obstacles when delivering graphics installation projects successfully. For example, getting all your installation crews in one place is often challenging, even after searching for the right freelance graphic installers in different UK regions. So team collaboration is affected as transparency is compromised.
We often hear about common challenges print & signage companies face during graphics installs because of ineffective communication. If you’re in the game, they’ll no doubt be familiar to you, too: miscommunication, workflow distractions, unanswered questions, and texts. It will often result in missed deadlines, stressful situations, and poorly completed jobs.
What can you do to prevent communication hurdles?
We have prepared a list of ideas to help you avert those stressful communication obstacles that can crop up and distract signage and graphics installation workflow. This way, your projects can be completed effectively, on time, and trouble-free, keeping your customers happy.
Guidelines and protocols are essential to keep signage installers on the same page, whether they work freelance or are full-time employees.
Here is what you can add to your guidelines:
The tools and programs that everyone in the installation uses. It will help to minimise distractions and miscommunication.
Work-hour routine and availability of your sign fitters at specific hours. Understanding everyone’s schedule will help you find balance in managing in-house and freelance teams and make scheduling easier.
Sufficient waiting time for a response. Agreeing on an average response time will build trust and improve collaboration, team dynamics, and time management.
Keeping each other updated about the project processes, as well as delays. This is beneficial for maintaining workflow. For example, agree that sign fitters must sign off the job as soon as they leave the site, so you can immediately communicate the result to the client. Keeping everyone updated also includes submitting any issues they faced. For example, alert the client that a chosen wall is not the most suitable location for such installation during the indoor installation of architectural signage.
It gets difficult to maintain transparency and quickly achieve swift communication by having a signage installation team working on different projects simultaneously. A set of guidelines can help overcome these challenges, keep the team dynamics in place, and improve your workflow.
Use one communication tool
Inconsistent communication often arises when there are too many different communication channels. It's easy to get lost between phone calls, emails, social media, and messaging apps, especially across different time zones. Therefore, choosing a single platform for communicating with the project manager, installers, suppliers, sub-contractors, and customers will help you reduce the time spent trying to keep sign installers up to date.
Keep everyone in the loop
Use proactive communication to prevent the lack of information and unanswered questions in the future. You have to be the first-hand example of proper communication for your installation team, as withholding information may inadvertently result in lost trust and lack of transparency. Let your team know when an updated version of RAMS is posted, or notify them about time or location changes. Don’t forget to include every graphics installer in the group chats; this will help you step up your communication game after deciding on a single channel.
There are also tools specifically created for the wide-format printing industry, such as Vism. It will help everyone keep a shared vision and understanding when you update any details. The software automatically adds each team member to a group chat, accounts for the time difference, and stores all documents in one place.
Keep the door open
Mistakes can happen in the signage installation process, but they must be communicated appropriately. To make this happen, you need to maintain transparency in the team. Always keep the door open for your installation team and everyone else involved to successfully deliver a job, such as production. This requires that you keep yourself available to your team. As you set up a common communication channel, encourage them to ask questions and share their concerns. This way, you will strengthen teamwork as they can openly and proactively discuss work issues.
Such transparency boosts the final result of vinyl graphics installations. For example, when a revisit is necessary because the installer cannot correctly attach the graphics. In addition, team members will know that they can openly and confidently discuss any issues with you and the rest of the team.
We all know that feedback is a great motivator that encourages everyone to perform at their best. Positive or constructive feedback will help to transform both types of signage installation teams—in-house and freelance. Constructive feedback should facilitate improvement as the team will know which parts of their installation skills require extra focus. It could be skills focused on printed vehicle wraps or installations for construction and property space. At the same time, positive feedback will boost their confidence and morale.
Working with several crews certainly speeds up these processes as the company grows, but this growth also has to be sustainable and not at the expense of transparent communication. Dedicating a bit of time to prevent these challenges will help save time and future costs, and the project’s success will be in the bag. Happy customers will return when high-quality work and deliverables meet deadlines.