Thursday, August 16, 2012

Which LED Sign manufacturer is the best?

-Deacon Wardlow

Comparing LED Sign manufacturers is difficult. The terms aren’t standard from one manufacturer to another which makes comparison challenging and many are often very tight-lipped about the processes which go into building their systems. Of course I'm going to be heavily biased and say the company I work for (Vantage LED) is at the top of any manufacturer comparison for Programmable LED Signs but as LeVar Burton famously said, “Don’t take my word for it.”  At the end of the day, it's about what you want/need to succeed.

This blog is written with the main goal of educating people on Programmable LED Display and Digital Signage topics and information so they can make an educated choice. Eventually there'll be a niche for every part of the Digital Signage market, filled by various companies making their specializations. The key is knowing which manufacturer will be a resource for your company and not just another source pushing the product.

It's frightening, you're out there pushing to get the jobs and a lot of sign shops have heavy costs they need to meet. LED Displays can be a lifesaver for sign businesses as they're such a quick turnkey product which has the potential of giving end-users more versatility than ever to reach out to their target customers and community. Unfortunately a lot of unscrupulous companies sell bad LED Displays and unwitting sign companies buy them; many companies are primarily looking at the dollar signs and buying into the line, "It's like TVs, they're all the same really..." A few months or a year later, the sign company seriously regrets the choice. Any profit quickly goes away to service work which has to be written-off to avoid potential unhappy customers, lawsuits and other issues. The biggest hit is to the brand (both the customers’ and the sign company's reputation) which has taken so long to build.  Both businesses watch as the brand quickly goes down the drain and a reputation which has taken a long time to build up is quickly ruined.

You've got to dig deep. There are once great companies who built in the USA and now they're going to China. They won't openly state where the systems are coming from, they'll still claim they build in the USA, which is sometimes partly true, and will hide the fact they’re exporting work and importing product. There's nothing wrong with using a balanced global supply chain, but manufacturers need to be open about where they get what they have and who's really designing, engineering, programming and quality-checking the product line.

At the end of the day, don’t be tricked by magic numbers, slippery geek speak or misdirection. Make sure you’re getting straight answers to straight questions. The more you know, the more you can be sure the manufacturer you choose is the partner who’ll help you succeed. A successful, supportive partner will make the difference between losing bids and winning them. That supportive, winning partner is going to be the best manufacturer for your business.

*Please comment here and/or email me directly with requests at Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (, check out the site periodically as we’re constantly adding new material.

**Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.

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