Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Evolving and Embracing New Technology and Change in the LED Sign Industry.
- Scott Hofheins
Change and evolution are unavoidable. Many have tried, but nobody can escape the natural inclination of individuals and society to improve. In the past, change was more often slower and less noticeable. But in today's world with improved communication and big picture thinking, technology is evolving at a supercharged rate. I would like to talk briefly about some of the challenges this presents to the LED Sign industry, and how we can face those challenges and continue to thrive as manufacturers or dealers.
We are at unique point in the evolution of our industry. More and more signs are entering the 5 -10 year+ realm with the quality, or lack thereof, becoming more and more obvious. Some signs are still going strong, others haven’t fared so well with continued issues and problems beginning the first day of installation.
This is an opportunity to witness first hand, the true results of a manufacturers efforts, that is...if they still exist. For those that do, this has presented a challenge for both dealers and manufacturers. Dealers are asking “Is the manufacturers current product going to last?” The manufacturers have hopefully been proactive and implementing solutions to be able to answer “yes”.
Another interesting problem is the balancing act of retaining a good system of production, administration and support, while not becoming so dependent on “the way we have always done it” that it takes months or years to implement a change in procedure, policy or technology. Companies that don’t balance this well can lock themselves and their customers onto a path of of long term stagnation.
Change effects hardware, suppliers, components and fabrication strategies. Even if a company can sustain the balance, they can fall short when it comes to documenting the changes and accounting for future warranty parts and support. Many companies earn a bad reputation because they cannot fully support their product due to poorly documented build records.
These challenges share a common concept: the ability to ACT. Companies who flourish do so because they can act quickly, efficiently and with purpose. They have a strong financial strategy and reliable backing, long term plans, and are not afraid to change. These principles are very important now, and will only become more so as technology grows and communication continues to improve.
The manufacturers who embrace change have continually assessed their products, and were able to make systematic changes in production immediately when issues were found, minimizing the long term effects. They have been smart with their financial health to be able to address issues and stand behind their warranty and keep product quality and customer satisfaction the top priority. They have the resources to keep good production records and spare parts stock.
Good sign companies thrive for the same reasons. They make changes when needed and are always looking at the big picture. The most successful owners I've talked to (and really any good leader) succeed because they aren't afraid to make decisions. They are able to look at a situation logically and with a clear idea of the risk vs. the reward, making changes when required without hesitation.
Stagnation is not an option. When a business stops evolving, it will eventually be replaced with a more versatile and change-ready organization. Don’t be afraid of change; plan for it, accept it, embrace it and ACT.
I hope this post has been informative and helpful. As usual, I welcome ALL constructive comments. Please feel free to comment and add anything I've missed, or additional tips you may have regarding this topic. Please visit www.vantageled.com for many other resources, white papers, and of course: Great looking LED Signs!
**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.