News Archives - Kieffer | Starlite

Employee Spotlights | Sharon Host

Employee Spotlight: Sharon Host

At Kieffer | Starlite, the success of our company is driven by the passion and dedication of our employees. We pride ourselves on having a work environment where our team can thrive, share ideas, and help us evolve. Our key differentiator is our team and the passion they have to be the best in our industry!

Today our Employee Spotlight showcases Sharon Host. Sharon is known for her drive and creativity in her role as an A/R Credit and Collections Analyst. She does an outstanding job each day to improve our cash flow while being extremely professional with our customers. Sharon is a valued member of the Kieffer | Starlite team.  Read more about Sharon and her experience at Kieffer | Starlite.

Role at Kieffer | Starlite: A/R Credit and Collections Analyst

What is a typical day for you at Kieffer | Starlite?  My days are really not typical, since I help support multi departments, both AR & AP, wherever I am needed the most. A lot of my day prioritizing. I am very customer service-focused, I keep the customer at the center of all I do. My motto is “whatever it takes!”.

What do you enjoy most about Kieffer | Starlite? Our one vision, one goal attitude. Our team spirit and our drive to be successful.

What do you find most challenging about your job? Motivating customers to pay is not always easy. You have to be one step ahead and be creative in your pitch. I always begin with the end in mind.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? I am an internet junkie; the more I learn, the better I am. I also have a high-energy Yellow Labrador that competes in agility training.

Bucket List Item: I would love to visit Switzerland.

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Value Engineering Signage

Value Engineering Signage: Top 5 Ways to Minimize Sign Costs

If your company plans to brand or rebrand a location, taking the time upfront to review the signage program creates several benefits. A large amount of a branding budget is for exterior signage and components such a vinyl, awnings, and other graphics that support your storefront identity. Often the bulk of the cost goes into signage fabrication and installation; however, by reviewing value engineering opportunities, you can save costs through your signage program’s lifecycle without compromising brand impact and quality.

Working with a turn-key signage provider helps keep all considerations in mind through the process, as costs are controlled and internal feedback made for improvements. Here are the top 5 ways value engineering signage can help maximize impact and minimize cost.

1) Signage Design
You drive the strategy for your brand; our team helps deliver. What impact do you envision signage and graphics creating for your brand? Many design concepts can be developed to support your vision, goals, and budget, from lighting to awnings to illuminated exterior signage. Before deciding, it is important to review all design specifications and maintenance of your program to understand the concept and lifecycle costs.

2) Material Selection
Materials play a significant role in the cost and look of a sign. For interior signage, review material swaps that give the same finish appearance but add value, such as less costly, easier to clean, and lighter for installation. Exterior materials, including lighting, offer similar alternates to ensure you make decisions that come together to maximize brand visibility and intent while minimizing your overall costs.

3) Installation Costs
Installation is a part of the budget that can add up quickly. Knowing the complexity of your signage program from an installation perspective will help drive your final design approval. Understanding your requirements to install a sign can help you efficiently coordinate power boxes and other needs before the install is scheduled.

4) Maintenance Projections
Typically signage is not planned in enough time, resulting in rushed designs to get the signs into production. Having the signage installed for the grand opening is usually the primary goal, but what about the longevity of your program. For example, is there a material that could be reviewed to address fading issues other locations have experienced for an awning? That would reduce long-term replacement costs.

5) Multi-site Considerations
Even if you have one location, have you consideration expansion? Keep that in mind as you look at the overall program. Considering the scalability of your program can help as you look at ways to value engineer your signage. If you have multi-sites planned, looking at materials and parts that could be bulk ordered or custom made to inventory to create cost savings. For instance, having your awning material produced in your brand color eliminates the need to purchase and paint, often resulting in overall cost savings.

At Kieffer | Starlite, we’re continually looking for ways to provide the best performance in signage and lighting solutions. Our design and engineering teams work hand in hand to recommend a solution without compromising the design intent, functionality, and overall sign quality through a value engineering approach. This approach allows us to support our clients who want to review product alternatives with a similar design intent to reduce their overall signage costs.

To learn more about how we can bring your vision to life, contact us today.

Value Engineering Resource Guide

Click here to download our PDF highlighting the benefits of value engineering in signage design.

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Business Application Trends for LED Displays

Business Application Trends for Interior and Exterior LED Displays

COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for businesses to communicate messages directly and effectively to the general public. VP of On-Premise Sales for Watchfire Signs, David Warns, covers business application trends for interior and exterior LED displays.

Kieffer| Starlite is proud to partner with leaders in LED displays like Watchfire. They are a leading supplier for indoor and outdoor LED displays, fixed digit and video scoreboards, gas price signs, and digital billboards.

Our team has experience in all markets leveraging the latest in LED displays to support communication and advertising goals. We can help you achieve your vision with interior and exterior digital signage – from large-scale arena digital scoreboards to C-store gas pricer displays; we are a partner you can trust.

Contact us for more information and support with your signage and maintenance needs.

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Employee Spotlights | Chris Marshall

Employee Spotlight: Chris Marshall

At Kieffer | Starlite, the success of our company is driven by the passion and dedication of our employees. We pride ourselves on having a work environment where our team can thrive, share ideas, and help us evolve. Our key differentiator is our team and the passion they have to be the best in our industry!

Today our Employee Spotlight showcases Chris Marshall. Chris is a valued member of the Kieffer | Starlite team. He is known for his positive attitude and willingness to do whatever is needed to support client delivery expectations. Chris is a great problem solver and an outstanding role model for our team in Mt. Airy. Read more about Chris and his experience at Kieffer | Starlite.

Role at Kieffer | Starlite: My role is to complete channel letters as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What is a typical day for you at Kieffer | Starlite?  My typical day starts with clinching the back to the cans, mounting LEDs, installing them on the raceway and facing them.

What do you enjoy most about Kieffer | Starlite? For the most part, the people I work with and the satisfaction of seeing my work around us.

What do you find most challenging about your job? The time constraints can be a little overwhelming.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Hunting, fishing, and spending time on the water.

Bucket List Item: I would like to travel to New Zealand for a red stag hunt.

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Market Trends for LED Modules Used in Signage

Three Market Trends for LED Modules Used in Signage

SloanLED is the leader in lighting technology with over 60 years of lighting experience, unparalleled worldwide distribution, and customer support. As a guiding light in the industry, we brighten your brand and your bottom line.

Today, Barry Blythe, Director of Signage Product Solutions, provides insight on current market trends for LED Modules.

Kieffer| Starlite is proud to partner with leaders in lighting like SLOANLED. Our engineering teams continually review the latest signage lighting advancements to ensure the right product recommendation for our customers. For new signage or existing signage lighting retrofits, lighting plays a critical role in achieving the right branding look and extending the sign’s lifespan while creating cost and performance efficiencies. Contact us for more information and support with your signage and maintenance needs.

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Tips for Creating a Scalable Signage Program

Signage is part of any successful brand identity and is one of the most effective tools you have for your business. Even if you start with one location, working with a knowledgeable signage partner with a national reach can ensure a consistent brand in the marketplace. Signage can be one of the most cost-effective marketing tools, and to help ensure your program has the most value, we outlined the top 5 considerations for creating a sign program that works for your brand.

1. Take time upfront. Take the time to review designs that best convey your brand and can be scalable. Whether you have a set of standards established or working from a logo concept, build in enough time to review and finalize the design that fits your brand vision. Your final set of sign standards should show different variations to help create a standard that can be repeatable in different scenarios.

2. Be specific. Your standards should cover everything from lighting specifics to PMS colors. This will create a uniform brand presence and ensure the original vision can be replicated for future builds.

3. Know your cost. Get pricing on the total sign package before approving the design. This allows you to make any needed modifications to create the most cost-effective program. It also allows the option to review value engineering opportunities to get your cost more in line if required, such as material swaps and lighting changes.

4. One size doesn’t fit all. Local codes and tenant requirements ultimately drive what is allowed at each location. You need to be flexible and rely on your standards to make modifications as required. Having an approval process for changes needed creates flexibility in the design while maintaining the brand vision. Listen to our podcast on our experiences with due diligence and where local codes even can drive if a business decides to enter the market.

5. Flexibility for different regions. Performance needs may change based on the elements. While staying within the specification is important, it also may be unrealistic in specific areas. Be open to new materials or a better approach that could create long-term benefits and cost savings for various regions. For instance, in warmer climates, material fading may be an issue. New products or material recommendations that perform better can help create product longevity, ultimately keeping the brand looking its best and cost savings over time.

Whether you have 10 or 10,000 locations, we can help support your signage program. Our team can help develop sign standards and help with your program’s management to ensure a successful program. Contact Kieffer | Starlite to get us involved today.

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Benefits of Working with A Turnkey Sign Company

The pandemic has reshaped the market – from internal restructuring to the importance of being in touch with your customer base.  Signage is playing a significant role in communicating with customers than ever before.

A notable new signage example includes curbside pickup signs present throughout retailer’s parking areas. The signs guide the consumer where to go for curbside pickup and steps for a successful pickup. These signs are essential for brands offering curbside delivery and impact the consumer experience and ultimately their satisfaction.  As predicted, curbside pickup is a trend that is likely to stay post pandemic.

As it relates to behind the scenes, who manages the design, placement, and manages the project deliverables? All aspects of the project can be managed and delivered when working with a full-service signage provider. Businesses can benefit from working with a partner to understand their vision/needs and manage the project from concept to completion.

Here are the top three reasons we see clients seek a turnkey sign partner like Kieffer | Starlite.

  • Sign Design to Sign Installation. Kieffer | Starlite handles all aspects of the project based on the client’s needs.  Our client may already have a sign package developed, while others only have a concept or logo to work with to create a sign design. Our team steps in at any part of the process to provide design recommendations, help with local code review, develop sign specifications, location drawings, all the way through to installation.
  • In-house Sign Design and Manufacturing. Being able to take a sign design and work directly with the manufacturer allows for many advantages. Sign engineers can provide design and material recommendations to maximize the effectiveness and visibility of the sign. Performance needs and local codes can impact original sign specifications; reviewing these aspects are essential before approving the final sign design.  In-house manufacturing capabilities can also allow for more cost control and an aggressive production schedule if needed.  Click here for an example of a project completed by Kieffer | Starlite that was successful based on a manufacturing production strategy to meet the needed timeline.
  • Sign Industry Knowledge. While this seems obvious, working with a seasoned industry professional brings a lot of value to the overall program. Turnkey signage providers rarely have a project execute the same for each client, as each site location and local codes present its own unique set of requirements. Our team at Kieffer | Starlite has decades of industry experience, so we can pull from our knowledge on what has worked, gone wrong, and the right questions to ask to eliminate possible issues.

The role of a signage program for a brand is significant and one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. Signage can attract new customers and create a consistent brand experience if you have multiple locations. Many companies are looking at the benefits of working with a sign company that offers turnkey services from concept to installation to maximize value from their signage investment.  Contact Kieffer | Starlite to get us involved today.

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Employee Spotlights | Maria Arroyo

Employee Spotlight: Maria Arroyo

At Kieffer | Starlite, the success of our company is driven by the passion and dedication of our employees. We pride ourselves on having a work environment where our team can thrive, share ideas, and help us evolve. Our key differentiator is our team and the passion they have to be the best in our industry!

Today our Employee Spotlight showcases Maria Arroyo. Maria is a valued member of the Kieffer | Starlite team. She is known for her client-focused approach to successfully deliver interior and exterior signage programs. Maria continually encourages her teammates and has a positive demeanor that is always appreciated. Read more about Maria and her experience at Kieffer | Starlite.

Role at Kieffer | Starlite: Executive- Client Service

What is a typical day for you at Kieffer | Starlite? Starting the day at 5 am, working through the challenges of providing both our customers and Kieffer | Starlite the information required to bring the projects awarded to fruition, and if all is good, signing out around 4 pm.

What do you enjoy most about Kieffer | Starlite? The people at Kieffer | Starlite is what I enjoy the most—I have been fortunate to work with some VERY talented folks—people like Steve, Sandi, Pam, and Troy —only to mention a few.

What do you find most challenging about your job? Most Challenging—trying to keep all parties on the same page—communication can sometimes be a struggle, but our management team helps in working thru these struggles.

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Being with family has always been on the top of my priorities—with Pandemic, it’s been harder but not impossible!

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2021 Signage Trends

Signage is a critical branding component of any business across all market segments. Not only does it create the first impression with consumer engagement at the local level, but it also reinforces your overall perceived brand value. 2020 escalated many trends that have been gaining momentum over the years, from leveraging technology to the way teams collaborate. As it relates to signage, our team wanted to share trends we continue to see in the industry for 2021.

Reusable Products
We typically think of how to utilize signage with existing materials. For instance, if a pylon sign already exists, we review the viability of reusing/repurposing the structure and integrating updated sign faces and lighting. If a sign needs a refresh, we review the lighting to see if a simple retrofit is a solution, creating energy efficiencies and longevity. Finally, most suppliers & manufacturers have product lines and processes that address the call for eco-friendliness, so this is a trend that is evolving into a best practice.

Digital Signage

Businesses incorporating digital signage has grown steadily over the years. 2020 escalated the need that can be solved by digital signage, real-time communication. Companies with digital signage were quickly able to communicate new stores hours and up to date business information. As a result, many companies began to understand the value and robust capabilities of digital signage and tech integrations to solve problems. Digital Signage today posted a great article on ways this trend is evolving to drive sales and create awareness and thank the community. Read more here.

Partner Consolidation
We see a shift in the market where customers need a partner who can handle the signage and branding from start to finish. While this has been a general direction within our industry, the pandemic continues to shape this trend with consolidated roles and the need to have partners who can handle more, turn-key.

Our team has over six decades of experience working with our customers to deliver the right signage program. Contact us for more information on developing a scalable plan for future market growth or leveraging the latest industry innovation.

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