Better Get Moving
Hello, my people! I hope you are doing well, and making it through this crazy world we are living in. Hopefully everyone took advantage of the benefits provided by the SBA and CARES Act, and you are pulling through this mess.
Being in the sign business, we rub shoulders with a broad spectrum of American businesses, because in one form or another, every business needs signage, right? Over these past couple months, we’ve noticed a good portion of the industries we deal with are actually booming right now. Liquor stores, pest-control companies, order-fulfillment behemoths (Amazon), and even residential-focused companies such as heating/AC, window tinting, solar, etc., have been enjoying greater-than-usual sales volumes. We deal with some giant companies, and most of them are just blazing through the pandemic, so we are maintaining our sales goals. As a matter of fact, May was the fourth-largest sales month in our 35-year history.
Of course, this mini-boom doesn’t involve all industries. Airlines/airports are still way down on flights, transport and cruise industries sit idled, and, of course, stadiums/public venues remain largely empty for now. But we are seeing a recent uptick in activity, as people gradually come back out to play.
FRESHENING UP THE NEW DIGS
It’s been 60 days since we talked last, and a lot has happened on the Media 1/Wrap This front. We finally purchased our new building! Rick and I closed the deal on April Fool’s Day – go figure. And from the moment we got the keys, we dove straight into work! Even though our overall sales have been great, all of our smaller, local projects did dry up, which actually worked out fine for us, as we transformed our not-so-busy sign employees into building renovators.
Once we saw the building completely empty, we realized it definitely needed some TLC. The 30,000-sq.-ft. structure on 2.5 acres is only 18 years old, but the previous owners had 80 people working here, so the bathrooms were disgusting. We have two, single-stall office bathrooms; two multi-stall warehouse bathrooms and one bathroom in my office – woo-hoo! We wanted all new toilets, sinks, partitions, etc., but once we started to demo, we realized that black mold and 18 years of funk festered much deeper. This prompted us to gut each bathroom down to the studs, then rebuild from ground up. We used Dibond paneling for the bathroom walls, covered with printed 3M matte graphics, and also replaced every fixture in every bathroom. We hadn’t counted on completely remodeling those, but wow, what a change.
Next we painted … and we painted a lot. Exterior canopy and stripe, seven roll-up doors, 10 personnel doors, all offices, baseboards, doors, etc., and then we painted all warehouse walls and the entire ceiling. 50,000 sq. ft. of paint just in the warehouse. Being OCD, we also painted the five warehouse AC units, replaced all the outlet covers and even installed printed Dibond panels on the warehouse-to-office doors.
EVERYTHING BUT THE…
With all this work underway, we still had to move everything from the old space to the new building. Our wrap guys took the lead, and with a 26-ft. rented box truck, they made a total of 37 trips between the shops. Whew.
The weekend of April 17, we moved the entire wrap department: all printers, the wrap booth, vinyl, all of it. The following weekend, we moved the rest of the shop. We had pros move the office essentials, while all 30 of us concentrated on the rest. We had oversize forklifts (lulls) at both locations to handle the 6,000-lb. router table, brake and all large equipment.
By Monday, everything was ready except our spray booth. That was the trick, the one thing that slowed our production down. In the end, we sold that old booth and upgraded to an 11 x 35-ft. booth from Standard Tools and Equipment. And though the new warehouse is fully air conditioned, we won’t suck all the cool air out as with a typical booth. This one is pressurized, meaning it has two roof stacks: one for intake, one for exhaust.
Next, we move into remodeling all of the offices. If you want to watch all of this unfold, subscribe or check us out on our YouTube channel at “Media 1 Wrap This.”