One of the unfortunate results of the Pandemic and how it has impacted the economy has been the closure of a lot of businesses. The signage maintenance sector is no exception, and sadly a number of service providers have ceased business. It’s never good to hear when a competitor is no longer trading – it’s about people and livelihoods, after all – and for retailers it means they can be without an important service they’ve grown to rely on. Unsurprisingly, they will begin re-evaluating how they look after their retail signage. If you’re in that position, there are some important factors you need to consider when reviewing your signage maintenance needs.
Do You Need Maintenance?
The very simple answer to that question is Yes you do. From a commercial perspective, a sign that is in poor condition will deter rather than attract customers. But you are also legally obliged to maintain your signage. From a legal point, the likes of the Town & Country Planning Act along with the Health And Safety At Work Act mandate your duty of care. ‘Do Nothing’ is not an option.
Can You Get A Builder To Do It?
It’s easy to start reviewing signage maintenance and think of it as something other trades could do for you. A Roofer or Joiner for example. Or even the company that made your signs. It’s here that the issue of competence and compliance comes up. Health & Safety is very clear that whoever undertakes your signage maintenance must have the experience and knowledge to do the work. They must be ‘competent’. This means they need to be able to inspect signage for deterioration and understand what may compromise their integrity. And a H&S Inspector will not class a signage manufacturer, a builder or a roofing contractor as competent to do this work.
Can You Do It Yourself?
It might look tempting to bring signage maintenance in-house to save money. Getting your staff to do signage cleaning for example may sound attractive. But as your staff will not pass the competence test under law, this will put you in the same situation as asking a general tradesman to do the work.
There is also a very serious issue about placing staff and customers at risk of injury. Without the correct training around working safely at height, or ensuring members of the public are not safeguarded from accidents, this cost-saving idea will soon turn into a very expensive decision.
Can It Be Split To Different People?
In theory, this might look a viable idea. If you know of three or four companies that can provide the signage services you will need, then why not have them cover your signage maintenance? This might also look to be a worthwhile option if you have a retail estate covering an extensive area, with locations in different regions. After all, how many signage maintenance companies work across the UK?
In reality, this approach can be fraught with complications. Splitting up tasks through a sign’s lifecycle means you will need to co-ordinate them to deliver their services, sometimes in strict sequence. So if one has to delay their work, you’re spending time juggling everyone else. And different companies will have different response times too. Some issues may be fixed quickly, others take longer than you would prefer.
A very real risk is where one service provider says another has to complete a task – only to be told by the other provider that the first one must do something else first. Then you’re going round in circles trying to sort out a problem. Updating any Facilities Maintenance platform you have will take longer as you will be dealing with different visit reports from different people sent in different formats. Not forgetting the repeated work you will do in contracts negotiation and invoicing for work done. And finally, you have to make sure all those firms doing different tasks have the skills and experience to do what is required – we’re back to the competence issue again.
Put simply, you could be at risk of sign maintenance consuming far more of your time than ever before, issues taking longer to resolve, risks with dangerous signage increasing, and non-compliance with safety legislation. It will all too easily result in your signage maintenance costs increasing.
Bringing In Signage Maintenance Experts
The logical answer then is to make sure your signage is maintained by recognised experts such as Cygnia. It means your maintenance strategy is massively simplified as one provider covers all your needs. Keeping your signage safe can be co-ordinated and managed easily, and risk of harm to staff and public is reduced. The lifecycle of your signage can increase from expert inspections and works preventing deterioration getting out of control. And your local Health & Safety inspector will be satisfied that you have a compliant maintenance plan being handled by someone who is deemed competent.
Bigger Can Mean Better
There is one outstanding point though. For retailers who have outlets in different parts of the country, they still need to find someone who can provide the same maintenance levels across all their locations. That’s where Cygnia can help. With engineering crews spread through the country, you can have your signage under the care of certified experts no matter where they may be.
So if you are reviewing your signage maintenance and thinking what you need to consider, talk to us first. We can show you how putting your signage in our hands is more cost-effective than you may think – and can save you a lot of time and keep you compliant with legislation.