Service Graphics has renewed its use of Vism’s project management software and installer apps for a second year, with its Swanley production site having reaped the benefits of a more streamlined process for managing its installations.
Vism’s cloud-based software was designed specifically for use in the large format graphics and signage industry. Justin Richens, Production Manager at Service Graphics’ site in Swanley, South London, says that since taking it on in 2018, the app has successfully transformed their installation process, with a much smoother system for booking fitters and signing off completed work.
Swanley has a number of high profile clients across the events, exhibition, museum, luxury brand, sports and property industries, ranging from the World Duty Free shops in airports across the UK, to major sporting teams including Arsenal and Millwall football clubs.
“We’ve just finished a project for Millwall, installing their outdoor signage, and we’re now sponsors of the team so it’s a great relationship,” said Justin. “We also carry out trade work including smaller jobs, say a couple of A1s, through to hanging banners, building wraps and so on.
“We don’t have a team of in-house installers so we rely on freelancers, making sure we use the best fitters for each job.”
Saving time was a key factor in choosing Vism
The site – which has 15 staff – runs a 24 hour operation from 9am Monday morning through to 9am on Saturday.
Explaining his role, Justin said: “Here at Swanley, working under a production director, I don’t just deal with production, I also look after the building, paperwork including quotes and invoices, meeting our targets and everything else.”
It’s a busy role, so any time Justin can save on admin frees him up to focus more on developing the business. “Time is critical in our industry and as we use freelance fitters, we were having to make up to ten phone calls just to get someone booked in for a job,” he said. “Because we’re using Vism now, we don’t have to make those 10 calls any more, we can check everyone’s availability in a couple of clicks then share all the relevant information with those fitters that will do the job.
“Not only does this save us a lot of time, it helps fitters who can’t answer the phone because they are working out on site. They know that when they get a notification through, it’s just a single tap to let us know they’re available.”
All the key information in one place
Another key feature for Justin is having all the information and files relating to each job saved in one place, so he can easily find any details about each installation – location, time and date, RAMS, visual briefs, completion photos, client signature and so on. He says that before using Vism it would be difficult to gather all that information but now every job is put on the app with a job number. If someone wants to see photos or other information he simply types in the job number and gets all the information up in front of him.
As well as helping manage installations, Justin is also using Vism to manage deliveries. “We were forever having to chase for proofs of delivery from our drivers, so we now have them all on Vism,” he said. “It gives the drivers all the information they need for where they are delivering to, and the customer simply signs the Vism app to acknowledge receipt.”
Dan Tyler, Managing Director of Vism, said: “A lot of our clients tend to be very innovative and that’s why we enjoy working with them to continuously develop Vism. Being an industry specific solution means a feature requested by one user can often be implemented at little or no cost to them as it benefits our other customers too. Justin adapting the way he uses the software to incorporate deliveries was a great example of how flexible and versatile Vism is, and how with some minor modifications we’ve been able to create that delivery functionality properly and make it available to everyone.”
Clients are getting the picture
One of the most important benefits of using Vism is the ease of sending photos to clients once a job is complete. “Previously, we might have to chase the installers for photos confirming completion; now they simply take the pics in the app, get the customer on site to sign on their phone screen and I get a notification. I can choose which photos to share with our customer and in two clicks they get an email and they’re able to view the photos and signature on our online Vism customer portal, which makes life easier for everyone,” said Justin.
This more efficient processing of photos is especially important for the team’s trade clients. “It’s crucial that we send photos and signatures as soon as possible to our trade customers who are not on site, because their client is going to be contacting them for the pictures.”
A simple to use app
Justin says that Vism has significantly improved communication with installers. “It automatically sends a brief to our installers including site details, travel and contact information, and all the documents they need like RAMS and visuals ready for them to access on the go. Importantly though, they only get the full details once you’ve confirmed them to do that job, so there’s a bit of security there.
“The fitters like it because when they’re on site and you ask them to do a job, they can easily forget what days you’ve asked for. Now it’s on the Vism app they just have to look at their phone.”
Throughout each day, Justin receives colour-coded, real-time job status updates and instant sign-off notifications, complete with signature and photos. As a fan of new technology Justin was pleased to see how easy Vism is to use. “As soon as I looked at the demo I could see how simple it was to use. All your clients are stored there nicely with their address, previous installation addresses, phone numbers and so on, so you don’t have to retype everything. Also any documents that need to be sent to the client can be saved on there like certificates of insurance.”
More time to build the business
Justin says that the time Vism saves his team can be much better spent elsewhere. “Any time saved by apps like this is going to be more time we can spend getting new work in and upping our figures.
“At first I was quite reserved on whether using Vism would be a benefit to us, and whether it would really save us any time, but as soon as I started working with it I realised how much it would do for us.”
Alan Rigglesford, Managing Director at Service Graphics - Swanley agrees “Our industry relies on fast turnarounds, professional installation and great customer service, and Vism helps us deliver that. We’re very happy with the impact Vism has had on our processes; the more efficient we can be, the more we can focus on areas where we can add real value, such as developing new business and driving sales.”