AJ Signs Case Study

The Challenge: AJ Signs had a good business reputation, but only for a specific type of signage. Owner Tom Wheeler wanted to expand the company’s repertoire of signage products including channel letters, but needed a vendor who shared the company’s product quality emphasis.

The Solution: AJ Signs now outsources their channel letter production to Denver-based Direct Sign Wholesale. The company now has access to a high quality channel letter products without investing in production equipment.

The Benefits: AJ Signs is now actively bidding projects that they would previously have not considered. This capability has increased AJ signs gross channel letter revenues by 10 to 15%. Using Direct Sign Wholesale has permitted them to be competitive when bidding on larger signage projects that involve channel letters.

Getting into new types of signage can be a daunting task. That was the challenge facing owner Tom Wheeler of AJ Signs in Burnt Hills, New York. “We were known for woodwork and architectural signs, so channel letters were not really in our gamut” commented Tom. “We just avoided them. This business started 30 years ago with my father carving signs out of redwood. He had a good reputation with the classic carved wood signs. Since then, we’ve evolved and we’re not particularly known for one type of sign. We’re just known for quality.”

Of course, the problem in that situation is finding a vendor who is both reliable and who shares your company’s quality emphasis. “I was just looking for a vendor to form a relationship with” says Tom. “I didn’t have the means to make my own channel letters, and I was looking for someone who could help me with that. I also wanted to see quality from my vendor.”

So why choose Direct Sign Wholesale from among the contenders? “The quotation came back quickly, and it was professional” says Tom. “Some other vendors were just e-mailing me numbers, and it just seemed like Direct Sign Wholesale was for real. There are a lot of channel letter companies that are a little scary. You know, the guy in the garage?”

So how was the implementation of using DSW? “Very smooth” says Tom. I learned a few things from you guys, and the process just became simple. I’d send you a picture, I’d get a quote back, and I’d get an order.”

This good start evolved into a long term business relationship. “We’ve been working with Direct Sign Wholesale for about 4 years now, and everything has been great. We’ve had our problems, we’ve had some mistakes, but the thing that makes me stay is that each one of those mistakes has been taken care of. All problems have been fixed – no questions asked.”

So what is the bottom line of working with DSW for AJ Signs? “We added 10 – 15% in gross channel letter sales, and now I’m now pursuing jobs that I would not have gone after if I wasn’t doing channel letters. The letters may be a small part of a big job – and that has allowed me to be competitive in those situations.”