3M held a two-day workshop from 27-28 May at their head office in Johannesburg that introduced local graphics companies to 3M’s first-ever Select programme.
‘3M Select aims to assist graphics installers to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace,’ said Burak Özaltın, Customer Programme Manager at 3M, Middle East and Africa Region. ‘The graphics market is more and more diverse as new products and use-cases develop, covering a wide range of industry verticals. Some companies are narrowly focused while others are more broad-based — but they all face the challenge of differentiating their brand and services to the market. At the same time, end-users are confused about which graphics installers to choose in order to get the consistent quality they demand to showcase their brands. The Select programme offers a comprehensive solution to all these issues.’
Companies can become Select Graphic Providers by meeting criteria established by 3M. The programme is divided into three tiers — Silver, Gold or Platinum — depending on the nature and volume of their business with 3M. There are two supporting components of the Select programme: the 3M MCS Warranty and the 3M Endorsed Installer.
The MCS Warranty offers the industry’s only warranty that covers all elements of the finished graphic, including labour. It offers qualifying Select partners a way to guarantee that the graphics they supply to clients will last for a specified time in real-world conditions.
Özaltın said that it was very important that Select partners offering the MCS Warranty understand exactly how and where the graphic will be used, because this will affect its longevity. Also important is to ensure that customers understand the difference between a product’s durability and the warranty: the warranty specifies how long a product will last under specified conditions, whereas durability refers to the expected performance life of the graphic in perfect conditions. 3M will reimburse costs for a graphic under an MCS Warranty that does not last for the time specified, but makes no promises for durability.
By contrast, the 3M Endorsed Installer certification is awarded to individuals who pass a training module and related examination. ‘The Graphics College is the beginning of a concerted campaign to alert local industry players to the benefits of becoming part of the 3M ecosystem, and acquiring new skills. By doing so, companies can begin to provide customers with objective, meaningful reasons for choosing to use them: the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the job is undertaken by individuals with the requisite skills and that the finished product is guaranteed to last a certain length of time in first-day condition,’ he said. ‘In any industry, the big winners are those who can differentiate themselves by their professionalism — and 3M can help graphics installers differentiate themselves from competitors.’
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