SA International (SAi) has launched the International Sign & Printmakers Guild – a member-led organisation which aims to aid business growth for sign and print providers and help members reach new customers and reduce costs.
The Guild will offer a multitude of benefits to members. In particular, the Guild will send its members new customers, giving them the opportunity to secure new long-term business relationships. Membership is currently free to any sign shop or print provider.
‘Forming the International Sign and Printmakers Guild is all about expanding the universe of sign and wide-format business’, said Mark Blundell, CEO & Chairman of SAi. ‘Many of our customers are sign and print providers who continue to face the challenge of bringing in business and maintaining healthy profits in this difficult business environment. Due to generous industry sponsorships, the Guild can directly reduce members’ operating expenses. More importantly, SAi and the Guild will solicit and provide new customers to Guild members.’
SAi intends to spend R27 million (US$3 million) on Internet advertising over the next few years to attract customers from the public at large who have sign and print needs. These customers will then be referred directly to Guild members who will be charged a modest fee for referrals.
Key to driving new business to Guild members, SAi is dedicating www.sign.com as a central place for the sign-and-print buying public to quickly and easily design and purchase custom signs, banners, posters and similar products. With the slogan of offering, ‘top quality signs, delivered locally’, all jobs ordered through sign.com will be offered to Guild members to produce and deliver the sign or print job to a local customer.
Membership in the Guild gives sign and print providers other added-value benefits, one of which is the possibility to create a free web storefront for their business using sign.com templates and content. By having their own ‘microsite’, branded to their individual businesses, members can leverage the sign.com name and content to market their services directly to prospective customers.
With the objective of reducing turnaround times and costly re-prints, Guild members can also take advantage of a free job approval system, designed to facilitate the occasionally troublesome sign-off and approval stage of customer jobs. The Job Approval System works in conjunction with the Cloud version of SAi Flexi or SAi PhotoPRINT software. Guild members will be able to direct customers to a private, dedicated website where they can review, revise and approve artwork, with an audit trail of the process logged for each job.
Additional important benefits
The Guild will maximise group buying power to extend discount advantages to its members, including lower credit card processing fees, less expensive business and health insurance, lower marketing costs, and other meaningful discounts.
The Guild will provide a free on-line network so that members can communicate directly with one another, enabling them to outsource or insource jobs, obtain advice, and enhance their business in numerous ways.
Membership in the Guild is currently free and open to any sign or wide-format print business. In addition to SA International, initial sponsors include: Arlon Graphics, Digital Output, Flora, Image One Impact, Mutoh, SignTracker, ST Media Group, and The Bad Wrap.