In the majority of cases, the projects that are carried out by M&M Marketing require one or more interventions by professionals other than those of the internal team. This expertise can concern the phases before production (creation, technical drawing or voltage data for example, in the case of electrical transformers for light boxes), or manufacturing (baked paint, also called powder coat, bending of extrusions or welding of material). It is therefore necessary to properly communicate the various responsibilities, provide a timetable and correctly and quickly distribute the information to everyone. Follow-ups then become more important than ever, as much as developing and maintaining a good relationship with each employee.
In the case of what prevails at M&M, here are the important steps in planning the schedule:
- Submission / Call for tenders
- Site visit to take measurements and photos
- Written approval of the submission
- Receipt of digital files for printing
- Beginning of the entry into production
- Manufacture of boxes or frames: cutting of extrusions
- Electrical assembly for light boxes
- Canvas printing
- Canvas finishing
- Workshop test and fitting before dismantling and packing everything
- Prepare written bespoke assembly instructions for a high value project
- Ship products (delivery service, truck) and send instructions by email
- If installation is required, this service must be scheduled at the same time as the start of production if this is standard; if the installation challenge requires a lot of technical validation, a site visit is required, in collaboration with the installers.
With whom should we communicate and collaborate to complete a large format display project?
Often, M&M Marketing experts are contacted even before a project is concrete. Some agency creatives want to ask them for advice, receive ideas or validate the feasibility of their project in addition to obtaining a cost estimate before moving forward. Question to see if it is realistic and if the client has the necessary budget.
Some projects require contacting graphic designers to explain how to mount electronic files. Often, graphic designers know how to mount files for conventional sheet-fed presses (for a magazine for example), but rarely for large format on fabric by sublimation. Software has limits on file format, such as Adobe Illustrator, which does not allow you to create a file larger than 224” wide x 224” high. What can I do to circumvent this limit? We create the file at 50% or 10% scale. It is possible to extrapolate the file to the RIP (Raster Image Processor; digital brain of the press) up to 1000%. Then, once the files are in hand, it is sometimes necessary to explain the project to the in-house graphic designers so that they appropriate the production file.
Technicians in the manufacturing workshop
At this stage, we saw the extrusions, we test the structures, we give instructions for adjustments and dimensions for the sewing department, we find solutions to technical problems, we mount the light boxes and install the assembly of modules of LEDs (Electro Light Emitting Diodes) in the frames. Employees sometimes have to have special parts such as aluminum brackets made by an external welder, who is a subcontractor. The same is true if baked paint is to be applied to the extrusions.
Tailors and seamstresses
They are specialists whose role is of great importance. They are experts in finishing seams of all kinds, whether for clothing (sports uniforms) or large-format finished products, such as flags, tents, banners, umbrellas, and many others.
In cases where the customer requests an installation service, we must communicate and collaborate both with him, but also with our external installers, sometimes an on-site site superintendent, or other installation teams (such as for lighting or sound equipment), security guards, etc.
This is why project managers exist!
They are the schedule watchdogs, follow up with everyone, are always on the phone seeing if everything is going as planned, and correct/revise the schedule when necessary to postpone or advance certain stages of the project according to the changing reality.
No doubt, after reading this, that the realization of a project at M&M is the business of a diverse and professional team at all stages, from start to finish.