The SignMan story

SignMan story  by Peter Bates co-founder with daughter Cindy

The SignMan opened for business on 15th May 1990 with just four team members, 1200 square feet of shop space and a great deal of spirit. Our team was united and worked hard together getting paid for we loved to do – build really neat signs. We were all proud of each sign we built and it showed. The SignMan grew rapidly in reputation and in sales. Our dedication and persistence continued and more people joined the team. This year 2020, thirty years later and with twenty-two team members The SignMan is here and it is here to stay.

We have fond memories of all-nighters; how two phone lines had to be off the hook when we were cutting substrate; after work meetings to figure out how we were going to deliver what has been promised that day. We all thought that we were a team, but it took the tragic loss of one of us to realize just how strong a team we really were. Tragedy struck with the sudden illness and death of Cindy. The company found itself without two very key members of the team, Cindy and me, for about two years. The SignMan survived because of the extraordinary abilities and dedication of the rest of the team. Everyone just filled the gaps with work, with support and with love. They kept the energy and the spirit of the company alive and we continue to succeed because of the loyalty and dedication of each and every team member in the company. These individuals are more than just employees they make the SignMan what it is. We are all very proud of one another and very proud of our company.

Looking back in time we now realize that The SignMan was on the right track when several things happened in the same time period. One was an evening that a businessman in the advertising field approached one of our group at a restaurant table and said: “You’re The SignMan aren’t you?”. We felt a strong sense of pride – we were known in the community collectively as The SignMan. The second event was a Sunday morning when one of our team was seen, in full Sunday dress, at the top of a 35 foot sign we had built some months before. He had noticed something was wrong with the top corner of the sign and had climbed up to the top of the structure to solve the problem – on his way home from Church. The team spirit and the company culture had been set – quality and pride at any cost; teamwork at all cost.

Our worst business experience was also one of our best testimonials. Several signs we had made had faded after just three months. This was part of a $10,000 job and would prove to be a very expensive lack of quality in a bad batch of raw media materials. There was never any question in our minds as to what to do – we replaced every single sign. It was a very costly experience, but the customer was very impressed with our honesty and our warranty.

We have grown from two workstations, a vinyl cutter and two 8 ft. tables to 8500 square feet, 12 workstations, 2 24ft tables, 3 large format  printers, two laminators, a CNC router, A fully equipped paint shop and an  installation company along with 22 team members.

We have a strong reputation of professionalism, project management, highly competitive pricing, very high-quality warranty and customer service standards and above all else – we are solution engineers for your image promotion or communication problems including digital signs and billboards.

The mission of quality, product knowledge and complete customer satisfaction has been set. The SignMan was started on a strong belief in oneself and on persistence and dedication to the task. These are the core elements of the company spirit and the reasons it will always persevere. The company’s true debt is to its people who demonstrate it to each customer.