By Erik Sine
I don't usually bring politics here on the SS unless it's for a very good reason.
But since a lot of what we do here in our own industry and how it affects how we make a living I'm going to share a particular youtube video of Senator Ted Cruz asking the president of Sierra Club some very, very simple questions that he's (Sierra Club) not up for discussing or debating. In fact the head of Sierra club is taking a political position instead of acting objectively.
The environmental (product safety) movement is or "green" as most know it, has killed our industry like many others, especially when it comes to the electric sign trade, lighting components and certain sectors of our trade, in particular Neon & Fluorescent lighting. Even to force manufacturers to spend more money on products they sell i.e. ballasts and transformers just to save energy somewhere under a false notion of "Green", or saving the planet. A lot of times these new imposed regulation prices out consumers, and makes products less reliable in place for other products which are pushed by lobbyists who represent a product that under normal circumstances can't stand on their own merit, and instead need to be handicapped, and even so far as to be funded in subsidies by tax payers (you and I) because normal economics of a free market or supply and demand don't apply. Government gets to pick the winner, not the consumer.
This Environmental movement has been backed and glorified by our own sign industry establishment base, or as we all know them...Sign Associations who have repeatedly ignored fact just like what we see in the video that has enabled outsiders to mis-characterizes and mis-lead members and help sway public opinion into the "Green" movement which is nothing more than executing statements but never fully explaining.
There is probably no bigger fish and obstacle for the free market that road blocks everyones right to prosper than the Sierra Club who has the ability to file lawsuit after lawsuit and has the protection of our own government to fire back.
So here they are, unable to answer a simple question much like our own establishment base because it's in THEIR best interest to not answer.
Our good tax dollars at work against us, and keeping us from prosperity.
By Erik Sine
"NLRB Ruling Threatens Sign Industry Contractor-Subcontractor Arrangements" - Article
So I got this today and maybe I'm misinterpreting this but...
It looks like ISA wants to come to the aid of the wrong side, AGAIN.
First...as in most states, especially here on the west coast you can only legally subcontract when you yourself are a contractor, or licensed contractor. So when it comes to the rule of law, this is nothing new and nothing that needs to be altered. Contractors licensing laws protect the employee, employer, primary contractor, subcontractor and consumer.
I see "Franchise" included in the article so it makes me think that ISA is trying to get some of their large base or members (FastSigns) to bypass the contractors licensing law as we've discussed here
As a primary contractor you are solely responsible, I see what looks like word play as well, as if to cause panic or emotion. Maybe I'm getting this wrong, maybe not.
As I've said before nothing will kill an industry faster then when you can have anyone, and that would include a Home Depot clerk to have the ability to sell, execute and subcontract a home/commercial improvement contract whether it's repair of modification and be protected from laws that a normal contractor are held under. The chain of accountability, responsibility is broken when you have a third party that is not held to the same respects as a contractor, that how most laws are written. If I'm reading this article right, ISA is trying to come to the aid of those who lack the knowledge or know how of this industry that obviously cannot get their own contractors license.
By Erik Sine
I Told You that Shift was Coming. Now a Large National is looking to go back into what so many have kicked to the curb and lost interest in. With so many now out of the game in producing & installing Neon as far as equipment, experienced help, this leaves the door wide open for those who stuck with Neon or for those who are now choosing to go back into it.
Like I've said, it's been on the rise, but is there enough Neon Sign Components to go around?
Encore Image Launches Neon Signs To Enhance Retail And Corporate Branding
Encoreimage.com showcases the vast assortment of neon signs available for businesses of all sizes.
Ontario, CA, United States of America – December 10, 2014 /MarketersMedia/ — Writing for the daily entrepreneur magazine “Gaebler.com” news reporter Ken Gaebler offers tips to business owners, and anyone else interested in joining the business world. Ken Gaebler advises, “Neon signs have been a great addition to the American advertising landscape. Once seen as an omnipresent aspect of any business, this colorful form of signage is still available and highly effective. The use of neon signs in today’s business world can still offer many distinct benefits.”
Ken points out why neon signs have distinct advantages over other forms of signage. “Neon signs are visible from a greater distance and can draw the attention of those both on the street and driving by in traffic. While traditional signs generally need to be replaced every five years, a well engineered neon sign usually lasts between eight to fifteen years. Custom made neon signs also offer your business a degree of individuality and will lead to increased awareness with consumers.”
Meeting the needs of business owners who desire custom neon signs to their retail signage and corporate branding, is the Encore Image company of Ontario, CA. Company spokesperson Chet Wilkens expresses their mission in this way, “At Encore Image, we create and craft a diverse assortment of neon signage for the world of business and architecture. Neon offers a unique degree of identity to the retail branding and corporate process. Our clients report to us that the neon signage designed by Encore Image has allowed them to establish themselves as an original force and fierce competitor in their marketplace.”
Chet Wilkins continues, “The Ontario CA monument signs our company has designed, have been engineered to achieve the ultimate in visuality and creative impact. Along with our distinctive brand of original design, each neon sign we work on is well-fabricated and engineered for the utmost in longevity. No matter the size of a project, we are proud to provide the highest standards of our industry from initial conception to the final stages of on-site installation.”
Neon Image has also established themselves as a company that is willing to go the extra mile for all of its clients. Chet further explains, “The design and engineering services we provide to our clients can not be under-estimated. With over sixty years of experience designing neon elements and building entire signs, we know that the details do not end with creative design.”
Spokesperson Chet Wilkins elaborates, “Neon signage requires permits for it to exist. Most frustrating for business owners is the fact that often the most effective visual forms of creativity tend to encounter more restrictions from local government. The team at Neon Image will work with clients to make sure the necessary permits and all variance issues have been properly approved. There is no limit to the level of services we provide to our clients in terms of design, manufacture and complete determination to obtain government procurement.”
About Encore Image:
With over sixty years of experience, Encore Image has created and designed custom neon signs to the highest limits of the signage industry. This company believes that superior visuality can be achieved using neon and neon elements. Known for their work on architectural, retail and corporate signs, the team at Encore Image works with businesses of all sizes. They bring a high degree of professional engineering to every sign, lighting and architectural project they undertake for their diverse group of clients.
By Erik Sine
"...We're not afraid to get into the trenches when it comes to road blocks....As a matter of fact, that's how we get things done..." - Lori Anderson
"The International Sign Association (ISA) is laser-focused on what's happening this very second within the sign and visual communications industry."
"As we talk to member companies we hear two constant concerns:
(1) The challenges of finding qualified employees and.
(2) The issues of getting signs built due to regulations"
-Lori Anderson, International Sign Association
Hate to interrupt the magazine pep talk but I would think one of the biggest concerns that are on the minds of licensed sign companies which has been going on for yeeeeeeaaaars and that supersede any and all of those named above is trying to get paid and according to terms called out in a contract from some very large bad national sign companies, many of which are volunteer board/chair members of the ISA. Some have even received "industry awards" complete with a photo-op and hand shake published in similar sign magazines. In most cases not paying a subcontractor on time is illegal if not made within the 30 day time frame. Which means, volunteer board members and chairs are breaking the law, and can go to jail, pay a fine, or both!
Since when has ISA's code of conduct become that relaxed that they allow members to be apart of their association who are breaking the law...let alone hand them and award of gratitude?
Surely Lori Anderson has run into this issue/complaint time and time again? She can't possibly plea ignorance, or say she's never heard of the issue??
Curious....do any of you ever ask your local or International Sign Association membership/reps about this?
Number two can be the fact the fact that ISA has tried to diminish the reason for having or obtaining a contractors license in states like Texas and just recently in Wisconsin. What's the incentive to even go legit and abide by the state safety standards and laws,m if anyone can just go around and subcontract a job that normally requires a license? A clerk from Home Depot soon will be able to subcontract a pole sign or plumbing jobs to whoever, and however. Is there and start and end?
Just because membership monies may way more in favor of vinyl and t-shirt print shops whom just entered the industry, doesn't mean ISA should take the side to think that our "trade"...i did say "trade"... is no longer a trade and anyone with no experience should just be able to cut in line, take a short cut and decide one day, "Oh...I feel like I should start selling and installing large electric sign structures"
I thought the idea of starting or having an association for a trade was to preserve it's heritage and traditions to keep it as a trade where you earn your way in and up, not buy your way in. Educate it from time to time.
Where is the seminars in education for book balancing for payments to distributors and subcontractors? Abiding by the law? Making sure that what ever contracts your executing in states you're even licensed to do so, and abiding by those licensing laws?
I've seen a "report" unlicensed activity programs from time to time and announcements. But what about reporting National Sign, and or National Service providers whom don't even have a contractors license in that state that their providing service in and on the backs of licensed contractors in that state? Their breaking the law, and their breaking the chain of accountability when it comes to contractors license laws, where the consumer suffers. The consumer needs to be protected, and so does the subcontractor who is illegally being subcontracted out by an illegal primary contractor who doesn't even have a license in that state nor understand it's laws.
Number #2 should be Preserving our "trade" and continue to uphold that high standard that requires an individual to go through the proper channels, and NOT continuing to to bastardize it by turning it into a commodity
But hey, ISA has a golf game at their expo this year....again. Wonder if they can do a buddy team thing this year and pair up a payer, along with the payees. Some pairs would love each other depending on who, some......just might be choking the other on out on the green.
My Tuesday thoughts.