Harbinger and Gate Petroleum have quite a few things in common – both companies were founded in Jacksonville, they are family-run businesses and they have worked together for 30 years. What started as a sign for a single location – a tennis club – has grown to managing the signage program for Gate's Southern Division, comprised of c-store and gasoline stations.
"The partnership has been successful because we've always delivered high-quality signage at competitive pricing," explained Jerry Johnson, Harbinger sales representative who has worked with Gate Petroleum from the beginning and continues to devote his part-time day solely to the account. "As well, Gate has always been very receptive to our recommendations."
One example is Harbinger's recommendation that Gate Petroleum switch to using LEDs. Therefore, two years ago Gate decided to make the change. LEDs are now used in all new locations. Harbinger also is retrofitting existing signs with LEDs and upgrading Gate to electronic gas price signs.
"The low maintenance and energy cost savings of LEDs really convinced Gate to try the new technology. Also, eliminating the need for employees to go outside to change gas prices was appealing," Johnson explained.
Today, the signage program for Gate consists of electronic gas price signs, fascia signs, pylon signs and various interior signs, including the branded Beer Igloo sign.
The Caribbean Bottling Company in Nassau, Bahamas is the market leader for non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages. Harbinger manufactured a new exterior 5-feet by 4-feet Coca-Cola brand wall sign for the company featuring energy-efficient LED illumination and Earth-friendly low-VOC paints. The sign met the stringent requirements of The Coca-Cola Company regarding its Coca-Cola brand, including color, scale and size.
The world’s largest individual golf retailer, Edwin Watts Golf, trusts Harbinger with its national, multi-location signage program. For eight years, this successful partnership has grown along with both companies. Today, Harbinger manages Edwin Watts Golf’s signage program for more than 75 locations, including new, converted and updated locations.
“We have created a ‘one-touch’ program for Edwin Watts Golf. They contact the dedicated Harbinger project manager to initiate any required signage service and we seamlessly manage the surveys, permitting, fabrication, installation and servicing of any sign at all locations,” explained Steve Williams, president of Harbinger.
The signage program currently involves the logo and letters on the exterior of the locations, and decorative window and interior imaging solutions to maximize the brand at retail.
For color consistency in the green and white logo and lettering, Harbinger converted Edwin Watts Golf signs from paint to translucent vinyl films, all applied first surface for both cabinet and channel letter signs. To stay “green” in other ways, all new signs use LED illumination, reducing Edwin Watts Golf’s carbon footprint, saving the company up to 70 percent on sign operating costs, and providing more reliable, consistent luminosity.
To enhance Edwin Watts Golf’s brand and seasonal promotions, Harbinger provides full digital window prints in an array of motifs. The prints are created on a 3M medium-adhesive product that allows them to be removed without leaving an adhesive residue on the windows. Harbinger also is working with Edwin Watts Golf on virtually permanent interior prints that can be applied to both treated and untreated drywall substrates, and can be fully removed without leaving any adhesive residue.
“Edwin Watts is the most trusted retailer in golf because of our employees’ knowledge of the golf industry and their commitment to customer service,” said Therese Grossman, director of construction for Edwin Watts Golf. “We expect the same of our partners. Harbinger is exactly that in the sign industry -- trusted, knowledgeable and customer-centric.”
InMotion Entertainment, the country’s largest airport retailer of electronics and entertainment with nearly 60 convenient locations, has trusted Harbinger with its signage fabrication for more than seven years.
As part of the ongoing program, Harbinger fabricated a variety of standard-size storefront signs that fit a majority of InMotion’s retail locations. For those storefronts where standard just doesn’t fit, Harbinger creates custom signs. And, to optimize the storefront space at the retailer’s airport locations, Harbinger has produced 10-inch round dimensional logos, low-profile illuminated and non-illuminated blade signs, and interior header panels.
All of InMotion’s signage is designed to allow easy access to internal components for efficient maintenance. Also, the signs feature environmentally friendly, low VOC paints and use long-lasting LED lights, which also reduce long-term maintenance needs and are more energy efficient.
One of our national convenience store clients is reducing its carbon footprint and environmental impact is by switching to LED lighting. In 2010, Harbinger was retained to retrofit the signage in more than 1,750 locations nationwide – and to do it within the year.
In addition to researching and developing a LED lighting solution, Harbinger fine-tuned its project management process to ensure support of hundreds of retrofits simultaneously in varying stages. On average, Harbinger completes 230 retrofit installs for this client per month. Through Harbinger’s national network of local installers, the project is rolling out state-by-state.
Each retrofit is custom fit per location. The process begins with an on-site survey of the sign cabinet at the store location. Even though the client often has standard-size cabinets, the particular size must be verified. Back at the manufacturing facility, Harbinger cuts the Q Strips, wire and necessary parts to size, adds the LED lights to the strip and connects the power supply. The fully assembled lighting kits are then packaged and shipped out to the installer with precise installation instructions created by Harbinger. The instructions include both written steps and graphic depictions to ensure the on-site retrofit is implemented correctly and efficiently.
Harbinger has completed more than 75 percent of the installs to date, with each install being on time or ahead of schedule. In addition to staying on schedule, our client is pleased to start reducing its energy costs per sign by up to 80 percent with consistently lit brand identification signs.