Harbinger, a national sign and lighting firm that specializes in fabrication, value engineering and project management, has hired Don Nagel as vice president, west region. Nagel has more than 20 years experience in national sales, with more than half of that in the sign industry.
In this role, Nagel is responsible for new business initiatives including developing national accounts and establishing an office in Dallas, where he currently resides, to increase the company’s presence in the western region. His location also enables closer ties to one of Harbinger’s business alliance companies, Dallas-based FutureMedia Displays.
“Don’s sales expertise and in-depth knowledge in the sign industry is a real asset to our company as we continue to expand our client base nationwide and increasingly serve multi-location c-store, foodservice and retail customers,” said Steve Williams, president of Harbinger.
Most recently, Nagel served as director of sales and marketing for the non-profit organization Citizens Development Center. Prior to that he held various roles throughout his career with General Sign Company in Missouri, Dallas-based Suntec Industries, and Mighty Equipment Company and Allen Displays in Nashville, Tenn.
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.
Do all your vendors or suppliers use Lean principles? This manufacturing process focuses on eliminating waste, both in materials and time, and has a ripple effect to businesses of all types, even non-manufacturing ones. Harbinger implemented Lean techniques nearly three years ago, and the payoff for its clients has been significant.
The turnaround time to make a custom sign (from taking the order to finishing production) has been reduced from 30 days to nine. Also, Harbinger has experienced labor cost savings, which enabled the company to keep its prices steady despite the economic downturn.
“Adopting Lean principles made it possible for Harbinger to ramp-up production and sales,” Steve Williams explained. “We are able to efficiently fabricate a large number of high-quality signs even quicker than before, meaning better service and better signs for our clients.”
Lean manufacturing is a mind-set and a culture. It’s about breaking down the steps of a business’ operations and analyzing each one for errors, inefficiencies, delays and wasted materials. For example, Harbinger previously had a large two-story structure in the middle of its production floor so the foreman could have a “bird’s eye” view of the manufacturing. However every time workers needed to provide paperwork to the foreman, they had to climb up a 13-step flight of stairs. Due to Lean principles, Harbinger decided to remove the structure and place the foreman’s desk on the floor. This resulted in more space for production and an annual savings of up to $37,000 in labor costs by reducing the “walking around” time.
Harbinger also has implemented one-piece flow manufacturing, value stream mapping, and heijunka. The company is a member of the Jacksonville Lean Consortium, comprised of nearly 50 companies, government agencies and universities that share best practices in Lean.
Quality Sign Company, a national sign manufacturing company serving some of the nation’s most recognizable multi-location brands, has a new image and name -- Harbinger. Meaning “sign of the future,” Harbinger reflects the company’s rich, 48-year-history while establishing a new brand identity system to better express its forward-thinking approach.
“As we’ve continued to grow and expand nationally, we wanted a name that showcases our commitment to innovative, lasting and cost-effective solutions,” said Steve Williams, president of Harbinger. “Our new name promises what our company has always stood for—a more intelligent signage program from a proven organization.”
Harbinger has launched a new website to coincide with the rebranding. The site features advanced navigation and speed, an enhanced portfolio gallery and detailed information on Harbinger’s expertise, including environmentally friendly signage and lighting, multi-location signage programs and custom large-scale sign fabrication.
Environmentally friendly LED lighting is available in all of Harbinger’s signage, and the company is a leader in the creation of double-faced, LED-illuminated pylon signs. Harbinger was the first company to implement LEDs in these types of signs, which are most commonly used by convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants. Recently, they worked with longtime client, 7-Eleven, to create green LED signage for all the convenience store chain’s new, standard locations across the country. The use of LED lights in these signs will mean significant reductions in carbon footprints and an estimated 60 to 80 percent in energy costs. Harbinger also uses low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and provides complimentary energy audits.
Harbinger specializes in multi-location signage, creating products that remain true to a customer’s design standards while also differentiating them from competition. This is achieved through in-depth consultation, planning and coordination with the customer. These efforts are supported by Harbinger’s nationwide service network. The company is licensed to operate in all states and provides efficient installation and brand consistency on every site.
The sign manufacturer also has extensive experience in custom, large-scale sign fabrication. They have worked with brands like Pepsi to produce creative and compelling, single-location signage, such as a12-foot-tall Pepsi bottle and corresponding 16-foot-diameter rotating sphere, used in Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Williams, an accomplished artist, anticipates that custom fabrication projects will continue to be a focus for Harbinger.
“As large-scale art fabricators across the country are, unfortunately, closing their doors, there are fewer choices for companies seeking customized art and architectural fabrication,” Williams said. “We will continue to meet the complex needs of this market by marrying artistic expertise with innovative design engineering and manufacturing techniques.”
Though “quality” has been removed from the company name, it remains a key principal of Harbinger. Harbinger uses the highest quality materials to create products that last. This includes high-quality vinyl, high-impact acrylic paints to keep colors bright, and seamless fabrication for strength and durability.