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Vendor vs partner...choose a sign company as a member of your team

Posted by Gary Baron on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 @ 12:44 PM

Brain researchers have definitive proof that working together in teams and collaborating onprojects actually makes us smarter asa species. The very act of solving problems, coming up with newideas and facing challenges causes our brains to grow. What all this science means is we should seek out ways to partner with others because we are better working together than we are apart.

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Topics: property managment signs, facility managers, franchise solutions, wayfinding signage systems

How to get long-term brand consistency in your signage

Posted by Gary Baron on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 @ 09:24 AM

Your company brand is one of your most potent assets as a business. If you leverage your brand asset well and execute your core mission with excellence, you will find success. Your signage is the visual manifestation of your brand and so, you should execute it with excellence so that it represents your brand to the outside world. 

Executing your brand strategy with excellence requires long-term consistency. Everything your company does should fit into your brand guidelines, even your signage. This is easier said than done, however, as companies run into several roadblocks in their efforts to maintain long-term brand consistency. Maintaining cohesive signage, though, is key to getting the most out of your signage budget.

In this step, we'll explore the common problems companies encounter in sticking to their brand guidelines and how to overcome those hurdles. 

Common Signage Hurdles
When it comes to executing your brand in your signage, companies encounter many of the same problems with maintaining consistency: outside influencers, unavoidable situations, and a lack of fidelity to guidelines. 

You have many outside influencers who want to have a say in your signage. These include facility managers who want to have their stamp on a building, vendors who think they know best and employees who act independently. 

Unavoidable situations also crop up regularly. Signs get damaged from weather or vandalism. A new city or county ordinance might require specific signage immediately. When these situations arise, urgency too often trumps brand guidelines. All of a sudden, fidelity to your branding strategy goes out the window. 

Putting Your Brand First
Despite these common hurdles, you can achieve long-term brand consistency in your signage by recognizing these problems and creating plans to address them before they happen. 

Start by identifying three key details for your signage:
  • Brand color — Pick limited and specific colors your signs can include.
  • Brand logos — Identify what versions of your brand's logos will go on signs.
  • And measurements — Determine the specific size of an array of signage so replacement signs and new signs measure the same. 

After you have identified these key details, you need to communicate them to all the stakeholders — your sign vendor, employees and others like building managers. Knowledge is power after all and many lapses in brand guidelines occur because people weren't aware of the guidelines in the first place.

You should also keep the circle of people who can make final decisions on signage small. When fewer people have the authority to order new and replacement signs, the likelihood of errors will decrease.

Execute your brand with excellence and your brand will work for you. Cohesive signage will help you achieve long-term brand consistency, get the most out of your signage budget and leverage this most valuable corporate asset.
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Topics: property managment signs, branding, hospital signage, wayfinding signs, wayfinding signage systems

Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation: does your signage pass inspection?

Posted by Gary Baron on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 @ 01:32 PM

The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care certifies ambulatory surgery centers in the United States. The AAAHC is always reviewing its standards and revising its standards, even adding new standards as they become required by the ever-changing health care field.

Whatever those standards are at any given time, your service center needs to meet them. Their surveyors include people from all walks of the health care field, including physicians, dentists, podiatrists, pharmacists, nurses and administrators. Based on how they decide, your institution is accredited for three years. However, if your center does not meet their standards, it will receive a deferral or denial of accreditation.

The AAAHC is all about meeting the highest-possible standards for patient care and safety. And so long as your organization meets the following criteria, it is ready for accreditation.

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Topics: wayfinding systems, wayfinding signs, wayfinding signage systems, ada compliant signs

Hospital facility managers - does your hospital signage meet regulations?

Posted by Gary Baron on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 @ 01:43 PM

As a hospital facility manager, you know that a hospital audit as the Joint Commission review is a critical time for your facility and for your patients. Depending on your state and locality, there are different laws and regulations that you need to meet when it comes to signage, not to mention all of the ADA signage regulations.

Make sure you are aware of the signage requirements that your hospital has in order to ensure that your next hospital audit is a successful one. Reliability is the key for any hospital and that starts with the signage. Here are the types of guidelines you need to know:

Federal & ADA hospital signage requirements

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes an extremely large list of ADA sign regulations. Not all of those regulations apply to hospitals but many do. In particular, section 6 covers regulations for medical care facilities. Sometimes, hospitals are granted exceptions to accommodate unique health services but even then there are critical steps that need to be taken in order to ensure patient satisfaction. Making sure that hallways, doors, entrances, exits and machines are properly noted and directions are posted on signage for all of them in accordance with the ADA is critical.

Common Hospital Signage Requirements

Almost every state requires that hospitals have signs notifying patients that the facility is licensed and in compliance with state laws in order to protect patient advocacy. Specific laws and mandates can apply to entire medical facilities or just to specific health service departments in a building or hospital. Because patient advocacy is such a major component of hospital signage, information about patients, their confidentiality, and the available services are another important part of hospital signage requirements. Signs that detail the rights and compensation for crime victims, interpreter availability, availability of nurse staff, and info on financial assistance are often required, if not expected.

Basic Guidelines & Wayfinding

Once you get past the laws, there are also expectations being laid out by your hospital and administrators. You want patients and guests to be able to find their way around easily and without issue. There should be signage in order to make that process as easy as possible for them.  Hospital wayfinding, using signs and landmarks to help first-time visitors navigate your facility without confusion, should be paramount in your efforts for patient satisfaction. Make sure your signs are clearly marked, cell phone policies are clear, waiting room directions are easy to read and understand and patient room content is understood. This is also where you can lean on digital signage to help make the patient and guest experience much easier.

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Topics: ada signage, wayfinding signage systems, joint commission

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