It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. And when it comes to sign installation, nothing could be truer. While we’ve always provided photographs to document progress and completion of our projects, these days, it’s even easier as we are all photographers with our cell phones in hand!
We believe that documentation with photographs is important not only for us, but also, more importantly, for our customer, because it augments our written documentation so well. Written documentation can be subjective, but photographs are able to provide objective visual records.
While there are many reasons that we value photographic documentation as a communication tool, here are six that we find particularly valuable:
· Communication tool: Many of our customers are national sign companies who do not have direct access to the sites we are working on. Our goal is to communicate on projects regularly so our customer is aware of its progress. And what better way to show them what is happening onsite than with photographs.
· Changes in site conditions: It is not uncommon to walk onsite to find conditions have changed from the original expectations or the original site survey, which can lead to potential issues with installation and/or product. Photographing the site from the moment we walk on can identify the unexpected and provide clear back up to our written documentation of the conditions from the start.
· Reasons for delays or changes in schedule: As a sign installation company, we are often one of the last trades on site. Trade stacking can cause delays at the scheduled install time. Trades in front of our crews often cause delays if they are running behind schedule—a common occurrence in construction. Photographs, in addition to our written logs can show our customers reasons for project delay.
· Manufacturing changes or defects: We can also show changes/delays in installation on site due to manufacturing changes, defects or damage of product. Photographs can identify these issues and provide visual back up to written documentation.
· Punch list: At the end of a project our photographs can provide a visual punch list of items needed to close out the project.
· Project completion: Photographs showing a completed project confirms that the sign is properly fastened, connected and wired, the sign is lighting properly, level and undamaged and the work area, sidewalks, parking lots, landscape and roof are clean and clear.
Sign installation is a crucial milestone on any project. Most often, it signals the home stretch of the project. By documenting our part of the project from start to finish, our goal is to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
But hey, is our job over at the end of the project? Not really! It’s really just a transition to the next stage of our job--sign maintenance!
Preventative and proactive maintenance and inspections are key to prolonging sign life and performance. And, not to worry, we’ll provide photo documentation for that stage too!