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当前位置:首页 > 杂志 > 2017年9月杂志——案例:MRI标识制造商的成功历程

2017年9月杂志——案例:MRI标识制造商的成功历程

2017-11-27

Media Resources International (MRI), now celebrating its 50th anniversary, has evolved significantly throughout the years under the guidance of Keith Edwards, who is currently its co-owner and chief operating officer (COO). His older brother Grant registered the company as Grant Sign Services back in 1966 and got it up and running in 1967, specializing in sign installation and maintenance. Edwards joined a few years later, in 1972, and eventually became general manager (GM) in 1990 after his brother got out of the business.

目前MRI标识制造商正在庆祝成立五十周年,Keith Edwards公司的所属人和首席运营官的指导下,公司一直在向前发展。1966Keith Edwards的哥哥Grant将该公司注册为Grant标识服务公司,并于1967正式运行,专门从事标识的安装和维护工作。1972Keith Edwards加入公司,并在他的兄弟离职后于1990年成为公司的总经理。

Now, MRI not only installs and maintains signs, but also designs, prints and fabricates components and systems that are used in various aspects of the sign industry.

现在,MRI标识制造商不仅从事标识的安装和维护,还兼备设计、图像打印和制造用于标识行业的各个方面。

“We’ve come a long way,” says Edwards, “from a small installation company of three people in 1967 to a national company with more than 180 employees today.”

Keith Edwards说:“我们已经走了很长的一段路,从1967年的三个小型标识安装公司,到今天拥有180多名员工的全国性的公司。”

Investing in growth

投资增长


When Grant exited the business, he sold it to Robert J. Deluce, now best-known as president and CEO of Porter Airlines.

当Grant离开公司时,他将股份卖给了Robert J. Deluce,Robert J. Deluce是现任波音航空总裁兼首席执行官。

“I worked for Bob as GM for 10 years and learned a lot,” says Edwards, “but he didn’t want to invest in the further growth of the company. By late 1999, I decided I wanted to buy it back. I worked with two silent partners to help finance the deal and then we really ramped up the business. In our first year, we went from having about 13 employees to 35, bought new equipment and more than doubled our sales. It was mainly a matter of getting additional work from our existing customers, since now we had the capacity to do so.”

Edwards说:“我曾做过10年通用汽车的工作,并且学到了很多东西,到1999年年底,我决定要把哥哥的公司买回来。有了这个想法后,我开始与两个伙伴合作,一起融资,开拓新的业务。在第一年,公司从13名员工增加到了35名,加上新设备的增添与应用,销售额翻了一番。直到现在,我们有能力从现有客户那里获得更多的工作。”

In addition to growing in scale, the company grew in the diversity of its products and services. By way of example, one of Edwards’ business partners, Steve Gallow, had a background in large-format printing and led an effort in 2003 and 2004 to expand MRI into that field. (The other silent partner was Cal Corneya, whose background was in out-of-home (OOH) advertising with MediaCom. He has since retired, selling his shares to Jeff Rushton.)

Edwards的业务合作伙伴Steve Gallow,在大幅面印刷领域有一定的资历。另一位合伙人是Cal Corneya,之前与MediaCom一起从事户外广告的工作,在他退休后,把自己的股票卖给了Jeff Rushton。在2003年,他们一起决定推出MRI品牌。直到现在,除了MRI标识制造商的规模不断扩大以外,公司的产品和服务也开始呈现多样化。

 

“Being an installation company, we used to receive graphics printed by other companies,” Edwards explains, “but if they were printed wrong or delivered late, we got blamed. So by printing them ourselves, we could fix any problems better and faster than before.”Under the oversight of Will Thomson, the fourth partner within the current ownership of MRI, a 15-person in-house team continues to print approximately 18,581 m2 (200,000 sf) of graphics per month. A large percentage of their work is for outdoor billboards, but they also print at higher resolutions—up to 1,440 dots per inch (DPI)—on acrylic, polycarbonates and glass, using both solvent-based and ultraviolet-curing (UV-curing) inkjet printers.

Edwards解释说:“作为一家安装公司,我们曾经将打印图形的工作外包给另外一家公司,但是,如果打印的工作出现了错误或延迟,我们就要承担相应的责任。因此,我们决定自己进行打印的工作,这样一来,可以迅速地发现问题,并及时地进行处理和修复。”在现任MRI第四个合作伙伴Will Thomson的监督下,一个15人的内部团队在完成打印18,581平方米的图形。这个团队大部分工作是制作户外广告牌,制作户外广告牌都是使用溶剂型固化UV打印机,能够以高分辨率打印每英寸1,440点(DPI)的亚克力、灯箱布和玻璃,效果非常好。

In 2005, MRI bought a manufacturer whose tri-vision signs 
it had previously installed and serviced. Rebranded as Rite 
Sign International, it became a highly successful division of 
the company.

2005年,MRI收购了专门安装和维修的三维标识制造商。

“We started making those signs here and got to 95 per cent market share in Canada,” says Edwards. “It was a great business 
for us.”

Edwards说:“从收购以后,我们开始制作标识,市场份额占加拿大所有的95%,这对我们来说是一件很棒的事情。”

A similar move into large-scale light-emitting diode (LED) displays involved a sales agreement and partnership with U.S.-based Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) in 2009 and the eventual acquisition of Hamilton Digital Designs (HDD), based in Burlington, Ont., in 2011.

早在2009年,MRI就与美国的Young Electric Sign Company签订了关于制作大型LED显示屏的合作协议,到了2011年,MRI收购了位于安大略省伯灵顿的数字设计公司。

“We started developing new LED systems after buying HDD, as then we had the financing and personnel to make it happen,” says Edwards. “We modified colour positioning to optimize the screens’ horizontal and vertical viewing angles, sourced more efficient and powerful LEDs and angled them downward to reduce the waste of light spillage upward. We may not be as big as Daktronics or Watchfire Signs, but we run head-to-head with them and about 60 per cent of our sales are in the U.S., where they’re based.”

Edwards说:“购买硬盘后,我们开始研发新的LED系统,由融资和专业人员共同来实现。我们做了一套色彩定位方案,以优化屏幕的水平和垂直视角。此外,我们采购了高效强大的LED,将其向下倾斜,以减少光的溢出。我们制作的标识可能不会像达科电子或Watchfire标识那么大,但我们销售额却占了美国市场的60%左右。”

Grant’s name stayed on the company during the first few years of its new co-ownership structure, but was soon no longer suitable for the growing mix of services and products.

随着公司的服务和产品不断扩大,Grant的名字很快就不再适合这个市场。

 

“Our divisions all had different names,” Edwards explains, “so we held a contest within the company to come up with one brand for everything we did. That was how we rebranded as MRI.”

Edwards说:“我们在公司内部举行了一场比赛,为我们所做的一切,设计一个品牌——这就是MRI名称的来源。”

Added dimensions

添加尺寸


MRI’s current mix of services includes large-format digital printing and the custom fabrication of large LED displays, such as scoreboards. The company’s clients include OOH firms, advertising agencies, real estate developers and arenas.

MRI目前的服务包括大幅面数字打印和定制制造大型LED显示屏。公司的客户包括OOH公司、广告代理、房地产开发商和竞技场等。

“Installation and maintenance are still a big part of what we do, comprising about 50 per cent of our overall business,” Edwards says, “then five per cent is printing and the other 45 per cent is digital LED billboards and displays, which are growing at a rapid rate.”

Edwards说:“安装和维护仍然是我们所做工作的重要组成部分,占整个业务的50%,另外5%和45%分别是打印和数字LED广告牌的工作,这两个业务的增长速度非常快。”

Over the past few years, MRI has also developed a reputation for the specialized fabrication and installation of large, three-dimensional (3-D) props for the OOH industry. In 2014, for example, Pattison Outdoor launched a Coca-Cola billboard in Vancouver and Toronto to coincide with the Winter Olympic Games 
in Sochi, Russia. Both billboards were updated with 
a tally of Team Canada’s medals.

在过去几年中,MRI为OOH行业专门制造和安装大型三维道具而闻名。例如,在2014年,Pattison Outdoor在温哥华和多伦多推出了可口可乐广告牌,在俄罗斯索契冬季奥运会上也呈现了一样的广告牌。

To accomplish this effect, MRI first printed the main 7.3 x 14.6-m (24 x 48-ft) billboard panel on flex material and attached a 6 x 6-m (20 x 20-ft) red maple leaf made of exterior-grade plywood with self-adhesive to the front, securing it with throughbolts. Then, the company’s crew added 0.9-m (3-ft) plywood Olympic medals—wrapped in gold, silver or bronze vinyl and decorated with blue flex ribbons—to the billboards to reflect Team Canada’s ongoing performance. Every morning, the installers would go to the site if any medals were won the day before and add them to the maple leaf. In total, Canada won 25 medals at those games.

为了做好这个广告牌,MRI首先在柔性材料上打印,广告牌面板的尺寸为7.3 x 14.6米(24 x 48英尺,并附上了一个6 x 6米(20 x 20英尺)的红色枫叶,胶合板自动粘合到前面,用通孔固定住;然后,该公司在广告牌中添加了0.9米(3英尺)的胶合板奥林匹克奖章,以金、银或青铜色的乙烯基来反映加拿大队的获奖情况,每天早上,安装人员将会去现场添加枫叶。加拿大在这些比赛中共获得25枚奖牌。

 

The project was a runner-up in the 2014 National Sign Competition’s OOH category, beaten only by a fellow MRI-fabricated ‘stunt’—a giant Mike’s Hard Lemonade can that was installed along Toronto’s Yonge Street in the summer of 2013.

该项目在2014年国家标识大赛的OOH类别中获得亚军,之后,在多伦多Yonge街都安装了这个标识。

More recently, the company developed a giant roulette wheel for Clear Channel Outdoor, advertising Fallsview Casino of Niagara Falls, Ont., to people passing by Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square.

最近,该公司为Clear Channel Outdoor开发了一个巨大的轮盘,多伦多Yonge-Dundas广场经过的人们都可以看到这个广告。

“Computer-aided design (CAD) technology has made this kind of work quicker and more affordable than it used to be,” says Edwards. “We’ve invested in more computer numerical control (CNC) cutters for working with foam, as we’ve been inundated with these types of projects and we still don’t have enough people to handle the demand. It’s a niche where we’ve done a great job at marketing.”

Edwards说:“计算机辅助设计技术使这种工作比以前更快、更经济了。我们投资了非常多的电脑数控切割机来处理发泡板,这是我们在营销方面做得很好的一个利基。”

“We’re good at creating custom digital billboards, but in the last 18 months, we’ve also seen more and more indoor LED display projects come along,” says Edwards. “They’ve quickly grown to represent about eight per cent of our work.

Edwards说:“我们擅长创建定制型数字广告牌,但是,在过去的18个月中,我们也看到越来越多的室内LED显示项目相继出现,所以我们很快就多出了约8%的工作量。”

A longer reach

新的延伸


In 2010, MRI’s headquarters (HQ) moved from a leased property in Mississauga, Ont., to a fully owned 5,574-m2 (60,000-sf) building in neighbouring Oakville. This centre of operations is also complemented by smaller facilities in Richmond, B.C., Edmonton and Calgary, along with sales offices throughout North America. And to back up its claim as Canada’s only national sign installation company, MRI operates more than 100 installation and service vehicles.

2010年,MRI总部从安大略省密西沙加转移到邻近Oakville的一个5,574平方米(60,000平方英尺)的建筑物。这个运营中心也是由Richmond、B.C.、埃德蒙顿和卡尔加里的小型设施,以及遍及北美的销售办事处所组成。

“Back in the 1970s when I joined the industry, large sign companies had their own trucks,” Edwards explains. “Nowadays, most of them have gotten out of the installation business. And OOH firms do not do their own maintenance. The costs of the vehicles have gone way up and you have to roll them over pretty quickly to keep your fleet viable. So we pride ourselves on taking on that work for the trade. We’re a partner to them, not a competitor.”

Edwards解释说:“回到20世纪70年代,当我刚刚加入行业时,发现大型标识制造商都有自己的卡车,而如今,大部分人已经摆脱了安装业务。车辆的成本在不断上升,你必须快速找到另一种提升业务增长的方式,以保持竞争力,所以我们一直在不断提升自己的优势,是作为他们的合作伙伴,而不是竞争对手。”

And in the LED display business, MRI’s reach extends not only throughout Canada and the U.S., but also through South America into markets like Peru and Argentina, where it has worked with local OOH firms.

而在LED的业务中,MRI的覆盖范围不仅遍及加拿大和美国,而且还遍及南美洲、秘鲁和阿根廷等市场。

Nevertheless, MRI remains committed to its roots in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). In 2015, the company won an Oakville Award for Business Excellence. It was named the town’s Large Business of the Year in recognition of its track record of growth, innovation and community activities.

MRI仍然致力于向更多地区发展,在2015年,该公司获得了奥克维尔商业卓越奖,被评为全年度优秀的大型企业。

“Having been with the company for 45 years and an owner with some great partners for 16 years,” Edwards says, “I’m truly proud of MRI and can say it is one of a kind in our industry. We’ve got a dedicated team of the best staff in the industry. We take care of each other and of our customers. Everything else just falls into place.”

Edwards说:“与公司合作了45年,合作伙伴保持了16年的情谊,我对MRI感到非常自豪,我们拥有业内最优秀的专业团队,照顾彼此,一起服务客户,将一切都落实到位。”

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