Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Meet Kay, Office & Accounting Manager

DisplayStar, Complex & Multi-Faceted
Kay’s driving motivation is to come into work every day and balance the books. Of course, the fun is in the work to get the books to balance. DisplayStar is still growing—but with our customer service, design and production all under one roof we are already a complex, multi-faceted company.

Kay’s day consists of: opening mail, tracking expenses, paying vendors, purchasing equipment, handling insurance, ordering supplies and collecting past receivables. Along the way, every figure is entered into QuickBooks then checked and double-checked until every amount balances down to the penny. At last, the world is in order. There is peace in the universe.

Kay shares her passion for her Honda motorcycle with her granddaughters, Isabella, 5 & Emelia, 3.
The girls, with cowboy boots on, are eager to ride along.

Thanks to Kay, there is peace in the DisplayStar universe.
Taking Care of Us
However, as in math, there is always another equation to balance the first equation. Written in the margins of Kay’s job description, is the other side of her responsibilities which, spoken plainly, is taking care of us: An intelligent, artistic, colorful, mischief-making group. So she sets her course to keep the coffee brewing and makes sure we have water, pens, paper, paychecks, holiday and birthday treats: the "real" reasons we show up for work each day.

Kay has 40+ years of experience as a bookkeeper/accounting person. She joined DisplayStar five years ago and was the first to take a crack at honing the administrative side of the business which included setting up the office, organizing the books and creating filing systems.

Respectful, Courteous, Expedient
Kay, out having fun with her granddaughters,
Nevaeha, 10 & Isabella, 5.
For Kay to be great at her job, she practices treating others the way she would like to be treated with courteous and expedient service. “I love the people I work with and the customers and vendors. I enjoy interacting with them all.” Furthermore, “DisplayStar is unique because we really do live up to our mission statement: to provide quality products and personal customer service.”
Sometimes, if there is a difficult customer service issue, Kay is asked to step in to troubleshoot and provide creative solutions. “Coming in as a third party gives you the advantage of seeing the situation with fresh perspective for both parties. I ask for respect, but I am willing to go out of my way to amicably resolve an issue.”

In addition, Kay really appreciates the ample stability and resources that DisplayStar provides for her to do her job well. “Terry is a great boss who makes everything accessible.  I thought there was something really special about this place and I haven’t looked back since.”
One of Kay's favorite displays is the Igniter Light Box because 
the colors "pop."  The light box above brightens DisplayStar's reception area.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Meet Heather, Lead Graphic Artist & Project Manager

Creativity & Outstanding Customer Service
After four years studying Graphic Design in college, Heather has been working in the print industry as a Graphics Technician since 1999. In her five years at DisplayStar, she has quickly advanced to the position of Project Manager, not only because of her creativity, but most importantly, her ability to provide outstanding customer service. Heather’s driving motivation is the great satisfaction she receives in “solving problems and getting orders correct for clients. Learning constantly keeps this job interesting.”

Communication: Most Important Aspect
Heather’s top priority is to help customers identify how to best showcase their products and meet trade show objectives. It is not enough to just catch the show-goer’s attention; the display must engage and invite her to spend time in the booth. Heather explains,
Heather (on the left) gets creative inspiration
 at the Exhibitor Trade Show.
“We offer a variety of quality, state-of-the-art displays. They're made with the latest technology and materials resulting in superior durability, affordability and portability. In addition to having an in depth knowledge of our products, the first step is to really listen and understand the client’s needs.”

“Communication is the most important aspect. Once you have established a dialogue—everything else runs smoothly. I have learned the hard way to ask a lot of questions from the initial contact to the final delivery of the product. It is our responsibility to ensure that everything goes well.”

“Once we know what they want, we direct them to the proper template, resolution, coloring, etc. We strive to get proofs back to customers as quickly as possible. If there are problems with a file, I will do my best to make any adjustments. Once I get the proof back, I keep the client updated with on-going progress reports and help them find the most economical and fastest means to get it shipped.”

Job Satisfaction: Providing Design Solutions
Heather’s goal is to provide DisplayStar’s clients with the best possible design solutions and products suited to their needs. Heather adds,

“We understand the pressure our client’s face trying to make the right first impression. There really are no second chances. Recently, it was very satisfying to help a client we had been doing business with for many years. He had called to get pricing on new panels for his Curved Pop-Up booth. I mentioned a newer style fabric display because he was interested in learning about the many new products we had added to our website. In the end, the client decided on a 20 foot Hybrid Modular System that came out great.”

Successful Display for CRMLS
CRMLS provides access to the most comprehensive, low-cost database for real estate professionals throughout California. Eliminating the need to join multiple MLSs, CRMLS offers real estate professionals authority and high visibility in a continually evolving, highly-competitive industry.

20 Foot Timberline Wave Top - Custom Configuration with Monitor Display Hardware

The Timberline accommodates the large graphic used to illustrate the benefits of the CRMLS database 
as it connects various real estate agents throughout California.

DisplayStar's Owner Comments
“At just under 8 feet tall and 20 feet long, the Timberline’s commanding size alone makes it a great choice for maximum trade show visibility,” says Terry Neidermeyer, President of DisplayStar. “In addition, the large fabric panels provide enough space for the graphics, which are the key to illustrating the features and benefits of CRMLS’ database. It is not uncommon for displayers to overlook that the branding and graphics must explain the product. Also, the high resolution dye-sub printing is ideal for reproducing the graphic’s vibrant colors, detailed text and complex tones of photographic images.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Meet Kyle, Vice President of Operations

From Operating First Printer to Overseeing Operations
A graduate of Oregon State University with a dual degree in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering—Kyle started at DisplayStar in 2006 operating the first printer and developing finishing processes.  Since then he has learned to dial in color profiles for all the printers, been involved in sewing techniques for different products, and taught finishing and graphic mounting skills to new employees.

Now as VP of Operations, Kyle oversees all the day-to-day operations of the printing, sewing and display assembly.  He works with all the customer service, graphic artists and production teams.  It’s a lot like directing traffic on the 405. 

Design & Production Under One Roof
"Nowadays, it is a rarity to have design and production under one roof. We are really proud to be located in Beaverton, Oregon. This past year, we have tripled our square footage to accommodate the investment we have made in large format printers and sewing machines including a new automated sewing system for silicone edge graphics."

With his sons Braden (2) & Nathan (5), Kyle oversees
the day-to-day operations of sand castle building.
"DisplayStar is unique because we have the capacity to get big jobs done in a timely manner, yet we are small enough to get to know our customers and their needs on an individual basis. Our mission is to do what is best for our customers. We have the expertise to spot potential problems and we work with the customer to find solutions. By bringing everything in-house, we have better quality control."

“It’s an exciting and fast-paced industry. I really enjoy the challenge of keeping up. You never know what’s next. Typically, displays feature a company’s latest innovation so it’s fascinating to see their ideas coming through production. In addition, displays themselves are rapidly evolving with new products and materials every day. To think it was not that long ago when displays were men in curtained booths with hand-lettered signs on tripods. I appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to travel abroad to ensure quality products from our suppliers and participate in creating new products. I’m constantly reviewing new materials and evaluating new and improved ways to produce our products.”

Displays Feature a Company's Latest Innovations

10 Ft. Curved Pop-Up Display Features Verifacto's New Enterprise Cloud Application for Lienholders

Teamwork Begins with the Morning Meeting
Kyle’s driving motivation is to meet the customer’s tight deadlines with high quality products.  Every morning, he co-spearheads with the production manager, a production meeting to review all projects.  It’s an opportunity for everyone to get together and cast a safety net for the customer.  This way nothing is in danger of slipping through the cracks, and the team troubleshoots any foreseen problems with workflow, deadlines, and logistics, for example.

Although sometimes difficult to break from a busy schedule (note Justin, Display Staging Manager, at the door),
the morning meeting is an opportunity to troubleshoot any problems with workflow, deadlines and logistics.

Once the artwork has been approved, the production process begins by setting a ship date and getting the work into the appropriate print queues depending on the type of material.  For fabric, DisplayStar uses their own signature printing process on Mamaki dye-sublimation printers.  The artwork is printed on paper then transferred to fabric using heat and pressure to permanently infuse the graphics into the fabric.  The result is the most stunning, vibrant colors and sharp contrast with high resolution HD 1080.  It is the best resource for reproducing the fine detail and complex tones of any photographic image.

Continuous Inspection Ensures Top Quality
During printing, all graphics—fabric, vinyl and laminated—are continuously inspected for defects. The final production steps vary depending on the type of material.  For fabric, it’s sewing; for vinyl banners, it’s cutting and mounting; and for the laminated booth graphics, it’s cutting and adding the magnets and header/kicker strips.  For final inspection, the display is set up.  Once approved, it is photographed, packed then shipped.

An exciting day: Kyle and his wife, Elizabeth, share the spotlight
with their son, Nathan, at his preschool graduation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Customer Case Study: Armstrong World Industries

Armstrong's colorful and detailed ceiling system display.

"Our [Armstrong's] display was used for a number of regional ceiling and wall trade shows across the U.S. It was very effective and the sales reps liked how convenient it was to set-up.  They were also impressed with the print quality of the colors and photos."          ~Armstrong Ceiling Products

For over 150 years, Armstrong World Industries has been inspiring great spaces.

AWI is a global, multi-billion dollar corporation headquartered in Lancaster, PA.  They are a leader in the design and manufacturer of floors and ceilings for residential and commercial applications.

Making their deliveries with a wheelbarrow, Armstrong Industries began in a tiny, two-man, cork-cutting shop.  Early on, the company began to find new uses for cork.  Progressing logically, corkboard led to fiberboard, which led to ceiling board, which led eventually to linoleum boards.

The Armstrong formula for success became clear:  stick to your core business and your core values but adapt to the changing demands of your customers.

In 2016, Armstrong World Industries will separate into two industry-leading public corporations:  Armstrong Building Products and Armstrong Flooring.  Armstrong Building Products will continue providing suspended ceiling solutions for use in renovation and new construction.

University of Rhode Island Lecture Hall, Armstrong Ultima acoustical ceiling tile installment.

Intex Expo 2015
Long Beach Convention Center showcasing the Wyland Whaling Wall.

This past April, Armstrong Ceiling Systems exhibited at the Intex Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center.  Managed by the Association of the Wall & Ceiling Industry (AWCI) and co-sponsored by the Ceilings & Interior Systems Construction Association (CISCA), the Intex Expo is the premier interior/exterior commercial construction trade show. 

The objective of AWCI is to help its 2,000 members operate a successful business.  Their memberships include wall and ceiling contractors, product suppliers and manufacturers.

The expo allows attendees to 1) meet decision makers in the wall and ceiling industry, 2) take home the newest industry solutions created by the latest products and service offerings, and 3) provide professional development such as seminars in recruiting, teamwork and project management. 

For added brand name exposure on show floor signage, website and collateral materials, Armstrong elected to be a silver level sponsor.

Ultima Health Zone Ceilings
One of the many products that Armstrong chose to feature in its exhibition show season is its family of new acoustic ceiling products, the Ultima Health Zone Ceilings.  Powered by innovation, Armstrong was led to the development of acoustic ceiling products that can improve learning in schools and speed healing in hospitals.

These ceilings now offer enhanced sound absorption and sound blocking performance to address the growing concern over noise control and speech privacy in healthcare settings.

Armstrong installment of Ultima Acoustic Ceiling at St. Christopher's Hospital Lounge/Reception Area in Philadelphia, PA.

Armstrong Ceiling System Display:  10 Ft. Star Fabric
Armstrong's colorful and detailed ceiling system display.

Armstrong chose for their exhibit a 10 ft. Star Fabric Curved Display.  “The Star Fabric was a great choice for presenting a lot of product information along with bright colors, photographs and detailed text,” said Terry Neidermeyer, President of DisplayStar. 

“For starters, the Star Fabric’s tension fabric creates an ideal taunt surface for the graphics.  By hooking the fabric to the frame, when the frame is expanded, the tension fabric unfolds into a drum-tight, smooth surface.”

Top down view of the Curved Star Fabric Expansion System.

Furthermore, the graphic image was produced with DisplayStar’s signature dye-sublimation process which uses heat and pressure to permanently infuse graphics and fabric.  The HD 1080 resolution produces the most stunning, vibrant colors and the fine detail and complex tones of photographic images on soft touch fabric.  The result is a seamless merge of both color and texture that can be as large as 100 inches wide by 200 feet long.  “Perfect for Armstrong’s 10 ft. long display,” Neidermeyer continued.

The Star Fabric fits into medium travel case with wheels.
“We work with many large companies, such as Armstrong, who exhibit in their industry many times within a season.  The experience resembles that of a traveling road show.  Our lightweight, portable, easy-to-set-up displays are made to accommodate the demands of that situation and environment.  No tools are required, and at the end of the show, the Star Fabric easily collapses and fits into its own case."

“We are very pleased that we were able to accommodate Armstrong with the best product for their needs.”

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet Jennifer--A DisplayStar Customer Service Superstar!

Jennifer, Customer Service Manager
"The Reassuring Voice"

Only One Chance to Make Great First Impression
As every marketing professional knowstrade show success starts with a well thought-out plan and ends with flawless execution. There are no second chances in making that first impression.  No matter how frustrated you may feel with the endless preparation: Coordinating booth design and production, registration, events, labor—all the way down to making sure the booth gets its daily vacuum. You still only get one chance. 

At the Other End of Your Madness
Jennifer is the reassuring, and knowledgeable voice on the other end of your madness that will get your show up and running with flawless execution.  Many a repeat customer has come to expect that upbeat, confident voice that will walk them through the process from beginning to end. There is no shame in being a people-person.  Someone we need more of in our fast-paced, virtual world where all too often we feel overlooked and insignificant. 

Customers agree: 
“Jennifer, thank you so much for all your hard work to make our show happen. We need more people like you in this world—patient, gracious and thoughtful with a "can-do" attitude.”
“Jennifer, thank you! I have to say I was very impressed when I called in on Friday night expecting a machine and actually got a human being! Your company gets five stars in my book. . .”
“Jennifer, you walk on water!”

"Listen, listen, listen"
Jennifer's Mantra: Provide Solutions
Jennifer has 15 years of experience working closely with customers.  Her last four years have been with DisplayStar. Her mantra (which sounds so simple, yet so hard to achieve): “Patience, patience, patience. Listen, listen, listen—calmly help the callers through their problems and provide solutions that will work for them, work for their customers and work for DisplayStar.” 

Build Display to Fit Client's Needs
Some clients know exactly what they want and order by product number.  But many have limited trade show experience—and welcome the opportunity to learn.  They really want to make sure their booth commands maximum visibility.  And, most often, you are not just buying a display; you are building it to fit your needs.  There are a lot of interchangeable components—panels, canopies, banner stands, etc.—adding up to an infinite variety of options. 

Premium Retractable Banner Stand Wall with Vinyl Graphics

Questions Jennifer May Ask
"What are your priorities?"
"If it’s just you and you’re travelling to a lot of shows, you might consider a lightweight and portable display like a retractable banner stand."

8 ft. Pop-Up Table Top

"If you need something bigger, but still lightweight and easy to set-up—how about 8 foot Pop-Up?"

Igniter Freestanding Light Box

"If you really want to draw attention to your new line? Have you considered an Igniter Light Box? Our light boxes hold dye-sub printed graphics which are very high resolution with brilliant colors.”

Victory Case Counter

"Don't forget the accessories.  Table throws, counters and literature stands can really make a booth POP."

In conclusion, end your frustration.

Call DisplayStar to help you make your next trade show a huge success.

Check back soon to learn more about DisplayStar's Superstars that are ready to assist you.