Are you looking for dynamic message signs? Dynamic message signs are critical for communicating with drivers on the roads, so that everyone stays safe. Since the dynamic message signs provider you use will be responsible for installation and ongoing support of your dynamic message signs, it is important that you put forth the due diligence while choosing a provider.
To help you do that, we’ve put together a list of a few important factors to look for in a variable message signs provider.
Five Important Factors for Finding the Right Dynamic Message Signs Provider
If the MUTCD signs your area uses failed suddenly, the implications could be disastrous. To ensure the safety of everyone on the roadways, there are extensive regulations that manufacturers of grid powered dynamic message signs and lane control signs must comply with. These compliance standards involve:
- Safety in any extreme environmental conditions you could be subject to.
- Sturdy sign construction that is up to the industry standard for best practices.
- Reliable interfaces between the sign and controller.
- Proper display properties.
- Functional control cabinet.
- Availability of adequate power requirements.
- A system of ongoing performance monitoring and alerts in the case of failure in place.
You should make sure that the sign provider you use is up to date on all of the compliance and certification standards as set forth by the Department of Transportation in your area. Checking on compliance and certification will help guarantee that the equipment you use is functional, reliable, safe, and well maintained.
Your sign provider will cover the hardware, but you need to make sure it integrates into the rest of your software systems and all components play well together. Most variable sign manufacturers use software that is compliant with NTCIP standards, which the rest of your software suite likely abides by. In most cases, this means that your sign hardware will jive with your software, but it is something you want to double check before you get in too deep to turn around.
It’s a good idea while you are investigating options to require real time testing of the signs with the system you have in place, to ensure they are compatible.
- Customer Service.
Your dynamic sign project likely involves a lot of moving pieces. The only way your project will be successful is if all of the people who control each component communicate and work together well. Since your dynamic message sign manufacturer is one of the biggest contributors to the project, their communication and customer services skills are a critical factor in a successful project.
Before choosing a provider, call several different times and ask several questions each time. Pay attention to more than just the answers to the questions. You want to make sure you get consistent answers across the board, no matter who you talk to. You want to make sure that the sign provider is eager to answer your questions and to educate you one the product they offer. You want to make sure that your calls are returned promptly, and that you have an account manager who knows the details of your project. If you have to leave a message and wait several days for a call back, or get routed to a call center across the country, you should keep looking.
Dynamic message signs are somewhat of a niche market. There aren’t a lot of providers, and so you shouldn’t have any trouble tracking down references from other clients. You’ll probably already know of other companies who have great experiences with any specific sign provider. If the sign maker you’re considering doesn’t have a list of references, and if none of your counterparts in the business have worked with the company, you’ll be taking a big risk using them. A good sign provider should have a trail of successful projects behind them to support their work.
- Innovative Technology
Technology rapidly changes in any industry, and the dynamic sign market is no exception. Variable sign manufacturers are constantly offering new features with their products, from responsive systems, to energy efficient products. If the provider you use is stuck in the past with their product, you could really miss out on features that would improve your operations.
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