March '13

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What is the skill level for commercial wrap installers? ® C M Y CM Is there is target skill level and how do you train wrap installers to be even more proficient? Sergio DeSoto of The Dezynery is emphatic. "Yes!" he says. "In our industry, you can count the "A" level installers using your hands and toes. Even with a certificate of proficiency from a large [wrap film] company … this does not guarantee that the installer is a pro. The best thing to do is get three professional references and test them. Give them some blank vinyl and a vehicle door; look at the handle area, the trimming and the moldings. If the appearance is clean and this took less than an hour, they are top notch. If it's hacked up and took them three hours, I would pass them by." Jim Wheat of Pro Dezigns says, "Our installers are trained in house to meet our level of install standards as well as being Fellers-certified and endorsed by 3M, Avery, Oracal and Clear Focus window film. We also hold annual training that makes sure we are staying sharp and keeping up with the new materials, their characteristics and unique installation challenges." Matt Richart of Digital EFX Wraps tells us, "Over the years, we've discovered that finding a good installer is very difficult. Most shop owners will agree. Some of my best installers come from a painting background. These individuals are aware of the importance of prepping a vehicle and paying attention to detail. It also helps if an installer is somewhat artistic. The person doesn't need to be a designer, but he or she should have what we in the industry call 'an eye.' They should be able to tell naturally what looks right, wrong, level, centered, etc. "Training is very important. In addition to operating a successful vehicle wrap operation, we also conduct courses on how to market, design and install graphics properly. My business partner and I lead many of Roland's 'Born to Wrap Workshops,' which offer comprehensive, hands-on training for vehicle wrappers. Our students commonly ask how long it takes to become a qualified installer. We tell them it's not really the length of time that matters, but rather the number of wraps you do. The more repetition, the better you will become. Wrapping only a couple of vehicles a year won't allow you to get into a 'flow' … but once you have five or 10 under your belt, you'll feel more comfortable. Having confidence in yourself and your abilities is important in every aspect of the installation process." RE-March-2013.indd 55 MY CY CMY K March 2013 | Restyling 55 2/11/13 1:13 PM

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