Sign of the Times: Local Business Adapts During Pandemic

Local sign company starts making sneeze guards for businesses

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Call it a sign of the times.

A San Diego-based company has changed its business model to remain productive during the coronavirus pandemic.

Signtech has been making signs for businesses nationwide for decades. Their long list of clients includes Wells Fargo, Jack in the Box, In-n-Out, and North Island Credit Union. However, Signtech executives sent the office staff home a week before the Governor of California announced the stay-at-home order.  That left only the folks on the production room floor at work.

“It’s been pretty crazy,” said Signtech account executive Ward Lannom. “I don’t think anybody expected this to happen to the extent that it did.”

Signtech’s business turned a corner when Lannom got a request from one of his clients, North Island Credit Union. The bank asked Lannom if Signtech could make sneeze guards for their bank tellers.

“You go where times take you and if this is where we’re at right now, then this is what we’re going to produce,” he said while standing behind three of the designs Signtech created in only a few days.

“Everybody jumped right on board,” he added. “Williams-Sonoma is looking at 3,000. Wells Fargo came in with 21,000 of these.”

Lannom said the sneeze guards were designed to be to come down when the pandemic ended and go back up if it returned or during flu season.

“I think these are going to be the norm now.”

Lannom said several of Signtech’s clients asked if they could build hand sanitizer stands because the stands are on back-order with the traditional manufacturers. He pointed to a wrapped bundle of dozens of hand sanitizer stands that were ready to be delivered.

Lannom said Signtech has never built sneeze guards, hand sanitizer stands, or non-slip social distancing floor decals until the pandemic. However, as the sign business dipped, the new products have allowed Signtech to stay open and preserve its entire staff.

“Anything we can do to protect our clients, their employees and basically help the city out, we’re on board,” Lannom said.

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