Following the hub and spoke journey

For the next six months, we're going to be checking in with James Coetzer, Centre Manager at Signs Express (Twickenham & Battersea), as he and his team embark on the new Signs Express business model of 'hub and spoke' with their new 'spoke', Battersea.

Following the hub and spoke journey

Creating territory expansion opportunities, the model allows you to utilise your main centre as your ‘hub’, with satellite offices in neighbouring territories, creating further reach for sales opportunities and increased profitability. With established locations in 60+ territories, Signs Express is the UK and Ireland’s leading signs and graphics business, delivering bespoke signage and graphics solutions to customers large and small, across numerous industry sectors, creating a seamless experience from start to finish under a well-established brand. 

In 2021 the franchisor took ownership of the established Signs Express (Twickenham) franchise and it was at this point that James joined the team as Centre Manager. With a remit to drive the core business and adopt the ‘hub and spoke’ model, March 2023 saw the introduction of the centre’s first ‘spoke’, expanding their reach into neighbouring territory Battersea. As they embark on their next phase of expansion, we hear from James as to how the first few months have panned out and how the centre is performing:

“It’s been a great start to the year, busy, but great. There has been lots going on in terms of team expansion and development, trialling new systems, delivering large-scale projects, hosting a number of Discovery Days, the list goes on…

In terms of our Battersea ‘spoke’ expansion, we’re aware we’re going to be learning a lot on this journey as we adopt this model and refine it to create the ‘blueprint’ for others within the Signs Express network. March was a great month sales wise getting our first full trading month in the area off to a really strong start, with a positive April and slightly slower May, June is looking very promising and will exceed our forecast. We know we’re in early stages, but signs (excuse the pun!) are looking good and myself and the team are excited to see where this can take us.”

In line with sales expansion, James’ team has grown to match the workload coming through the door. Discussing his team and recruitment, James expands:

“We’re really lucky here to have such a fantastic team, they work incredibly hard and everyone’s completely flat out at the moment, so it’s really important to us that anyone joining the team needs to not only have the skills we’re looking for, but also fit in with our team culture. We’re currently recruiting for a new Signmaker/Installer to help us deliver our current workloads, so fingers crossed we’ll be welcoming someone new to the team soon!

We’re also very fortunate that within our team we’ve got a great cross-set of skills which enables us to deliver the needs of our customers. We’ve had a busy couple of years developing the team and refining working practices to allow us to work smarter. Every member of the team feels empowered in their role and strives to deliver the exceptional customer service that is at the heart of our core values. 

We also think that it’s essential to appreciate and acknowledge the excellent work our team deliver, so recognition of this is a must, and a nice team dinner out together every now and again allows us to show our appreciation and say thank you.”

With a stacked-out order book, we asked James to talk us through some of the most notable projects him and the team have worked on recently. “May has been crazy with our standard range of jobs, however it also saw us deliver our best ever recorded month for sales. We have just completed the first phase of a large multi-site rebrand project for business advisory and accountancy group Xeinadin, which has been hugely exciting for both myself and the team. Working with the team from Xeinadin over recent months, it was fantastic to commence the roll out which saw the vast majority of the 28 completed so far this year, falling into May. Due to the success of the first phase roll out and development of the relationship with Xeinadin, we are now planning the next phase of the rebrand with an additional 54 new sites to be completed by the end of the year. 

Another interesting and rewarding job which came in as a last-minute project from a client attending the 24 hour Le Mans race in France, saw us supply and fit partial vehicle graphics to a Porsche Cayman S (@Porsche911UK).” Which you can see in the main image of this article.

“Now in the middle of June, we’re busy with a project for The London Borough of Hounslow Council which will see us producing and installing the largest ever hoardings job we’ve ever done, with over 140 panels which will span close to 170m in length! Working in partnership with our Signs Express (N & N.E. Lincs) centre, it’s great that our extensive network allows us to deliver such large scale projects such as this.”

That’s it from James this month, as we leave him to battle through his work in progress, however we’re looking forward to seeing what the next month holds!

James Coetzer
James Coetzer