We sat down with Bruce Anderson of A-Max Sign Company to discuss the sign industry and their relationship with Oklahoma Custom Canvas over the years.

Q: Can you introduce yourself and the company that you work for?

A: My name is Bruce Anderson, and I work for A-Max Sign Company. We are a local sign manufacturer that has been in business since 1973, located here in Tulsa, of course, and we do all kinds of different projects for sign work, from the ballpark to banks, hospitals, schools, and general retail.

Q: Why do clients choose you as a sign company?

A: A lot of companies choose us as a sign company for the quality of our work, the longevity of our company, the designs that we put together, and just the general feeling that they know we are going to accomplish their goals and sign advertising.

Q: Can you tell me about your relationship with Oklahoma Custom Canvas and how you got connected?

A: My relationship with Oklahoma Custom Canvas goes back around 30 years. It started when we were working on a sign project for a regional client, and they asked if we could provide awnings. We said sure, we have a company we work with that supplies awnings.

We did the first set of awnings for this client and from there, for the next ten years, we probably did another 20 of their locations. A-Max Sign Company did all the sign work, Oklahoma Custom Canvas came in and built the awnings, and then we worked together putting them up. We went through Oklahoma into Arkansas and even into Texas, and we completed many of the projects that we worked together on. It worked best for both companies and our clients.

Q: What are some things you appreciate about working with Oklahoma Custom Canvas?

A: The things we appreciate about Oklahoma Custom Canvas is, of course, the people. Dan, Jody and all the other people there have been wonderful to work with. One of the first things that I always look for is quality, and I know from working with them for many years and visiting their facilities that the quality is there. That is very important to us, very important to Oklahoma Custom Canvas, and very important to our clients, that they know they’re getting quality materials and quality workmanship. It’s worked out great.

Oklahoma Custom Canvas has always been very upfront with us on their workload and what time frame they would need to complete the project that we’re both working on. We always set a budget and a cost factor together, and we all strive, of course, to meet that cost budget, because that’s what the client has accepted.

Every once in a while, maybe once or twice over the last 30 years, we may have had to raise prices just because a building was not sturdy enough or we had to do some extra fastening, or some extra bending, or some extra whatever it was to make everything work.

Nine times out of ten, our clients want it right. So that’s the reason we always work together at A-Max and Oklahoma Custom Canvas.

Q: What are some of the other challenges that Oklahoma Custom Canvas has helped you solve?

Oklahoma Custom Canvas has always helped us in the design and the availability of people, to actually help us with the installs. They’ve also come up with different ideas of how we could make something that the customer or the client wanted to make, because it’s not always just cut and dry. You’ve got to be able to design a little bit, and be creative. And Oklahoma Custom Canvas has helped us with that, and especially on the awning situation.

Q: What are some of the other projects you and Oklahoma Custom Canvas have worked on in the past?

A: Over the years, we’ve worked together on many different projects. We’ve worked with small businesses, such as mom-and-pop shops, where we have already installed signs and they just need an awning over the front. We’ve worked together on projects for restaurants, including awnings for drive-thru windows that keeps the rain off your food when it’s transferred out. So many, many different kinds of projects.

Q: What matters most to your clients—quality, speed, or price?

A: For our clients, pretty much all of the above. Our quality is something our clients recognize and value. Speed sometimes is a factor, but we don’t try to dwell on that too much. We try to give our clients realistic timeframes, typically ranging from six to ten weeks, which depends on things like manufacturing the design and obtaining permits from the city. So we always want to make sure that our clients up front are told, hey, this is about the amount of time we’re going to need to make your sign and get it up on the building.

Q: How do you deliver on quality, speed, and price for your clients?

A: Very simple: it’s a lot of hard work, a lot of cooperation and communication in our inner facility. Everybody has to work together because it starts with design. It starts with meeting with the customer. Then it goes to production. Production has to perform. We’ve always had a real good group of people who have been in the business for quite a long time. And our people are all certified. They’ve been trained in safety, all of the stuff that’s needed. And I think that’s still one of the benefits of our company. Our clients know who we are and how we operate.

Q: What advice do you have for other sign companies for choosing a good vendor to partner with?

Any time you choose a sign company, or awning company, or any company, I have found over my forty years in this business that quality does make a difference. We hope that when you go into business, that the sign is going to last you for as long as you’re in the business. There are a lot of places out there that can get you a sign, but all of a sudden after two years or a year, it’s not functioning properly, or has faded out, or blew off the building, things like that. It’s just like anything that you purchase from anybody. You want quality. That quality is available at A-Max, and at Oklahoma Custom Canvas.