West Caldwell, N.J. – Farmer Signs understands the importance of finding a good thing and running with it. Once a small design and production firm of signage and POP materials for major oil companies, the Atlanta company was asked by an advertising agency in 1985 to develop a real estate sign for a local client. Today, they serve over 750 independent real estate companies and national franchises, including Century 21, Coldwell-Banker and Re/Max.
Keeping up with customer demands requires dedicated and knowledgeable employees, reliable equipment and technology that separates you from the competition. That’s owner Brian Farmer’s philosophy and it is working. It’s also one reason why he made a decision to invest in a new 62-inch SABER® paper cutter with Microcut® electronics from Colter & Peterson.
“The real estate market has performed very well and it hasn’t slowed down the last five years. We added new equipment during this period, including the SABER paper cutter,” said Farmer about the machine that was installed four months ago. “Everything is going great with our business and this new machine. We have only one other cutter so dependability was a key factor. It’s been all good news, not a problem at all.”
Farmer has history on his side, again. His father, Kenneth Farmer, started the business in 1980. Bryan began working there full time in 1989, then succeeded his late father as president of the company in 2010. The company’s back-up cutting unit is a smaller, 45-inch SABER unit, and his relationship with Colter & Peterson dates back nearly 15 years.
“Jim Froman does a great job servicing our cutters and he recommended that we buy a SABER this size,” he recalled. “I contacted Bruce Peterson and he sent me specs on the machine. It does everything we need it to do.”
Farmer has the right machine to do the job. The SABER line has earned a workhorse reputation for cutting the toughest materials, including many types of plastics at different thickness levels. A double bevel blade makes it all possible, leading to incredibly smooth cuts and high accuracy rates within 1-64th of an inch.
“The new SABER cuts styrene, coroplast and vinyl for our yard signs. The largest signs we produce are 4-feet by 8-feet,” said Farmer, whose company does 75 percent of its business in Atlanta but services and ships product for its national accounts, mostly up and down the east coast. The majority of the work is for residential use but there is a commercial side of the business as well.
“We also use the SABER to trim decals for the signs,” explained Farmer. “We print them on our HP 360 Thermal latex printer, then run it all through the SABER knives and cut them down to 4-1/2 by 17-inches.”
Farmer said there is no average order size in his business, indicating it largely depends on the situation.
“When we did a complete makeover for Prudential after they were acquired by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, we produced 4000 signs for them. Most of our corporate accounts usually order 25 signs. Those are silk screen jobs that are one or two-color and we run them on our two Saturn Platinum II flatbed graphic presses.
“We have also boutique accounts that are agent oriented where they only need one or two signs. Those jobs are run on our HP Designjet 700 and HP 750c Plus digital printers. Then we use the SABER to finish everything,” he said, mentioning the work is performed on a regular, one shift schedule five days a week.
In a service oriented business, Farmer appreciates the attention he has received from Colter & Peterson.
“I was very impressed that they sent one of their representatives to see us after the machine was installed. Richard Peereboom visited us to personally check on how things were going with the SABER. It is a huge plus for us to get that kind of service and attention.”