Team Profile - Project Management
Meet Everyone's Right-Hand People: The Project Managers
You may wonder what Latitude Signage Project Managers do. The answer is simple: They do it all. Learn more about the roles and goals of our 11 Project Managers from Jason, Michael, and Katie.
Describe what the Project Management team does at Latitude Signage + Design?
Project Managers are shepherds. They guide projects through every detailed moment of the process. Starting at the point the job is sold through the time the signs are shipped or installed. They create incredibly detailed spreadsheets called message schedules that list every single sign needed for a client-everything from bathroom door signs to large exterior monuments. They coordinate when a project will be scheduled for production in the factory and when installers will be available to put the signs in place. "We are in the sweet spot," says Jason Flathers, Senior Director of Project Management. "We hear about projects as they are just coming to life. Then we watch them be designed, quoted, and put into production. We see the signs through from beginning to end."
Perhaps the most important role they play is that of client liaison. For the life of the project, they are the direct contact between the client and Latitude. They answer all the questions, and keep the client updated on the status of the project until completion.
There are two types of Project Managers on our team. Contract PMs work directly with architects, general contractors, and other construction professionals. Negotiated PMs work directly with the end user, such as a facilities manager or business owner. Whether they are working with another Project Manager from a construction firm or a business owner, the Latitude Project Managers always put their clients' needs first. "I always try to submit the most thorough package to the contractor or designer, even if they are a year or two away from actually building. Clients appreciate this and remember it" says Michael Bauer, a Contract Project Manager in Denver, Colorado. "The more information I can provide them from the start the easier the entire process is for everyone."
How do you define customer service?
"Be proactive," says Katie Gunia, an Account Manager in Omaha, Nebraska. "The best thing I can do for a client is to keep them informed. People don't like surprises. Good or bad, I update my clients with any issues that arise." Communicating clear expectations is a theme among the project management team.
Jason, the Director of the Project Management Department says, "I enjoy talking with the other Project Managers and my clients to solve problems. Clients are often looking to us for guidance. I've been here a long time, and can offer solutions they may not have considered yet. Finding those win-win ideas is so gratifying."
What is most rewarding about being a Project Manager?
Seeing the final project is a favorite for everyone. "We don't always get to go out and see the finished project after it's installed, but when we do it's a real treat," says Michael, who recently wrapped up a complete sign package for the United States Air Force Academy's athletic department. He managed everything from small plaques to large-scale graphic panels. Working with the Business Development Manager, Justin Halverson, they completed the site verification and measurements themselves. After it was all installed the Air Force Major who oversaw the project for the academy invited them out to see the finished product. "It was such a vivid, dynamic change in the space. It was incredible to see. And it was even better to see how happy the Major was with the new look," says Michael.
Katie has a similar experience when she walks around the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "We revamped several things for them, including exterior monument signs," says Katie. "Every time I see the signs, I think back to working with our clients to get the designs finalized. It's cool to think I played a role in making those signs come to life."
From start to finish, Latitude's Project Managers work side by side with clients and the internal team to ensure that all customers have the best possible outcome for their signage projects. From handling detailed production logistics to brainstorming creative solutions, Project Managers do it all.
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