Aloha Signs Plus
Aloha Signs Plus incorporates laser engraving & cutting applications to offer more services to existing operation
After 14 years in business, Kelly Higaki of Aloha Signs Plus realized he needed to incorporate something new to take his already successful business to the next level. After discovering the capabilities of an Epilog Laser system, Kelly brought engraving/cutting technology in-house to greatly expand his profit potential and product offerings.
“Aside from seeing the small laser engraving kiosk in the mall, we had no background in laser engraving and cutting,” Kelly tells us. “I had never really thought too much about it, but one night a product information pack from one of my online magazines came and I started clicking, soon after a package from Epilog Laser came and as soon as I saw the material list and samples I was hooked. I started asking some of my customers and friends if they would want to have any work done if I were to purchase a laser and they all said yes. Additionally, a friend of my mom’s had an Epilog and it came highly recommended by her as well.
By adding a laser machine my business is more and more of a one-stop-shop and I find that’s what most of my customers are looking for.
“There was an NBM show approaching so we decided to check it out – vowing to ‘only look’ at the laser systems,” Kelly said. “Well, we all know how that turned out. We were checking out different laser manufacturers and didn’t like the attitude from some of the other companies; we didn’t like their samples either. But that wasn’t the case with Epilog.
“I was looking to upgrade my business and the price of a wide-format printer and a laser engraver was about the same, so I weighed it out and the Epilog system was the better choice. I have never regretted purchasing it.”
Kelly tells us the features he was looking for most in an engraving system included being able to work with a variety of materials and the ability to expand his product line.
“We work primarily with acrylic and wood,” Kelly said, “and the laser is great for when I need to create a template of something.”
Kelly explains that incorporating the laser system has helped grow the business dramatically.
“We started as a sign company and have slowly grown into a full service company, providing the big island of Hawaii with signs, banners, magnetics, office lettering, boat/vehicle lettering, decals, laser engraving, glass etching, screen printing, promotional items and so much more.”
Not only has his Epilog Laser system enhanced his business, but also the businesses of Kelly’s associates as well. “I’ve started laser cutting letters for another sign shop owner whose CNC router can’t cut that small and he loves it!
“I’ve also done lettering for a parade float that won first place, detailed urns, napkin holders, clock faces, wine glasses, wedding knife sets and a lot more. The sky really is the limit when you’re talking engraving,” Kelly said.
While bringing in an Epilog Laser system has helped expand the business, it’s also increased productivity at Aloha Signs Plus. “The laser has helped me to cut down on the time it takes to make a sign. I used to purchase the acrylic at a local glass shop, but now I can buy blank sheets and cut them to the size I need. It saves me about two days, so I can provide a faster turnaround time for my customers, and I can do all the engraving of signs for door name plates all in-house instead of outsourcing,” Kelly tells us.
“By adding a laser machine my business is more and more of a one-stop-shop and I find that’s what most of my customers are looking for.”