• Company of the Day – Blackbelt Outdoor

    Company:  :  Blackbelt Outdoor Advertising, LLC

    Headquarters:   476 County Road 206, Marion Junction, Alabama 36759

    Markets: 5 Counties in Central Alabama

    Phone: 205.337.5113

    Email:  dunkin@blackbeltoutdoor.com

    Blackbelt Outdoor was founded in 2014 by Dunkin Allred. Since then Blackbelt Outdoor has expanded into five counties throughout the central portion of Alabama. They offer both traditional and digital displays.

    Insider had a chance for an interview with Dunkin Allred, President of Blackbelt Outdoor. 

    Can you share a little about the history of Blackbelt Outdoor?

    Growing up in a family business I had always wanted to work for the family business or start my own. After graduating from college, I went to work full time on our family cattle and row crop farm in Marion Junction, AL. While working on the farm I became interested in the billboard business. After some thought and consideration, we built our first sign in Selma, AL in the heart of the “blackbelt”(an area in Alabama noted for it’s black top soil). Since then we have expanded into five counties across central Alabama.

    Can you provide us a description of your billboard plant and operations? 

    Blackbelt Outdoor currently has 21 static and 6 digital faces in 5 counties across the “blackbelt” and other markets in central Alabama. I handle most all of the day to day operations from sales to hanging vinyls with some assistance from my wife, Martha. We plan on getting Martha more involved as we continue to grow the business.

    Which manufacturers have you used for your digital signs?  How have they performed?

    A close family friend, who was nice enough to share some advice, recommended that I give Formetco a call, so I did. I spoke with a couple of other manufacturers, but ended up deciding on Formetco for my first project and each one since. We have had very few service calls on the F4X series that have been in service for three years now. We just recently put up three of the new FTX series and have been very pleased with the performance of the boards. The folks at Formetco offer great customer service and are great to deal with.

    We understand you have recently completed an installation of the Apparatix management suite into your operations. How did the installation go?

    Yes, that is correct. We were in desperate need of a program that would help us streamline our daily functions. I was scheduled to do the training in Charleston this past fall at the IBO conference, but unfortunately was unable to make it last minute. I was a little nervous about doing the training remotely, but it ended up being a breeze.

    How was the support from Apparatix during installation and since installation?

    The support that I received was truly second to none! They were with me each step of the way during the installation process and continue to be now that we are up and running. What really stands out to me about their support is how quick and eager they are to respond whenever I have a question.

    Where have you seen the biggest advantages for your operation?

    Apparatix has been by far the biggest advantage to our operation. Although our company is still small in size, APX has allowed me to spend more time on growing the business.

    What advice would you give to other operators as they prepare for installation of the Apparatix Suite?

    I would tell other folks to be patient because it is a little time consuming getting all of the data transferred over, but once you go live you will quickly see that it was time well spent!

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