Does Digital Signage Make Sense?
One of the product lines that L-Tron carries is Digital Signage. If you are familiar with digital signage, you know that it is a pretty broad category as it can be interpreted in many ways. The market has matured over the years with new and promising options that could enhance the customer or employee experience. As with food and beauty, presentation is everything.
It was not too long ago that the vision or picture of “digital signage” was the scrolling red LED bar with news bits and/or statistics. Wow! “The DOW is up 4.5 points!” “Days without an accident: 89” “The Cubs win the pennant!” (Sorry, I thought I would throw that in to see if you were paying attention. My apologies to Ernie Banks.)
The next generation of signage was seen in the hotel lobby or in the business lobby. “Welcome to the Happy Hotel. Enjoy your stay, and have a nice day! Today’s weather is…” Again, presentation. This looked nice; it was bright, cheery, and it gave an overall good first impression. However, it was generally located near the sign-in desk with the smiling assistants, and the USA Today was right nearby. All the information you needed was already in some other form. This just made it “look” nicer.
What else can you do? Where does digital signage make sense for businesses that manufacture, distribute, or wholesale products? If your facility has important data or information that needs to be conveyed, why not make it presentable and visible to those who are impacted by the need for information?
Here’s an example: you have a steady flow of scheduled deliveries and pickups at your distribution facility. Trucks and trailers constantly coming in and leaving. The guard checks the truck in. Wouldn’t it be helpful for your workforce to see who is checked-in, who is waiting in the yard, who is at the dock, and which door/bay is free? Drivers need to log their times, and over-extended wait times have ripple effects up and down the supply chain. You may even be liable for a fine from your customer if that is in the agreement. You can give rolling information, “heat” maps for the wait or dock times, and display information that makes your workforce and operations run more smoothly.
Here is another example. You can display a product or assembly build as it progresses through the manufacturing process. Where are your bottlenecks? Can your workforce see that more material needs resupply in a workstation? When can you move the finished goods from the production floor to the warehouse? There is a ton of information that can be presented in a user-friendly format that gets the point across without the need for an advanced degree. You can format the information to fit the tasks and the workforce. The tools to incorporate real-time data have been streamlined to make the process simple and intuitive. You really do not need to know how to program, just have an idea of what you want to display and how to display it.
Digital signage also shows up in the form of mini information kiosks. These are usually department-specific digital displays that allow user interaction. A human resources department may have an area where an employee can request forms, enter information, or look at training videos. Customers can catch up on the latest product offerings, place orders, and get detailed information or videos about the products and/or company. Many bars and restaurants are using a form of digital signage for reservations, order taking, and jukeboxes (gone are the days of the Wurlitzer flipping the 45s onto the platter).
I believe that the the possibilities of signage are expansive. L-Tron can assist you in finding the right software tools and hardware, as well. A 42-inch HDTV might be perfect for your living room, but may not be the right choice for a manufacturing floor. Give us a call, and let’s see what we can do together.