While digital signage is often used to show retail advertising messages, it has a completely different purpose in the workplace environment.
"It's about communicating your mission, your values, your focus and what it is you do as a company, always with an eye to your client base," says Jane Kennedy of Tierney Brothers, Inc. The company recently installed a workplace signage system at Minnetronix, a St. Paul-based medical equipment engineering and manufacturing firm.
We're trying to create a high tech feel, tell them a little bit about ourselves and entertain them if they're sitting in the lobby.
John Bredesen, IT Manager for Minnetronix, agrees. "We wanted to add another dimension to our communications with employees and customers," he explains. One channel of their new Carousel Solo 300R delivers employee messages to several 42" and 46" monitors throughout the building. Another channel delivers customer messages to a 46" display in the lobby. With a simple cabling change, either channel can go to a 11'x14' projection system in a multipurpose meeting room.
"Minnetronix is very much an employee-focused company, and they use this system to help build and support an unusually cohesive work environment," Kennedy adds.
Bredesen says they see the system as a way to emphasize important communications and bring everyone on board for social events and meetings of interest. "We have used it when we've made changes to our IT systems, when there's a meeting or a social event, when our sports teams play," he explains. Minnetronix managers will typically announce an event via a company-wide email, but then add a reminder on the Carousel system.
In addition, the company welcomes new employees by posting their names, titles and photos on each of the monitors so people can learn who they are. Minnetronix has recently started adding company metrics to the monitors, and they display CNN news, weather and interesting quotes. At the end of the day, they display traffic maps using Carousel's scheduling feature.
For the customer system, Bredesen says the firm shows a series of slides about Minnetronix and its design and manufacturing services. This channel also includes a CNN news and weather feed in a corner of the screen. "We're trying to create a high tech feel, tell them a little bit about ourselves and entertain them if they're sitting in the lobby," he adds.
Bredesen says the installation by Tierney Brothers went very smoothly, as has operation of the system. Minnetronix has several people who enter and manage bulletins, including front desk personnel, HR, Business Development, and IT. Having a larger number of people increases the number of ideas and fresh content to keep employees' and customers' attention. "Anybody can use this system with minimal training. It's very straightforward," he explains.
Kennedy says she recommended Carousel because it works so well in a workplace environment. "The fact is that it's usually an administrative assistant who is creating the content. You don't have a graphics department or a communications group to design the slides as you would in a retail system. It needs to be simple enough that you can have somebody trained in a very short period of time.
" Kennedy also says she appreciates the training and custom templating Tightrope offers. "They've got the range of services that we need and appreciate as an integrator. We always know our clients are getting support. That and the simplicity of the system is why we like it and why it was the perfect fit for Minnetronix."