Category Archives: Logistics

Digital signage solutions and information for Logistics organizations

Digital Signage Gives HR Powerful New Options

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HR and People Management is a vital function in most organizations. To make the HR department effective, the task of finding innovative ways of being able to connect, engage, influence and support staff is tougher than ever.

Large industries and their sub-sectors such as Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale  have staff members who are paid on hourly basis, and it is essential that important details are circulated through effective communication.

This has historically been very difficult for HR professionals to achieve.

Although, sticking important printouts on notice boards and using wall posters have helped these professionals in a prominent way, the task of effective communication has become more challenging, especially in industries where new labor gets added on a regular basis/companies with a high ‘churn’.

That’s where L Squared Digital Signage’s solutons for HR comes in. Check out our services for HR, read our latest posts for HR pros and contact us to learn more.

 

The Next “Lean Process” in Manufacturing is the People.. The untold HR Success Story

We recently completed a project with a world leader in Vinyl Siding Manufacturing. 

They have multiple locations including plants, warehouses, distribution, corporate offices, etc… the whole package.  What was really interesting to note was how the company communicated before the introduction of Digital Signage screens. Opposed to some other industries, Manufacturing has consistently been forced to “Lean” out over the past 30 years  due to a variety of well known factors.  Today’s “Lean” or even “Striving for Lean” companies are usually a bulk of shift-based staff partnered with an even leaner management team. Money (or Capital in this case) is often directed to the high cost of consistently upgrading machinery and technology, which seems to be a never ending cycle.  This doesn’t leave a lot of room for wage increases, improved benefits or even a luxury cafeteria. Well, unless you visit the Apple plant.

The fascinating challenge in 2015 Manufacturing is that technology will continue to improve the supply chain and lean out the processes for maximal optimization. What technology doesn’t count for in the lean process is the human engagement factor. How showing up for a shift tired, frustrated or disengaged can impact the results. How starting late after lunch, not volunteering for overtime or always looking for better conditions can impact my attitude.  By default the Human Engagement Factor becomes a huge variable in maintaining consistent and productive operations. Hence, the all-encompassing HR Team… Which in some cases is not very deep.

Manufacturing Facilities

There are many times I visit a Manufacturing partner and will be introduced to the 1 or 2 people in HR responsible for 385 employees. That includes all compensation, hiring, behaviour, safety and training.  Let alone a company with 2400 staff.

What often happens is that the walls of lunchroom’s, entrances, and staff hallways get filled with page after page of communication pieces:

  • New Job Openings
  • Performance Review Processes
  • Safety Reminders
  • Summer Golf Tournament images
  • Motivational wording
  • Workflow Updates
  • Shift-Based Performance Results
  • New Employee Welcomes
  • Benefits Information

The list could fill two pages. And it makes sense why. There is so much information that needs to be communicated; there just really hasn’t been a more efficient way of doing this.. Until 2015. Now back to our World Leading Vinyl Manufacturer.  They were in a classic manufacturing vortex. Tons of information spread across multiple communication formats (videos, posters, letters, power point printouts, brochures, PDF and Word Printouts).

The HR Game ended up being how fast can I get a relevant communication onto the lunchroom walls? It didn’t make sense to interrupt during operations, but a during breaks and lunches, it became an optimal time to connect with staff. The next problem in the equation though was “which wall should we put it on now.” It doesn’t take long for any HR member to tell you how much potential content could be displayed. However, they could also comment on how ineffective or disengaging  long walls and corridors of paper memos and updates  can be. Let alone the stress of running from an HR desk to a lunchroom to post the latest update or Management Query.

The solution, particularly in Lean Manufacturing has been the cost effective addition of Digital Signage as the “Communal Communications” system in all high traffic areas. Think of it as moving from a System of Records to a System  of Engagement!

When we initially launched the Digital Screens inside our Vinyl Manufacturer, the leadership team just kind of stood there and starred for a couple of seconds. They openly acknowledged their surprise at how “clean, concise and coherent” the “whole thing appeared”. The multi-frame layout looked like their own broadcast program, with spots for the news, weather, time, date and logo neatly lined around the outside of the screen. Which they oddly acknowledged actually impacted their pride in the company and sense of belonging. But the large remaining frames on the screen were the real show stopper. A combination of safety updates, review processes, job opportunities and the occasional manufacturing joke were all neatly interlaced into a side frame (that perfectly fit the size of a WORD doc / PDF without alteration) -“Bonus!” cheered the HR Manager. Where has this been all my life?

The main frame was easily put together at a 720P Wide resolution to fit most YouTube and company videos. It also happened to be a very close match for Power Point (with a small modification to your PP template).  This main frame rotated between Golf and Holiday images of the staff having fun and then more serious updates on the weekend line production and how the shifts were comparing.

Now the pilot is complete, the company and the HR team are looking to expand the screens into distribution and other remaining lunchrooms and offices in North America.

For more information on this project and the results or how your company can win with Digital Signage, please contact an L Squared Rep 24/7.   Sales@LSquared.com

Thanks for reading!

Brent Nacu

Director, Business Development

Employer Branding and Engagement: How Good is Your Company’s Digital Signage?

Digital Signage is an incredibly powerful channel for communication with employees and other internal corporate stakeholders.

There is, however, a BIG caveat.. your content needs to be targeted, relevant and on point.

How to Ensure Your Digital Signage is an Effective Tool for Employer Branding and Engagement

L Squared helps thousands of B2B users across North America with their Digital Signage Content and Technology needs. Here are key three questions we’ve found help companies understand how good their content really is:

1. How relevant is the content to your objectives?

We’d suggest that its vital to have a clear and concise content plan with associated KPIs. Depending on your corporate goals, its often a good approach to balance employer branding campaigns with info and updates which offer real value and Calls To Action to your employees.

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2. How easily can you create and display the content?

Once you’ve identified what your important objectives are, who’s going to develop the content? Someone needs to own it to make sure there’s fresh, relevant material on a regular basis. These admins need software that’s easy to use and lets them post content quickly. Or they can access turnkey but issue-related content.

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3. Will people actually read it?

Please, please, please avoid the old habit of using your companies digital screens to only present facts and figures through such displays as excel spreadsheets with dozens of rows and columns.

If you really want to engage with your employees in a powerful way, mix up the types of content so its informative but also engaging.  At least 25 percent of your content should be non-business related, such as news, sports, weather, social media feeds and trivia. Its also very important to recognize exactly which screens reach which employees. Using content management tools like our Hub gives you the power to present targeted, relevant content based on location. This means that the messages you present on the screens on the shop floor can (and should) be very different to the messages projected on the digital signage in the boardroom.

We hope that answering these three questions help you develop effective digital signage systems that engage and attract employees.

Digital Screen Opertaions: Work Flow Control with Approvals

Using the built in approval system and the role based security feature, an administrator can setup a work flow system where a content manager can upload content that requires a scheduler to approve and schedule and an administrator to approve the schedule before it goes live on the screens.

Approval system in conjunction with role based security and group based permissions is a powerful control mechanism in the L Squared Hub.

Getting the Most from the L Squared Content Library

Getting content into the L Squared Hub is simple as drag and drop. Once uploaded the content can be organized in hierarchical folder structure keeping all your content neat and tidy.

The L Squared Hub supports a plethora of file formats.

Why use a content library?

Digital libraries can vary immensely in size and scope, and can be maintained by individuals, organizations, or affiliated with established physical library buildings or institutions, or with academic institutions. They are an awesome and inexpensive way to store and manage lots of pictures, artwork, pdfs and other company documents. 

Looking for more great tools to store and publish your images and assets?

Here’s the lowdown from Dave Howe at salesforlife.com blog: 

Google Alerts

Price Range: FREE
Google Alerts is one of the best tools available for regularly receiving content on a particular topic. This keyword driven tool allows you to quickly create a search based on any topic you’d like (an industry buzz word or company name, for example) and setup alerts sent to your email, based on those queries, at the frequency of your choosing.

You can also use the available filters to target specific information sources or geographic areas if you’d like. This is by far one of the most used Social Selling tools in my personal tool kit.

In addition to finding content on industry topics for your content library, Google Alerts is also awesome for finding competitor intelligence… Shhhh you didn’t hear that from me though ;)

Feedly

Price Range: FREE → $
Feedly is another Google owned product but this time one that was acquired rather than developed by the search giant. Feedly is an amazing content aggregator where users can easily compile multiple sources of information and sort them by topic focus. The product operates on a “freemium” model meaning that much of the functionality is available at no cost. There is a monthly premium charged for certain levels of integration for instance direct sharing to LinkedIn. Not to worry though, the free version is good enough to source an article through Feedly and then share through other means afterwards.

Another awesome component of Feedly is its mobile app which acts as a content library on-the-go. Once you setup your Feedly account you can access it on your smartphone/tablet and stay up-to-date on your favorite topics every where you go (i.e. commuting or waiting for a client meeting).

Pocket

Price Range: FREE
Pocket is a cool little Social Selling tool that is relatively new to the tool kit. It acts as a browser extension that links back to a private content repository. Any time you come across a cool article that you want to save and share with your network or a client later, you can simply click the pocket button located in the upper right hand corner of your browser and it is automatically saved to your account.

You can also add tags to easily find and sort through the content again when you’re ready to share it with the world. I use pocket simultaneous for professional and personal use by differentiating my content with the tag feature. Another cool feature: all of the content is available offline, on your desktop or anywhere you set up the app.

Twitter Lists

Price Range: FREE → $
Lists are an under utilized feature of Twitter that enable users to sift through the noise and focus on the content that’s important to them. If you want to create a Twitter list you can do so by logging into your account, finding a series of sources that post information on your topic of choice, clicking the little gear icon that appears on their profile and then choosing “add or remove from list.” If you have not already done so, you create a new list at this time based on your topic focus and add as many sources to it as you’d like.

Orrrrr you could let someone else do the leg work for you. If you are choosing a popular topic focus such as “business analytics” or “mobile strategy,” chances are someone has already created a public list that you can simply subscribe to. You can do this by entering your search term at the top of your twitter page, clicking “Timelines” on the left hand side of the page, finding a relevant list and then clicking “Subscribe.” I’d recommend checking this out first for popular lists before going to all the effort of creating a new one from scratch.

PostBeyond

Price Range: $ → $$
PostBeyond is a social advocacy platform that bridges the gap between sales and marketing departments, especially when corporate sharing regulations are involved. It is available by subscription and is an invaluable tool if you are looking to leverage your sales team as extensions of your brand.

The marketing department and/or management is able to fill the library with content that is preapproved for sales reps to share out with their networks. Sales reps are then able to quickly review and post the content right from within PostBeyond. It also offers integrations with other content aggregator tools like Feedly. If you are looking to increase your sales team’s engagement with your marketing team’s content, I’d highly recommend checking out this tool.

– See more at: http://www.salesforlife.com/social-selling/social-selling-tool-kit-building-a-content-library/#sthash.ZPIn2qkM.dpuf

HR Fact: Digital Signage Display Boards Just Work!

Although HR is a universally accepted department in most companies with more than 25 employees, your actual industry defines the complexity and stresses in the “people management” aspect of HR responsibilities.

OR should we say “People Leadership.”

HR Leadership roles often focus on

  • Training and Grooming Staff
  • Promoting Safety and Corporate Policies
  • Reducing Employer Risks
  • Cutting Business Expenses where possible
  • Retaining Key Employees
  • Improving Management and Employee Productivity

Or as Dilbert sums it up:

by Scott Adams

 

Does that make all HR the same? Not exactly, there is a big difference in the issues between manufacturing sector HR and managing union relationships, say, versus automotive or retailer  HR depts with millennial-aged high turnover rates.  However, no matter the difference in your industry in regards to employee issues, all HR share one common goal:

Getting relevant and timely company information in front of the staff who need to be aware of it in the quickest way possible.

HR above many other departments understands the nuances in human behaviour:

  • Forgetfulness / Absenteeism
  • Boredom
  • Challenge
  • Fulfilment
  • Satisfaction
  • Achievement
  • Recognition

The list can go on, but in a corporate world where salary and performance margins have ceilings, human behaviour engagement does not. And HR is all too familiar with the consistent role of cultural attaché. Managing employee portfolios on both sides of the fence.

One of the  HR challenges that exists is finding a creative way to continuously repeat (and reward) employees with news, details and policies that are not always fun or desirable to consume. In a mega-industry like manufacturing (and it’s many sub sectors), upwards of  80% of staff are hourly paid and on some kind of shift cycles, which can make effective communication around important details a somewhat challenging task. Tacking printouts to the old bulletin board, buying wall posters or sending emails to employees with no email account have become the norm. Maybe not so much the latter. But powerful and effective communication can be a daunting task, particularly with the influx of new labour into manufacturing for example, where an employee  first language might not be English or French.

The answer, or at least a solution that has shifted the context of how employees consume information in recent years has been the use of internal Digital Signage Displays. In some industries digital signage adoption is welcomed and utilized while in others it’s latent and underused.  See this 2011 post from HRIQ on Digital Signage:  http://www.humanresourcesiq.com/hr-technology/articles/communicating-visually-with-employees-via-digital/

Lunchroom Communications
Lunchroom Communications

 

Take a look around your facilities, and see if you recognize digital screens in your high traffic areas. Places like cafeterias and lunch rooms, entrances, employee corridors and lobbies. The distinction is that digital signage displays are tv screens. But rather than display broadcast content which are tv shows, news and sports, etc.. Digital Signage is the “software takeover” of a tv, where a program allows you to build your own Tv channel to promote any content your company finds valuable. You can carve out sections of the screen like a cake. Each section can be controlled by different people in different departments. And you can then schedule your content inside of those sections (called frames) on 24 hour cycles and into the future for a long as you want.

For example, say you know every Saturday the overtime shift has staff who spend too much time on breaks. It can be scheduled to have a poster reminder only on Saturday’s that break times are 15 or 20 mins.  Clear, concise and working for you, when you’re not working!

The great part? Content can be any kind of digital material you have, own, create or buy. Like safety posters from online, Power Point Slides (only the important ones), employee training videos in your files, new marketing collateral, newsletters from communications and SLT, etc… The list is endless, because there are always reasons to be sharing and communicating with employees.

Digital Signage Displays are not an “HR Only Project.”  GM”s and PM’s,  IT, MarCom and other management win as well. But when it comes to the real value of digital signage, powerful 24/7 communication in real time is the backbone of  it’s success. There is absolutely no better way to connect with staff in a transparent, clear and engaging way.

 

Plant Corporate Communications
Employee Entrance Reminders

 

Logistics Case Study: Chep Canada

Chep Canada is one of the world’s leading pallet, container and pooling services companies.

As part of the Brambles conglomerate, Chep operates warehouse facilities across the globe where they pool and service pallets and contains for customers.

CHEP_LOGO

The Challenge

Chep Canada needed cost effective ways to target and communicate with all staff, both salaried and hourly paid in an effective and engaging way. Most non-salaried staff didn’t  use company email and rarely paid attention to paper bulletin boards for  announcements and important messaging.

This meant that Chep needed powerful ways to connect all of the  staff in Canada, found in 6 provinces and over 13 facilities on the same page for a  centralized system.

The Solution

L Squared provided a cost effective cloud-based digital signage solution that would allow Chep to coordinate unified messaging from every company department to all staff at the same time. The easy to use software allowed CHEP to create display boards that reflected the look and feel of the brand. The L Squared coordinated solution provided the project management, procurement, installation, software, set up and maintenance to ensure the program is a long running success.

The Result

Within the first week the system was deployed, a recent sales success story was posted on the digital signage system that instantly improved the morale and connectedness of all staff across Canada.

The IT director in charge of the project personally received calls to congratulate him on a well-executed project!

Today, Chep departments provide and promote consistent company-wide messaging in Canada that target Health and Safety, Marketing Communications, Union News, Birthdays, Holidays, Overtime Updates, Performance targets, Employee Recognition and much more.

 

Contact L Squared