Category Archives: Manufacturing

Digital signage solutions and information for the Manufacturing sector

How Digital Signage makes a HUGE difference in Business

As a global Digital Signage company, we have a number of large, commercial B2B clients across the globe. For years, they have spent time and energy looking to improve results in almost any area of the business.  In recent years, the focus has been particularly around employee behaviours and communications.

It was too easy to see that Digital Screens made a tremendous impact on customers in public settings. But stakeholders needed to break new ground through internal optimization as well, no matter what industry they happended to be in. Whether it was healthcare, education or just good ole manufacturing, the questions were the same:

 How do you engage non-salaried or low-salaried staff to love their job, believe in the company vision and bring their best on a consistent basis. Tall order?

Well, modern business practices don’t think so.

HR Image

TOP 5 Reasons Digital Signage makes a Difference: 

The consistency in the conversation is not limited to any one industry sector. It exists as much in retail and education as it does in corporate and manufacturing. Here is a list of top 5 differences Digital Signage can make and comments from leading Senior Executives:

1) Control Content from any desk or computer

That means you no longer need to overstress on creating, printing and distributing company news to multiple locations on multiple occasions. HR, Operations or Marketing can manage screens from their office or from home. Not to mention it free’s up valuable walk time (up to 80 hrs. / year per person in some companies). Especially with reporting documentation.

2) Employees have moved past the Paper World

Whether we like it or not, technology is the dominating source of most of our information. Using smartphones, computers and social media has shifted how we consume information for ever. You were thinking of printing the latest production reports or benefits changes? Think Again… Digital Signage makes the access and enablement of information a Digital Experience that can traverse social, mobile, email and on-site communications.

3) Get everyone in on the Action

Digital Signage isn’t restricted to HR or just Marketing. The software can be learned and controlled by multiple departments and almost any employee. In fact, we have 100 million dollar customers where the Front Reception is the content / schedule manager. We also have customers where the Operations, HR, and Safety staff use the same program to run different screens with different messages. What you see in the Hospital Employee lounge might be be very different from the Shop Floor or the School Corridor.

4) Real Time Updates 

No matter how trendy or over-used the word “real-time” is, it doesn’t change the fact that in business, real-time information is very important. The ability to display reports from any department, process or 3rd party software (in most cases) is invaluable. Whether it’s local weather or an ERP production, error or waste report, Digital Signage is a live, connected and reliable method for the basis of all future employee communications.

5) Dynamic Content makes a difference 

No matter how you slice it, the human eye is attracted to movement and creativity. Instead of simply printing or using a USB with 40 pages of power points, let Digital Signage break up a Screen into multiple sections (frames) with content for everyone. Some staff love the news, while others are more process oriented. Sometimes, a benefit change or HR BBQ can make the world of difference. Also, it never hurts to throw in live videos, humour and internal content from your own teams.

In the end, Digital Signage is the internal corporate reflection of how you operate as a business. It’s a powerful extension of your processes and culture. Use it to be machine that drives ambition, motivates the team, and engages the challenging.

For more info on Digital Signage, see this easy to understand video below:

How Digital Signage Works

 Contact our Sales team for any demo’s, RFP’s or Proposals or suggestions on how to create a great program without breaking the bank.

Sales@Lsquared.com

Digital Signage Gives HR Powerful New Options

signmen1038

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

Digital Signage for Manufacturing

Digital signage in Manufacturing is ‘Least Understood’ but Yields High ROI

DigitalSignageToday recently published a very interesting article on the importance, from an ROI stance, of Digital Signage for the Manufacturing industry.

Digital signage for manufacturing plants is probably the least understood and talked about of all applications. However, when it comes to applications that yield qualitative benefits, digital signage can display critical production line alerts, plant metrics and reinforce safety information that make it an instrumental resource for any modern operation.

Oftentimes, ROI of digital signage for businesses is spoken of in terms of cost savings, measured impact on sales, improved customer experience, brand reinforcement and the like. But when it comes to manufacturing plants, ROI is often first realized with an improvement in safety.

The cost savings of a safer work environment is huge, especially considering that just one injury costs a plant $78,000 on average.

This is where digital signage can shine in manufacturing, considering how well and easily it accomplishes repetitive and engaging communications that include safety reminders and alerts.

Modern manufacturing often involves lean manufacturing initiatives, which digital signage can address with built-in production data integration. Digital signage often supports “set it and forget it” programming, so floor managers can spend more time on the floor accompanying their plant workers, which has a tendency to boost morale and promote teamwork. With digital signage on the production floor, displays easily communicate reliable and timely production metrics, such as quality control, up-to-the-minute production totals, inventory levels and assembly line alerts.

For manufacturers that employ Kaizen initiatives, digital signage is an asset. It can increase worker safety awareness, improve plant communications, alert workers to supply-chain concerns and help reduce response time for production quality issues, more so than less-agile communication methods. It can also eliminate or greatly reduce print publishing that will help eliminate waste, too.

Company communication is also a major challenge on the plant floor. Considering that 40 percent of workers don’t have access to email, plants often rely on word-of-mouth and bulletin boards to get their message across. This is not very effective or efficient. Digital signage placed away from the production floor where workers take breaks, socialize and eat has proven to effectively communicate company updates, reminders and messages. Employee contests and event highlights can be broadcast to increase worker morale, supporting overall the team atmosphere that foremen work so hard to achieve.

Read the full article at digitalsignagetoday.com/blogs

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

 

Manufacturing Case Study: Chep Canada

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

As part of the Brambles conglomerate, Chep operates warehouse facilities across the globe where they make, 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

Powerful Digital Signage for use on the Shop Floor

Digital Signage: Why it makes sense for Manufacturing

Manufacturing companies have unique challenges when it comes to communicating in real time with employees on the shop floor. That’s because employees with technical duties and operating complex machinery do not have ready access to traditional ways of getting at, and conveying, business information.

So what do you do to communicate efficiently and effectively with staff when phone and email services are not a viable option?

Contact L Squared

Digital displays throughout your shop floor is a proven way to boost engagement, increase productivity and reinforce important safety procedures.

Digital Signage substitutes the cost and inconvenience of traditional marketing materials like banners and poster boards for an impressive-looking display that uses less space and can cycle through many messages at once.

With a geographically distributed manufacturing setup, streamlining communications across multiple locations is a big challenge. Once digital content for the signage display has been generated, it can be transmitted to as many facilities in as many different places as required – all managed and controlled remotely from a web based content management software.

Contact L Squared


Better tools means better messaging:

 

  • Circulate updates, reminders, and messages quickly without disrupting already over-burdened managers and supervisors
  • Display production schedules and progress reports easily while insuring that they are widely seen and recognized
  • Reinforce important safety procedures – a must at any physical job site
    Sustain morale by distributing information in an advanced and exciting way
  • Combine standalone information with video and sophisticated animations
  • Expand communications opportunities away from the factory floor to include employee break rooms, cafeterias, hallways, and vending machine areas
  • Use Digital Signage for more traditional communications like sharing company updates and newsletters
  • Web based portal allows for use of a variety of content – from internal information to news, weather, sports scores, and other off-the-job entertainment

Improve the look, feel, and bottom line of your manufacturing facility with L Squared Digital Signage solutions. For more information on Digital Signage products, pricing, and customer support, please contact us.