Tag Archives: Brent Nacu

Digital Signage In Full Swing Over The Holidays

Digital signage and the holiday retail workforce surge

We are now in the most scrutinized period of retail each year. The “holiday season” is upon us. Just a few years ago this period didn’t start until “Black Friday,” but in today’s world it starts the minute you put away the spider webs and pumpkins of Halloween. And for retail HR and training teams it actually starts as early as September.

That’s when they start hiring the extra staff to handle the holiday business rush. Large retailers (those with more than 100,000 employees) will surge as much as 40 to 50 percent in the hourly associates they employee during the holidays. This is good for the economy and helps a lot of people. But it is full of challenges too.

Think about your own workplace: When a new person starts, they have to learn the systems you use, the practices and policies you follow and where the washroom is located. What if you suddenly had 50 new co-workers all starting the same day?

In addition to the volume of new hires, the typical large retail location has more than 100,000 different product SKUs. Training on policies, systems and the product mix are all important to associate success. This is what our friends in retail are faced with each year.

Most retailers have a conundrum to face — they could give the new hire a large binder of information and direct them to read the information. But in the hourly workforce, you need to pay people when they are doing work-related activities. It is difficult and not practical to send people home to learn and have to track hours. So new hires need to undertake this learning in the store. And forget about giving a millennial new hire a notebook to read. This is not how they learn. They learn by viewing and experiencing. You need to provide a way for these new team members to “watch their way to knowledge.”

I submit that the successful retailers will use this as an opportunity to build engagement within their entire workforce, not just the seasonal hires. The successful retailer will create a practice where new hires are given a place to view information in an “on-demand” fashion. They can take the time they need to watch and re-watch content until they feel they have achieved mastery — then go out on the show floor with a “mentor” and experience what they have learned. By giving the new hire a chance to watch some material in advance, they turn the time with a mentor into a workshop experience rather than just a knowledge transfer. The retailer can provide consistent instruction at all locations by using digital signage to play recorded training videos from the home office. Then the local mentors can work with the new hire to talk about how local variances help achieve greater success. This mentoring relationship will build engagement within the workforce and provide a greater level of energy and improved customer service.

The next time you are in your favorite retailer and one of their associates is helping you find something or helping you check out, ask them about their experience as they joined the team at that store. Judge for yourself whether they are engaged and ready to support a culture of success.

Why Retrofitting Digital Signage Saves Big Money

We come across a fair number of customers who already have some kind of electronic LCD’s or Televisions installed in their business. Maybe they use them for information, maybe they use them for entertainment. Either way, at some point, they realized or decided that enhancing the screen into Digital Signage made better business sense than how they are currently being used.

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 Banks, Retailers, Hospitals, Schools and Plants are prime locations where TV’s can easily be converted. 

This article is designed to advise such customers who have already invested in some type of LCD or TV screen in the past, that the option to simply retrofit might be a huge savings winner and really help accelerate your company ROI  around Digital Signage.

But first, let’s set the context on why this makes sense.

Business Case:

Most Enterprise and reliable Digital Signage involves three (3) components:

1) Software

2) Hardware

3) Set-Up, Support and Updates

Step 3 is more of a formality and is often blended into the License cost of the software or some professional services fee. But looking at Step 1, we explore the Software; most often represented “as a service”. You purchase or acquire a license to the software which might include some kind of Support, Updates, Hosting and Program Access. In Digital Signage, this is a per unit cost (unit referring to a Media Player / small Pc). Costs can range from .50 cents a day per player up to $4.00.

Next up is Step 2, the Hardware. Once you find a software that you like, feel comfortable with and matches your business goals, it becomes time to look at the capital part of the project. Hardware for Digital Signage usually involves an LCD/LED Screen, a small PC (Media Player in the industry) and some kind of mounting structure (like wall or ceiling). The whole purpose of this article was to demonstrate an excellent way to cut costs in hardware while upgrading or implementing very functional software. Here’s how:

Most Digital Signage companies (at least the top 50 in the world) all have a certain media player they standardize on. It’s been tried and tested. Think of it like car manufacturers. Jaguar doesn’t use Toyota engines and Ford doesn’t use Volkswagen. But they all might have a V6, so the engines are similar. It’s the same for Media Players in the Digital Signage industry. It’s recommended to just stick with what your provider suggests (as long as it’s under $500 USD.. but that’s another Blog!).

That leaves your screen and your mount. In many cases, a customer might have installed a screen in the last 4-5 years. In many cases, the screens have not been overused. They might look a little dated, but otherwise turn on and off perfectly. And that brings us to the heart of the matter. When your company is looking to move forward with Digital Signage, do your best to try and save any existing screens you might have. Don’t be fooled. As long as the TV has an HDMI input and is 1080P,  it should handle any media player that you throw on the back or slide in. The screen itself is usually the highest single item cost, and if the company ego can squeeze a couple more years out of existing screens, you create a real ROI case for yourself.

If you’re not sure about your screen, you have two options: either get a chair and look behind (or take a pic of the model # and google it, or ask a service provider or vendor to make a recommendation.

Obviously any vendor would like to increase the sale with additional hardware and thousands in tv costs. But most software vendors focus on the software, and will (or should) be doing their best to make what you have work. And then, you have the option of replacing screens either as they die, or in small batch sections (either based on geography or department).

In the case of L Squared, we often ship the media players out, have our install team retrofit them to existing screens, connect to the network and are off and running in no time.

If you are not sure how to proceed, or if what advise you should be getting, please reach out to an L Squared rep and one of our Project Managers will always spare a few minutes to discuss anything on your mind.

Stay tuned for our next blog on: How long should I plan before making a decision!

Sales@lsquared.com or Bnacu@lsquared,com

 

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.

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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

Webcast: Why Are HR Pros Turning To Digital Signs To Communicate With Employees?

Join Gaj Ratnavel and Brent Nacu on 31th March 2015 at 3pm EST to discover new ways HR, comms and admin teams are using Digital Signage to communicate more effectively with employees and stakeholders.

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Historically, organizations have focused their technology investment around “systems of record,” such as ERP, BI, and CRM to handle foundational business requirements. Today, this investment is moving towards “systems of engagement” with customers, employees and partners.

Understand how your employer brand can grow with simple new segmented screen messaging.

Digital screen technology helps organizations to attract, engage and interact with employees and customers. You will walk away with a concrete plan to begin to strengthen your company’s corporate communications right away!

3pm EDT, March 31

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This L Squared webinar is your opportunity to ensure that everyone at your company understands how digital signs, kiosks, wayfinding and posters are providing companies with powerful new ways to present content and drive results:

  • Engage and educate employees with real time, interactive digital displays
  • Improve corporate communications
  • Enhance employee morale
  • Promote health and safety initiatives
  • Provide an effective system for emergency messaging
  • Entertain clients waiting in your lobby

Webinar: Digital Signage For Retail

In-store digital media is a far more cost and time-efficient alternative than traditional printed posters.

Digital Signage helps consumes make more informed decisions while enabling vendors to improve their bottom line and transform their shops into more attractive places.

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Our webinar, happening 1pm ET, April 2, 2015 will show you:

  1. How digital signage can help you decrease marketing costs at the POS and POP and increase the speed of promotion;
  2. How digital signage can help your retail outlets improve sales and brand sentiment
  3. The usefulness of digital displays
  4. The major influencers of digital signage ROI- content and location
  5. Easy to use Digital Signage content management systems and how you can create engaging and targeted messages

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Why Are HR Pros Adopting Digital Signage For Employee Communications?

Join us on Monday 9th March 2015 at 2pm Eastern to discover new ways HR, comms and admin teams are using Digital Signage to communicate more effectively with employees and stakeholders.

Do you have things to say to your employees?

Digital Signage can give you the engaging digital screen tools to automate messages and broadcast in real time to your staff and stakeholders.

Join us on Monday March 9th for the second in our series of free video tutorials which will help you discover new ways to communicate targeted, health and safety notices, alerts, incentives and other company updates quickly and with ease!

rsz_register300x60

Historically, organizations have focused their technology investment around “systems of record,” such as ERP, BI, and CRM to handle foundational business requirements. Today, this investment is moving towards “systems of engagement” with customers, employees and partners.

Understand how your employer brand can grow with simple new segmented screen messaging.

Digital screen technology helps organizations to attract, engage and interact with employees and customers. You will walk away with a concrete plan to begin to strengthen your company’s corporate communications right away!

Monday March 9 at 2pm Eastern

 

rsz_register300x60

This L Squared webinar is your opportunity to ensure that everyone at your company understands how digital signs, kiosks, wayfinding and posters are providing companies with powerful new ways to present content and drive results:

  • Engage and educate employees with real time, interactive digital displays
  • Improve corporate communications
  • Enhance employee morale
  • Promote health and safety initiatives
  • Provide an effective system for emergency messaging
  • Entertain clients waiting in your lobby

 

Digital Signage Solutions for HR Departments: Connecting with Employees

The problem of lack of communication has its roots in that people share information. However that information is passed on is interpreted different ways. If passed by word of mouth, it becomes highly subjective to memory. If passed by print materials and one person read them and shared the info, it becomes subjective to user takeaways (Missed the point, shares the negative).

It is inside these corporate challenges where Digital Signage has taken a foothold.  It simply allows a business to have one voice, in a communal environment that can make a team impact. Rarely do other technologies have such an immediate and team oriented affect.

Now, the trick is for Global HR to take hold of such technologies and empower their communication footprint company wide.

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Connecting with Employees

If you look around, you will see that digital screens are predominant in areas with high traffic such as entrances, lunch rooms, lobbies and employee corridors.

Digital signages are basically television screens that display customized information on the television screen.

It is like creating a television channel for promoting any content that you think is valuable for your company. Each of the sections can be carved out individually, just like cutting a cake. And each of these sections can be managed by the various departments of your company. As an HR professional, you can take the responsibility of scheduling the content within those sections that will circulate for 24 hour a day.

How Helpful is This Technology?

The greatest advantage or help that digital signages offer is that you can create content that is unique and customized. These contents include safety posters, videos for employee training, Power Point based slides, newsletters, latest marketing collateral, etc.

You will have to find the right audience even among your employees for each message that you communicate through digital signages. In this way, you can communicate clearly and transparently with all your employees.

With the help of digital signage solutions, the latest ones being touch screen based displays, HR professionals can advance their communication skills with employees, and contribute towards the growth of the company.

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.

 

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.

 

How HR Can Use Digital Signs to Increase Employee Engagement

Join Gaj Ratnavel and Brent Nacu on Wednesday 4th March 2015 at 2pm EST to discover new ways HR, comms and admin teams are using Digital Signage to communicate more effectively with employees and stakeholders.

rsz_register300x60

Historically, organizations have focused their technology investment around “systems of record,” such as ERP, BI, and CRM to handle foundational business requirements. Today, this investment is moving towards “systems of engagement” with customers, employees and partners.

Understand how your employer brand can grow with simple new segmented screen messaging.

Digital screen technology helps organizations to attract, engage and interact with employees and customers. You will walk away with a concrete plan to begin to strengthen your company’s corporate communications right away!

1pm EDT, Wednesday March 4 at 2pm EST

rsz_register300x60

This L Squared webinar is your opportunity to ensure that everyone at your company understands how digital signs, kiosks, wayfinding and posters are providing companies with powerful new ways to present content and drive results:

  • Engage and educate employees with real time, interactive digital displays
  • Improve corporate communications
  • Enhance employee morale
  • Promote health and safety initiatives
  • Provide an effective system for emergency messaging
  • Entertain clients waiting in your lobby

 

Interview with Brent Nacu: The Links Between HR and Digital Signage

As we enter the second day of the annual HRPA Conference and Trade Show,Brent Nacu, our Director of Business Development, tells the Editor of The HR Gazette why he’s attending the event and his hopes for the coming year.

Brent gives his insights into the growing adoption of new internal communications screen media technologies amongst HR professionals and why Digital Signage is here to stay.

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Editor: Tell us a bit about your career history and how you first came to learn about the HRPA Conference

Brent Nacu: The HRPA Conference is a national leader inside of the Canadian HR Industry. I personally have been in Management for over 10 years and traditionally viewed HR from the outside. It has really been in the last few years as that our company has seen a dramatic shift in who the end users of our Digital Signage programs became. We developed a strong understanding of the relationship between HR and Corporate Communications. I would sit with and train HR Directors, Managers and Coordinators on using Digital Signage and hear the challenges and real world problems they faced in communications. Problems off the top were how to engage Mutli-site communications, Multi -lingual barriers, how to reach shift and hourly-paid employees effectively and maybe the biggest… How an HR Coordinator or Maanager can save 100 hours a year in labour using Digital Signage over more traditional print, walk, send, post strategies.

These experiences and long hours of insight impacted our views and influenced development to creat a user experience that was as easy as possible. The key was about getting our head into the HR space and thinking like an HR professional. I ended up taking HR courses at University and sitting in on our own internal programs. It has produced a well -rounded connection, not only for myself, but for our company in accessing and understanding the best way to partner Communication Technology and HR Strategies.

Editor: What do you want people to know about you? About L Squared? 

Brent Nacu: L Squared has become an industry leader in the Digital Signage space worldwide by creating a platform that was easy to use (drag and drop), reliable and super cost effective. This combination is an innovation in our industry. The innovation has little to do with just having and hiring bright staff, although we have a lot. The innovation was the result of spending time with our customers and listening to their issues and what “would be great to have.” The results were consistent innovation and a trust level with every customer we have. You can’t buy that. It is an internal culture you grow from self actualization, or team actualization in this case that related to our purpose as a business and “Why we do what we do.”

Editor: Tell us 3 benefits of attending the HRPA Conference 

Brent Nacu: Let’s see. The first is Industry Insights – learning the combination of challenges, success and innovations that are shifting HR into an Employee Success Centric unit globally. Second is Networking,  the opportunity to meet and connect with companies of all sizes. Its great hearing the insights that a company of 350 employees has versus 35,000. The programs that work, scale and grow. And also the programs and headaches that didn’t work so well.  Thirdly I’d say Business Development – It’s all about the people!  Relationships 101  if you will. But there is a lot of cross-functional developments taking place in the world of software and conference brings out players at every turn.

Editor: What speakers will you be looking to hear from at the conference and why?

Brent Nacu: Nicole Bendaly. Scott Stratte  and  Mike Walsh for starters. They all bring a different perspective to the table. Stratten’s session on culture is the future , Mike Walsh is going to discuss the Cloud and how software will continue revolutionizing HR .Of course Nicole Bendaly. She is both an academic and a CEO. Hard ot find that kind of experience packaged together.

Editor: How useful is the trade show for developing new relationships?

Brent Nacu: The trade-show and sessions are the “meat and potatoes”  of the experience. Although I prefer some vegetables in most of my meals. I get to browse the vendors, meet new faces and get a pulse for the direction we’re headed. The trade show is a must see. It would be like attending the auto show and skipping the cars but listening to panelists. Plus, there is a  lot of chocolate and free pens.

Editor: What’s the connection between Digital Signage and HR?

Brent Nacu: Two words: Centralized Communications. Over the next 10 years, every HR department in the world with over 75 employees will have at least one screen centrally located to push and engage staff with the latest and greatest. The days of posting job opps, anniversaries, birthdays and special announcements on paper is nearly gone. Digital Signage is the communication medium that all HR will drive through on a centralized level. And it can be managed from your desk, phone or house.

Editor: Why do you believe 2015 will be a good year to incorporate Digital Signage into one’s HR strategy?

Brent Nacu: 2015 is a banner year where software and hardware prices are the most affordable ever. You can install and run a brand new screen in your lunchroom or front entrance for around $5.00 to $6.00 per day.  That’s .25 Cents / hour to communicate instantly with staff anything required. That can include Emergency Messaging as well in some cases. The time and energy savings to HR create a very attractive  ROI.

Editor: Why don’t more HR pros already know about using Digital Signage for internal communications? 

Brent Nacu: Simple Answer: HR doesn’t buy or procure turnkey solutions, they let procurement or IT. So even though HR wins, they might not be comfortable with or care about the size of the screen, how the network connects or how it is hosted. The key is not focusing on the brief technical details, but the operation and results. In fact my last training was a few days ago and the HR team outweighed the IT in the room 2:1. HR is getting it. The problem was our industry didn’t target or create the avenue for HR to become the champion. That is changing. Particularly in Corporate settings and Manufacturing.

Editor: What are some of the most common problems Digital Signage solves for HR and can you offer any client examples?

Brent Nacu: Most common solutions Digital Signage address include: immediate and remote uploading of materials. Instead of emailing another location and having multiple HR staff or managers go around posting materials, do it all from one place, at one time. The energy savings in terms of HR time is invaluable.

The next HR Problem it solves is that Digital Signage stores huge amounts of your content. Instead of reproducing a holiday wishes poster, simply re-use the 2014 version for 2015. This works for safety reminders and content that revolves in the HR loop.

Third, and maybe the biggest value is the scheduling ability. Forget taking down posters, forgetting timelines, etc… Digital Signage lets you “Set it and Forget It!” Put up a Word Doc Job Posting fora Regional Sales Manager. Set it for 2 weeks of run time and then it will automatically come down for the date you set. It doesn’t get any better for HR.

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About Brent Nacu:

BRENT_NACUBrent Nacu is a driven, strategic, customer-focused professional with a focus towards developing internal communications strategies within HR teams. Having joined L Squared Digital Signage on the ground floor, Brent has been a key leader in operational development as well as in the long term business strategy and execution of new programs. Recent work with the Ontario HR community includes Brent’s very popular session at last Fall’s Social HR Camp in Toronto.

Brent is passionate about making life fun, and getting the most out of the people around him. He inspires thought leadership and critical thinking that elevates and engage others. When he’s not studying for his HRPA accreditations, Brent likes to use his spare time to support numerous community organizations including the Danielle Nacu Scholarship Fund, Share the Road, MDI, and the Ontario Safe Cycling Coalition.

First published in The HR Gazette