In this edition of Noventri Classroom, we will take a look at using digital signage in a manufacturing environment.
When it comes to manufacturing, it is very important to have good communication with the work force. This can present a challenge at times making sure that they get the information that they need. It might be safety initiatives, HR announcements, or more importantly, production metrics and quotas. So how can you make sure this information gets to them?
In talking to different manufacturers, here are some things that they have tried. One is email. That would seem like a great way to get in touch with everybody. But the problem is you have no way to ensure that everyone has read the email, and secondly, not all those in the work force have access to email. One manufacturer told me up to forty percent of his work force did not have email access. So certainly, that is not very effective in trying to get your message out.
Another thing that is being used is information boards or bulletin boards. The problem with this is that it requires actually printing out information and you have manually tack it up to the board. And again, there is no way to ensure that everybody reads it. You also leave yourself open to the graffiti artist of the factory or some other type of tampering. At times, those boards can get cluttered and look unattractive.
This is where digital signage comes to the rescue. Well designed content placed on strategically located screens is a great way to get the attention of your work force. Also, you are able to manage your content from a remote location. That way you do not have to physically go out to each area and post new information. You can control that all from a central hub.
One of the many benefits of Noventri Digital Signage is the ability to tie in to existing database or spreadsheet. This allows you to have information updated automatically on your digital signage. Perhaps you would like to display updated metrics and production goals. You can do that without having to open up the content creation software. It can be handled automatically through your database.
Modern manufacturing is designed to be as automated as possible, and we feel that the same should be true of your digital signage. That way, you do not have to spend time managing your communications, but rather, they do the work for you.
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April 9, 2013, Smithsburg, MD – Noventri, a US digital signage company, has announced the release of Version 2.8 of Noventri Suite, Digital Signage Software. The new release provides an enhanced experience with more features and security, plus greater usability for large networks.
- Preview Interval management for large networks
- New, more robust and secure Communications
- New, optimized ODBC Connections
- PowerPoint import enhancements
- Updated Designer Panel functionality
- Enhanced permissions panel
The ‘Preview Interval’ feature expands usage in managing screen thumbnails on larger networks; allowing efficient uploading of thumbnails without using excessive bandwidth.
‘New Communications’ and ‘Optimized ODBC’ features provide a higher level of security and reliability on larger networks.
Version 2.8 also addresses a number of bugs and enhances user experience.
Noventri Suite 2.8 can be installed on any windows-based computer and is the companion software to the Noventri Eco-Series digital signage player. Users can create content in Full HD resolution, add multiple region types, and overlap other regions with full transparencies using industry standard image formats such as .jpg, .png, and .bmp.
Also, Noventri Suite functions as a stand-alone simple digital signage player, although some features are only available when combined with the Noventri Eco-Series player.
Noventri Suite is a no-cost digital signage software; there are no licenses, no subscriptions, and no hidden costs of any kind… Request your free copy at: http://www.noventri.com/digital-signage-demo.php.
For information contact Judy L. Hoffman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-790-0103.
In part 3 of our series on moving food in a QSR environment, we are going to take a closer look at dayparting. Most QSR’s have breakfast items, lunch items, maybe even dinner items. It is important for these to be displayed at the appropriate times on the menu boards. This way the customers know which items they have to choose from.
So how do you change your menu boards?
Well, in the past we have seen individuals use the “remove and replace method.” This is where the entire menu slick is taken down and a new one is put up in its place. They even have magnetic ones where you can have menu items printed out on magnetic strips. You have to peel off the old item and then you’re able to stick the new strip up. You have to get it lined up just right, and do the same with your price changes.
What I saw recently, which I thought was kind of interesting, I guess you would call it a game show menu board. They actually had photos of menu items on a cube. Whenever they needed to change the item, an employee would have to manually spin the cube around to have the new item’s picture shown to the customers.
With these menu systems, you have to rely on an employee manually changing out the menu boards. They have to take time out of their other activities that they are engaged in. Maybe there are even customers in line and they just have to wait until the menu board gets switched over. Also, you have the added expense of potential wear and tear and replacement of those items as they’re continually handled and manipulated to reflect your changes.
For years, that was our only option when it came to dayparting on menu boards. Now, thankfully, we have digital menu boards. With Noventri Digital Signage you are able to schedule out your dayparting as far in advance as you would like.
So let’s say every day you know that at ten thirty you are going to switch over from your breakfast menu to your lunch menu. You can schedule that in to change automatically. Perhaps there are certain promotions that are going to happen every week, maybe you have a Tuesday seniors day, or perhaps fish on Friday. Any of these things can be programmed in advance so that way you don not have to worry about changing your menu boards. It will happen automatically.
For even more automated control, you can tie in your existing POS systems inventory database with Noventri Digital Signage. For instance, perhaps you’re running out of roast beef. It could automatically remove that item from off your menu boards and replace it with something else you would like to promote. This way your customers stay well informed and you do not have to take time out of your schedule to manually change your menu boards.
For your establishment to be profitable, it is obvious that you need to have a good dayparting strategy. With Noventri Digital Signage you are able to implement that strategy automatically. You do not have to worry about manually changing out your boards, but it can take place behind the scenes so that you can get back to making good food and taking care of your customers.
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When it comes to the content that’s used on a digital menu board, many times it’s felt that video and animation are the best use of space and that they will attract the customers’ eyes. It is the best way to interact with them. Well is that really the case?
Sometimes it can actually present a speed bump in the whole ordering process. People want to get in, order their food, and get it quickly. Video and animation can slow that process down. Here’s something that we’ve noticed with some QSR’s. They will have the regular menu board items displayed, then suddenly the whole menu board will change out to a video promotion or advertisement. Once that’s over, the regular menu boards will reappear.
Now put yourself in the customers’ shoes. Here they trying to order their items, and maybe they have kids with them and they’ve got to get them to soccer practice. Perhaps there are other people in line, and now they have to wait for an advertisement to be over with to continue ordering. Really, that can hinder the whole ordering process and certainly is very frustrating.
When designing menu board content, one of the first things you should take into consideration is the customer. What do they really want? They want to be able to order quickly, and you certainly don’t want to do anything with your menu boards that would hinder that process.
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“Can I just buy TV screens from a department store and use them for digital signage displays?”
Of course, you can. You can also use a porcupine for a seat cushion. Either choice presents you with certain and specific pains. (See below: 7 Reasons Consumer Screens Are NOT For Digital Signage Use)
The main reason anyone even considers consumer grade is to try to save money. However, the price between consumer and commercial screens can be as little as a few dollars and the difference is shrinking all the time. Is saving a few dollars up front really worth the risks?
Here is some food for thought. The last link between your message and your audience is your screens. That is why reliability is crucial. In the end, you can have the greatest content in the world but it makes no difference if no one can see it. Commercial grade screens are designed and built to handle the usage requirements of digital signage, hence providing the reliability needed to be successful.
Knowing how important screen selection is, Noventri spends a lot of time vetting suppliers before we associate the Noventri name with them. On rare occasions, you can find a company that has great products along with great support. NEC is one of those companies. NEC screens have an amazing track record for being reliable. They are the only screen supplier that has a 3-year onsite overnight warranty and their team is phenomenal. Their focus is on providing great business products. NEC does not even make consumer grade screens! Since our clients expect personal communication and attention to detail, having a company like NEC is a perfect fit.
Or we could sit on a porcupine. We made the right choice. We’re confident that you will, too.
7 Reasons Consumer Screens Are NOT For Digital Signage Use
1. If customers purchase the Consumer TV on their own, there is a high probability it won’t work correctly and they’ll be chasing problems which their digital signage supplier probably won’t be able to support.
2. Many manufacturers will NOT honor the warranty on Consumer TVs if they are used for professional or Digital Signage applications, even if purchased from a digital signage integrator.
3. Consumer TVs are not made for 24/7 operation. Even though many work just fine, it’s impossible to predict failure rate due to 24/7 operation.
4. There is almost no chance that the supplier will be able to find an identical model, even a few months later.
5. Consumer TVs can’t be mounted vertically (Portrait Mode) because they will overheat. Commercial grade screens have special venting and fans that make this possible. If a consumer screen is mounted vertically (Portrait Mode) you may also find that the screen may not be visible if standing anywhere but directly in front of the screen. The viewing angle is for consumer screens is engineered for the TV to be mounted above someone’s fire place or sitting on an entertainment center.
6. Power On/Off on Consumer TVs cannot be controlled with the Digital Signage Player; they’ll need to be turned On/Off manually.
7. The life of a Consumer TV is about half that of a Professional Digital Signage Display.
Are consumer grade screens a viable alternative? Post your comments and questions below.