Jim Bozard, Founder & CEO of Coastal Corrugated, Inc. (CCI), in Charleston, South Carolina, wants to make one thing clear, “Our people are our greatest asset. The people make all the difference in what makes this company uniquely more valuable to its customers. The more we can invest in ourselves and help each one enjoy the experiences of the work environment, while being more productive, the better we are at everything we do.”
The ‘people’ Jim refers to are the 104 employees that comprise CCI’s customer service staff, sales team, in-house design department, production shifts, and delivery crew… all of whom secure the company’s success in the highly competitive packaging manufacturing market.
One way Jim decided to invest in his people was through the use of workplace digital signage from The Marlin Company. Marlin’s patented Electronic Communication Station technology was implemented to help the Charleston facility achieve the following goals:
- -Recognize/celebrate employees
- -Ensure effective communication in a 24/7 operation
- -Reach workers who aren’t sitting at a desk
- -Fully utilize visual communication (for high noise zones)
Jim was already familiar with The Marlin Company, having been a subscriber to the Marlin workplace poster program, which addresses a wide variety of safety, morale, and customer service issues through visual communication. The Electronic Communication Stations (ECS) were the next step for a facility that operates with state-of-the-art equipment. ECS delivers the best of both worlds for CCI—providing Marlin’s expertly produced workplace content while also allowing users to upload, enhance, and schedule their own custom content in just minutes.
The 50” LCD screens that are part of the CCI digital signage sys-tem were installed throughout the facility. “We had them placed strategically, especially in the production area, so that a balance is struck between job focus and information delivery,” Jim shares. Screens are also placed in their visitor conference room and customer service area. “When we know a VIP is coming or a meeting is taking place that affects more than just a few people, we’ll schedule a message to the screens for just the right amount of time.”
“We use the screens to call out employees for special accolades,” Jim says with a smile. “In fact, we just had a guy hit 9 years with the company, and he’s on the screens.” The screens also recognize birthdays and a variety of milestones throughout the year. Jim points out that employees are naturally curious about their coworkers. That’s why they also post content that employees contribute about exciting events in their lives, such as the birth of a child. This helps ensure that communication isn’t all work-related. It can be fun and personal as well.
Building on the theme of fun and employee recognition seems to be easy for Jim and his team at Coastal Corrugated, Inc. “It’s really important that people enjoy what they do. And Marlin really helps them to do that,” Jim says as he stands next to a custom ECS piece that announces “CCI’s Play in the Park Day.” The message starts with the text, “We’ve all been working hard, and now it’s time to have a little fun.” The day promises games, ‘awesome eats,’ and even a dunking booth that has the whole team eager to see Jim get soaked.
A 24/7 operation poses a unique set of communication challenges. CCI can now use its digital boards to schedule content so that all shifts can see timely messages, no matter when they clock in. Messages can even be scheduled by users who are off site, thanks to The Marlin Company’s cloud-based Content Management System (CMS).
The screens also help reach a large portion of the workforce that doesn’t sit at a computer desk all day. “I’m impressed with how quickly people pick up what’s been posted on the board and how that knowledge circulates back through the office,” Jim says. “It’s just like when people watch ESPN and CNN. They want to be the first to know what’s going on and be able to say to others, ‘You didn’t know about this or that? Let me tell ya.’”
When Visual Communication is Essential
Like most manufacturing companies, workers in CCI’s production area are surrounded by machinery, forklifts, and delivery trucks. The resulting noise can make it difficult to share information verbally, even when you step away to take a short break. This is why the ECS screens and visual communication are a welcome addition near the production areas. With just a glance, it’s easy for workers on break to understand what a message is all about. There’s no need to ask someone to repeat something. It’s clear and concise information. Whether the screens display their own custom fun content, production metrics and office news, or Marlin safety content, the key here is that it’s visual.
ECS offers a flexible platform that can adapt to the changing needs of the organization. This came in handy when the main ECS administrator at CCI went on maternity leave. The system’s intuitive interface and video training modules helped a new user to upload and schedule PDFs, PowerPoints, photos, and even video without missing a beat.
CCI also benefits from an ECS system that automatically populates with the latest advancements and upgrades. It’s a communication solution that’s ready to meet the demands of today and tomorrow, from new file conversion capabilities to exciting ways to enhance your content. It’s a resource that fits right in at CCI’s state-of-the-art facility. And it translates to a workforce that is better informed and looking forward to providing exemplary service each and every day.