How Not To Put Together Workplace Digital Signage

Sugar Crushing Machine

The device in the photo above is used for crushing sugar cane and limes for roadside drinks that are sold in India. While in its own way it’s almost a piece of art, I think a Cuisinart would do a lot better job. It would be much faster and the operator wouldn’t face the constant risk of bodily injury. But I’m guessing the owner of this machine used whatever parts that could be found around and cobbled this thing together.

Many, maybe most companies create their in-house digital signage (DS) systems in a similar manner. They figure they can scrape together an old computer and a few inexpensive displays, and that will give them a system to display their important communications. And it will – sort of.

The problem is it will be difficult to use, require constant attention from IT and network employees, be prone to breakdowns, and won’t have the design tools or available content to properly communicate those important issues. A case in point: I was recently at one of our customer locations, a global food manufacturer with many sites. Our contact there, a high-level IT manager, had originally created do-it-yourself DS for his company and it worked OK. But shortly after installation, he started getting support calls from other departments. They wanted him to post the content because the system was too complicated for them. And every time there was a glitch, he also got called. One day he realized that he was spending a significant portion of each week dealing with the system, instead of doing the important IT jobs that would help the company reach its high-level goals. So he called us a couple of years ago and those support issues have now all gone away. He noted that his time is more valuable focusing on global company issues as opposed to supporting a home-grown system.

I hear this story time after time after time. What at first seems like a simple task turns out to be a time-sucking proposition. Or worse, the system gets ignored and eventually shut down.

Just like you probably use an outside vendor to help with your payroll processing, you should consider looking to partner with a professional DS company for your workplace communications needs. It will be faster, easier and cheaper in the mid-to-long run.

In my next blog, I’ll give you some statistics on how much money you can save when internal DS is done correctly.

Frank Kenna III
November 29, 2017

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