Case Study: Chemicals company
International Specialty Products (USA)
Facility: International Specialty Products
Location: Wayne, New Jersey
Challenge: Build a communications bridge among the company's multiple locations/provide up-to-date communications to employees/update information display capabilities at tradeshows
Solution: 46” NEC MultiSync LCD4620 & 40” LCD4020
Date: October 2008
To aid in the design of the new lobby as well as the company's tradeshow booth, Porter brought in integrator Marc A. Wolfe, CEO of ProActive, Inc. (www.proactive-usa.com). Porter and Wolfe worked to update the lobby's 8 by 51/2-foot lightbox and tradeshow booth, which displayed static signage.
One of their challenges was the darkly colored walls in ISP's lobby, which limited the impact of the lightbox. The lobby also featured high ceilings and a large open area, making the lightbox seem even more dull and outdated, and although the box was backlit, the static signage didn't grab visitors' attention. Porter needed an eye-popping solution to effectively communicate with ISP's guests.
Another challenge for Porter was the inability to easily update the lightbox with content such as recent sales or acquisitions. While the lightbox contained company history, she and Wolfe both realized the new lobby setup and tradeshow booth had the potential to provide much more information than the original format. Wolfe sorted through various technological options and proposed replacing the static signage in the lightbox and booth with digital signage. Porter quickly realized the tremendous opportunities the digital alternative presented.
“After weighing our options, we realized it would be foolish not to switch to digital because the cost savings alone was substantial enough to justify the initial expense of the displays,” said Porter. “More important, digital signage allowed us to display not only more information than the original static format, but also the most current news. There is no limit to how much we can edit and update the content, and digital signage also enabled the use of animated content.”
After exploring product evaluation tests of NEC's monitors, Porter stuck with them because of their superior quality and product features, notably the commercial-grade panels. ISP purchased seven 46” NEC MultiSync LCD4620 displays (four to replace the static lightbox at its headquarters and three for a nearby lobby on its campus). The four LCD4620 lobby displays, installed in portrait orientation, were combined into a 1x4 tiled configuration so that content could run separately on individual screens or all four together. Additionally, the Omnivex software Wolfe suggested would provide Porter's graphic designers with an easy portal to update the system's content whenever and wherever necessary.
In addition to displaying the latest company news and introductory information, special messages can be created in the lobby signage, such as a welcome note to a particular guest visiting the office. ISP personnel have noticed that such personal touches have enhanced their visitors’ stay and in many cases have improved relationships with their clients.
ISP also purchased nine 40” NEC MultiSync LCD4020 displays for their new tradeshow booth. This eliminated the need for printed, static lightbox panels that would have to be updated frequently, shipped to and from tradeshows and stored elsewhere, incurring a great deal of expense along the way.
“With the new digital screens, we can now change content as necessary in the booth right at the show using Apple Mac minis plugged into the screens,” Porter said. “We were confident that the digital screens would pay for themselves after using them at a couple of tradeshows.”
Moreover, the popularity of the digital displays has led Porter to purchase them for other ISP locations in the U.S., a major step towards bridging the companywide communications gap. Consideration is also being given to adding the displays at ISP's European sites.
“With standardized content running on the digital signage at each site, we have created a huge impact without increasing staff or man-hours,” said Porter. “The content is standard enough to be consistent, yet flexible enough to be used in multiple locations. Going digital has certainly enhanced many parts of our corporate community, even educating our employees on aspects of the company they may have not been familiar with previously. The digital signage has helped instill a feeling of closeness that was lacking before we made the switch.”
“Converting to digital was certainly the best way to go, considering the value offered, achievable reach and desire to lead their sector,” said Wolfe. “By using dynamic content created by Omnivex software, we created a major wow factor. There is a lot more fidelity when using this RGB screen compared to a static CMYK document. We couldn’t be happier with the final outcome of the corporate headquarters lobby and tradeshow booth because they give ISP the look and feel that it deserves.”
“The response to the digital signage used in our headquarters lobby, at our tradeshows and a growing number of our sites has been tremendous, and the use of the displays has been incredibly successful,” said Porter. “The colors are so crisp and clear that you feel as though you can walk up to a panel, reach in there and get past the words to the structure of the image itself. A lot of that has to do with the fact that they're NEC screens. You can’t beat that quality. Using these displays has helped frame our company's image as an innovator and a top-tier company. Everyone, from executives to employees to visitors, has noted the displays when they walk past. What's more, the digital signage has helped initiate conversations that would not have otherwise taken place.”