With digital signage solutions we manage to integrate connected and smart communication in production, logistics and retail. The technology is mature and approved and is getting more and more involved in different business areas. In an interview with Gernot Trummer (Strategic Business Development) we talk about a variety of use cases and new concepts, the competence LNConsult has built up within the last years and the future of digital signage.
What is digital signage about and what solutions are on the market?
Gernot Trummer: Digital signage refers to digital displays that are managed remotely and provide digital media content for communication and information. In the area of digital signage, content that is stored somewhere gets visualized on a digital screen or display. The visualization can be statically as well as dynamically. Dynamic visualization means, that the system accesses real-time information and changes of content and immediately displays it at the point of action. We can also invite the user to interact with the digital signage solution via an entry or touch gestures.
The special thing about digital signage is that we can integrate third-party systems (e.g. cameras and sensors) into the system and thus expand classic display systems in a smart way.
Which examples in the areas of production, logistics and retail can illustrate these possibilities?
Gernot Trummer: Conventional applications can be found, for example, in the area of employee communication. An employee TV brings relevant information quickly and directly to the staff - without making a detour and without any delay. These screens are used more and more interactively. For example, employees are invited to competitions, are made aware of discounts or receive relevant information on their area of activity. The "digital bulletin board” with the latest news, announcements, notices or invitations is not only efficient – it also saves resources in the form of paper and time. In addition, information is managed centrally, eliminating the risk of outdated or incorrect information hanging on an information board somewhere in the company.
Our customers also use digital signage solutions in the form of digital door signs. A specific software makes it possible that the check-in data of the respective employee is communicated to the door display and shows whether the colleague is on duty or not. Meeting rooms are linked to the calendar to show whether a room is occupied or not. Welcome screens and interactive information pillars display information in companies as well as at trade fairs or construction sites.
In the area of production, for example, key performance indicators can be displayed in real time at relevant spots so that the staff can always keep an eye on them. Our customers also use smart displays as dashboard, cycle control, planning board, shift plan, eKanban and to visualize load planning or real arrivals. This list can be expanded without any limit. Wherever information has to be available dynamically and in real time, digital signage pushes performance in production, logistics or on construction sites.
In retail, digital signage is primarily used as a communication medium. Promoting offers directly in the store is describing only one of many use cases. Displays can also be used as digital price labels that are mounted at the shelf. It enables quick price changes from a central controller and also makes it easy to synchronize online and offline offers in real time. Combined with video analytics, advertisements and promotions can even match the individual shopper at the store.
All information available can feed the digital signage software and can be visualized on a wide variety of hardware. Almost every use case can be mapped with the help of our digital signage experts. No matter which content is displayed and if dynamic widgets like time or weather forecasts are integrated: we manage to display all the relevant information in an appealing overall layout.
Why does LNConsult consider itself as an expert in this field?
Gernot Trummer: We have been working with all available digital signage technologies for many years now and know how to use them appropriately. Offering great digital signage solutions is characterized by cooperating closely with our partners and customers. This is why we are constantly developing new, specific solutions for individual use cases. The intense exchange of ideas and transfer of know-how is not only creating best results and a high level of customer satisfaction, but also helps us to continuously expand our solution competence in the area of digital signage.
Which exciting digital signage project was successful especially because of the close cooperation with the customer?
Gernot Trummer: The customer STRABAG immediately comes to my mind. Welcome screens, employee TVs and digital door signs were installed at the office buildings. The digital door signs work with wireless eInk displays. In addition to the display screens, special touch displays were also installed for spontaneous room bookings.
A completely different project arose through the collaboration with Poco. We have developed a digital signage solution for employee information. Employee TV was implemented in the social room at 125 locations. The interactive menu enables employees to click through the information sheets independently during their breaks. In addition to news and company information, the staff also has access to current employee discounts or entertaining content such as seasonal recipes. The screens replace paper and e-mail circulars.
How is digital signage technology changing?
Gernot Trummer: The area of digital signage is changing rapidly. There are constantly new tools on the market, especially in the area of visualization and communication hardware. The functionality and performance of screens is developing further and the sensor technology that often accompanies digital signage solutions is also making great leaps.
What are the future trends of digital signage?
Gernot Trummer: I notice a clear trend towards flexible technology investments. Customers rely on technologies that can be easily upgraded and, above all, can be integrated into existing structures. There is also a strong demand for individual display formats that don't look like televisions. Large scale displays or fancy LED walls in mosaic style are very popular at the moment. The overall trend of green business and saving resources is becoming increasingly stronger and is having a great impact on the demand for digital signage solutions.
Reliable CMS and software systems that can handle fast screens and smart sensors as well as agile customer requirements become increasingly important. Moreover, solutions have to be scalable. Putting everything in one final thought: Cloud-first and always trust in reliable partners!