Co-operative – working together
Many more satisfied Anglia Co-op customers now spend a few moments learning of the fabulous deals on offer since Handy AV were asked to provide digital signage in a number of their prime locations. Handy AV started discussions as far back as March 2005 during which time the Co-op conducted a pilot study to determine the effectiveness of digital signage. ‘The pilot study proved that using digital signage resulted in a marked increase in sales of promoted merchandise so we started a planned roll out in January 2007.’ Says Mark Kelby, Anglia Co-op’s IT Infrastructure Manager.
The brief coming from the client was simple: To supply and install Samsung LCD screens in various locations within operating stores from Beccles to Wisbech. These locations included wall hung screens at point of sale and ceiling mounted large format screens in aisle ways. The screens carry up to date information for customers about store promotions and offers. The advertising and messages displayed are designed centrally at head office and can be sent to each individual store daily if need be and are therefore tactical and timely. The stores also use the screens to advertise other parts of the business such as their home furnishings division and their funeral service.
‘The Co-op has grasped the concept and huge potential of digital signage and applied it successfully to promote both in-store products and it’s varied portfolio of services.’ Says Aubrey Wright, Managing Director of Handy AV.
It's all in the planning
A new build installation presents one set of problems but an operating store is another thing. Any work in an operational site must take into account the fact that the store is there to serve its customers, therefore the job must take place out of hours so as not to interfere with normal trading. This can be done at night when the stores are closed but often, with extended opening times (anything from 7am to 10pm) this leaves only a small time window to complete the given task. Handy AV overcomes this problem in two ways; with meticulous preparation and by using highly trained engineers.
The logistics of completing a job like this are, of course, meat and drink to Handy AV’s Aubrey Wright. ‘The company’s philosophy is simple, do it right first time.’ According to Anglia Co-op’s Mark Kelby “I must say everything went very smoothly. The installations worked first time and were completed on time”.
Steve Spicer, Installation Engineer, says “The work I do on site is always straight forward because it has been thought through carefully before my team arrives. Because of the procedures adopted by Handy AV, which include a detailed project plan, I don’t have to solve too many problems.” As was the case with the Co-op, Handy AV spent a good deal of the time devoted to the project, surveying each location and drawing up these detailed project plans.
“Every single installation is different but the reason we have a 100% record in completing the installations within the timescale provided, is that we plan ahead” says Steve Spicer again, “ If you turn up on site without the specialist equipment needed the job just doesn’t get done. You wouldn’t know what was needed unless that all important survey and project plan has been completed.”
Handy AV’s Engineers liaise closely with store and area management to ensure they have clear access so that the jobs can be completed in the shortest possible time scale, ensuring minimum disruption to the store and it’s staff and more importantly no disruption for customers.
Case Study… Job Done
The Market Deeping Co-op is a busy store. Handy AV had to install 4 x LCD screens on the checkout tills, 1 x LCD on the fascia panel of the cigarette kiosk and ceiling mount a 40 inch LCD screen between the aisles (see photo 1). The pre installation work consisted of installing additional power outlets and reinforcing the fascia panel to take the weight of the screen.
Beginning with the checkouts and kiosk screens, a cabling route was created through the existing panelling and columns to connect the screens to the PC tills via a video splitter. The position for the ceiling screen was to be some 30 meters away from the signal source and using a specialist girder clamp and column, the Samsung 40” DX LCD was mounted to this in it’s final position. The VGA cable was then run through the ceiling void and back to the controlling PC till. Once connected the digital signage system was tested and the installation handed over to the client.
Handy AV. ‘First Time. On Time.’