By Jordan Parker Means | Contributing writer,
A wide-scale digital signage rollout across multiple locations and territories is a complex, yet increasingly common endeavor. According to the Digital Screenmedia Association, digital signage is growing at a rate of more than 20 percent annually across all industries, including the fast casual restaurant segment. It is possible to achieve a smoothly implemented, widespread rollout using a project management system to oversee the entire project. This white paper, sponsored by TechLink Services, will detail three necessary components of such a rollout.
The elements associated with the planning, installation, and deployment of digital signage are quite complex. Often, owners or select IT personnel face the task of coordinating various vendors to fulfill the numerous parts of the process. Beyond physical installation, these incremental steps include Internet networking, data cabling, and electrical installation.
“It is common to see an individual from an IT department assigned to a digital signage project. The problem is that the project quickly becomes complex, and when the assigned individual has other duties, the project can stall or run into complications,” said Michael Mudd, CEO, TechLink Services.
Turnkey project management takes the opposite approach. Under this model, a single project manager who functions outside of the end client has the sole duty of overseeing the project. The project manager handles all details from start to finish. A large-scale rollout has its own set of complexities, which becomes even more convoluted as the number of individuals working on the project expands. If one individual is knowledgeable of the entire project ecosystem and all working parties, the project will likely flow more smoothly.
Project managers provide frontline communication between the field service technician and the site POC. PMs schedule the service or installation and test equipment as built photographs and completion documents. Field representatives are frequently the face of the company to customers, and they should show sufficient professionalism, courtesy, and expertise to reflect positively on both organizations.
Typically, multiple installers handle a rollout across a single region. Those installers are often in no way interconnected. That disconnect creates a situation where each person working on the project has to learn the system, increasing the likelihood of discrepancies and mistakes. When a company with a national footprint steps into the fold, the picture changes. In this scenario, the same installers do the same work across a given region. They are trained and equipped with the information necessary to ensure uniform installation. When the rollout is national in scope, installers do not have to travel from region to region, which slows the installation process. Instead, various regions use a set of predetermined installers. In turn, projects stay within parameters and on schedule.
For example, TechLink provides qualified technicians throughout the U.S. and Canada and provides online training through SIMPL online portal. All technicians maintain and retrieve site documentation, testing procedures, and sign-out information through SIMPL, ensuring standardized installation and service procedures across the nation.
As with any technology, continued maintenance requirements are inevitable. Whether it is because of a break in service, an essential system update, or an equipment failure, the need for upkeep remains despite the level of technological advancement. Without a systematic way to place and track maintenance requests, ensuring consistency is nearly impossible. When working with customer-facing digital signage, such errors may result in inaccurate information being displayed to customers or a shutdown in service. The project manager should support rapid responses across the nation by providing technicians with spares, when requested by the customer, to accommodate rapid response contracts. In today’s world, many digital signage and digital menu board layouts are crucial to the success of a company. The PM should be there to ensure equipment is fixed right the first time.
Without a systematic way to place and track maintenance requests, ensuring consistency is nearly impossible.
TechLink Service and Installation Management Portal (SIMPL) is a valueadded component of the company’s project management offerings. It was developed to provide clients a method of keeping up with orders or repair requests and subsequent maintenance fulfillment. SIMPL removes the ambiguities from the process, as requests on the customer end and fulfillment on the TechLink end are submitted and tracked through the portal. It creates a maintenance history, which can track where an order stands in the maintenance process. Another added benefit is that the history can simplify future repair needs. Each SIMPL client portal is uniquely created to meet client needs. A regional or national digital signage project rollout is complex, and there is no way of getting around that fact. However, by using a project manager model, the complexities can be drastically diminished. The approach is one that organizes the project in a way that ensures quality, consistency, and effective response to any issue that may arise.
About the Sponsor
TechLink Services is the leader of retail, QSR, and kiosk clients for field services, including digital signage and digital menu boards, order confirmation and loop timers, information and interactive kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, and much more. TechLink also provides all professional services on a private white-label basis to system integrators, value-added resellers, and equipment manufacturers.