Pallet Service Corporation was in need of a real, modern digital signage solution to help curate and control real-time communications with their plants and employees. After struggling to find a solution that was both effective and easy, they turned to Jamf, Apple and Carousel Digital Signage. Read their story.
Digital signage helps grow employee pride
Pallet Service Corporation
Maple Grove, MN
Success done right
Pallet Service Corporation is a full-service industrial wood products supplier that has always been family-owned. From the Midwest, rooted in humble, honest business practices, they have built an operation that spans three locations and roughly 145 employees, to meet their customer’s local, regional, national and international pallet and wood packaging needs.
“We want to be successful, but we want to reach that success the right way. Fair treatment of employees, taking care of their needs and keeping them happy is important every step of the way.” Nick Wenner, co-owner of Pallet Service Corporation, believes that to help keep employees happy and taken care of, businesses have an obligation to ensure their teams are informed and invested. The issue was, two-thirds of Pallet Service Corporation’s employees at the production level didn’t have company emails, nor a need to have them, which removed the most common method of communication. This meant a large portion of their workforce were receiving critical information secondhand.
With secondhand information being delivered improperly, not conveying the weight of importance it was intended to carry nor catering to their multilingual and ESL employees, problems arose. Employees weren’t aware of company information, were late to receive announcements, or unaware of programs and tools created on their behalf. They needed a method of delivering this information routinely, easily, and in an accessible fashion that met their employees at the manufacturing plants — a modern digital signage setup.
Conveying information in a timely fashion wasn’t the only goal Pallet Service Corporation had in mind; they wanted a digital signage solution that was multipurpose. “Everyone should know if they had a good day or not a good day of work,” says Mr. Wenner, who adds his belief that supplying, communicating and seeing these insights should be simple for all involved. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems tie together data gathered across a multitude of business processes and allow organizations to fine-tune their work and share this information with key stakeholders.
In Pallet Service Corporation’s case, they wanted a way to create and deliver dashboards that were dynamic, up-to-date, and easy for their managers to maintain and employees to understand. With 145 employees across three separate locations, the emphasis was on ease, but the potential benefits of finding a solution that achieved these goals were huge. Being able to deliver consistent messaging, customized communications and production insights to their teams would allow them to create an environment that cultivates employee pride and investment in their work and success.
Early attempts at finding a solution to these two pain points wasn’t easy. Their earliest version of digital signage was a method that many companies have turned to — the looping presentation. It was done in PowerPoint, the slides looped all day, and the look, feel and information remained the same. It conveyed information, it offered some insights into the business, but it wasn’t coming close to achieving what it set out to accomplish.
The biggest pain point with this method? It was a laborious process with ineffective results. Managers had to take time to update the presentation and slides, they had to stop what they were doing to make new slides when important information came to them, and they had to troubleshoot the presentation when it broke down. It wasn’t a practical ask of their managers, and often, when the presentation broke, it stayed broken for quite a while. Over time this was training employees to ignore the screens and teaching bad habits that threatened their ability to ever have an effective digital signage system for communications.
Jamf Now + Carousel Digital Signage + Apple TV
Nick Wenner was looking for a change. The simple presentation seemed easy enough, after all, most are at least familiar with making presentations, but in practice it was time-consuming and far from worth the effort. He wanted more from this, which is when he discovered Carousel Digital Signage.
Carousel Digital Signage is digital signage content management software that allows you to quickly create, publish and manage your messages throughout your facilities. Leveraging Apple infrastructure and turning Apple TV devices into powerful media players, Pallet Service Corporation could seamlessly switch between digital signage content and AirPlay sessions to deliver location-specific, visual communications immediately.
Creating a simple workflow that combined Apple TVs, managed by Jamf Now and powered with Carousel Digital Signage allowed Nick to centrally manage their messaging strategy and communicate it to each location. It quickly became a solution that produced curated messages, direct from the source, without alteration or risks of secondhand delivery, specific for the needs of each manufacturing plant. This included resources for employees to track and calculate
their 401K plans and support resources, company information and announcements, as well as real-time production numbers to show employees the fruits of their labor.
“When the content was difficult to change and deliver, it quickly became stale, and that meant people ignored the signage. They just stopped paying attention to it. Now the content is dynamic, new, and fluid.” To go one step further, the ease of this solution allowed them to include messaging specifically for their bilingual and ESL employees that make up 20-30% of their team. Rather than relying on translation and extra steps, their communications are written upfront in English and Spanish to ensure inclusivity for their entire team.
Everyone should know if their day was a good day or not a good day. Carousel Digital Signage and Apple TV helps us communicate that to our employees.
Bringing on Apple TV
In order to deliver their ideal, internal messaging, Pallet Service Corporation had to find a way to centrally manage the Apple TVs that would broadcast their signage, but that method had to still align with their goal of being an easy solution. “The main factor was to keep this easy. I didn’t want to sign myself or my leaders up for tricky, time consuming, management tasks beyond their main focuses. Not the case with Jamf and Carousel Digital Signage.”
With four Apple TVs in total, Nick needed the comfort of knowing that if he handed this responsibility off to someone else, even if they weren’t a “tech person”, they would be able to handle the Jamf Now aspects with ease. “With Jamf Now it was so easy to sign up and understand what we were trying to do. I love the platform, but the support felt unparalleled. Every time I reached out to support, it was like I was Jamf’s biggest customer. They stuck with me until the problem was solved and left me with a comfort of knowing I would be taken care of if I have future problems.”
Mr. Wenner laments the lack of easy-to-use solutions in technology that can deliver high-impact end results for company culture. “The manufacturing space is missing things like Carousel Digital Signage and Jamf that are easy to use. Hopefully, these stories spread and help others in the industry feel supported and like they can achieve these goals.” Over time, he believes this solution is proving itself valuable. Employee retention and turnover is expensive, and employees have given them the feedback that these communications are beneficial to them and improve their experience at work.
The Wenner family knows that small businesses run a little bit like a business and a lot like a family. Creating a business that everyone can be proud of, and one that makes every employee feel invested and involved intend to have more success. “It may feel like a small thing but even the little things like anniversaries, birthdays, or things that HR and the office keep track of suddenly becomes dynamic content for us. And we like that.”
Starting now was the best choice we made because we didn’t feel like we needed to have twenty devices to get started. We could get started with four, the amount we needed, and we got the same support. Everything works as it should, and when we want to add more it's easy and nothing changes.
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