Kell Container – Great Northern Corporation wanted its employees to know about important news, so it published a daily newspaper. But it also turned to a StrandVision digital sign in its employee lunch room to make sure that everyone got the message.
Kell Container - Great Northern Corporation (GNC) manufactures corrugated shipping containers and Point-of-Purchase (POP) and Point-of-Sale (POS) promotional and product displays.
Its employees in Chippewa Falls, WI perform administrative, design and manufacturing functions. The company wants to keep employees on all three shifts well-informed and uses a number of communications media, including a daily newsletter called Kell Daily, to accomplish that goal.
The newsletter carries breaking news, as well as ongoing notices about benefits, open enrollments, employee events, etc. It is distributed directly to office employees' computers; however, plant workers and others without computers generally view it on bulletin boards.
In conducting regular employee satisfaction surveys, Jackie Luxford, Human Resources Manager, found that, as with most companies, communications is a top employee concern. Despite significant efforts on the company's part, employees felt that they would like to be better informed. Subsequent focus groups confirmed the survey results.
Plant Manager, Mark Orendorff, commented, "Employees said that they didn't know about the things that we were publishing." It was no surprise to him. Quoting a saying posted in his office, "The greatest problem with communications is the illusion that it's been accomplished." Mark was open to new communications strategies.
Coincidentally, Mark was reading about StrandVision in local Wisconsin newspapers and business media. Mark also met Amy Hansen of StrandVision at a local tradeshow. He was familiar with Mike Strand, StrandVision's Founder, having bought data capture software from Mike when he was running his former company, StrandWare.
Mark invited Amy to meet with production, safety, quality, human resources and other managers, and then decided to proceed. He commented, "Our main objective is overall employee communications of important information, so we wanted to have all of the departments represented."
The maintenance and information technology departments handled the installation of a 42" flat screen television and a computer in the employee lunch room.
Day-to-day administration of the StrandVision Digital Signage system and daily updating of slides are handled by a receptionist, who also posts the Kell Daily newsletter. Explained Mark, "This is the most efficient way to keep the digital sign up to date since most of the content comes from Kell Daily.
Many slides, such as the United Way campaign results, are updated daily; some, such as open enrollment announcements, may stay up longer; and some, such as the OSHA "Safety Count" slide, are automatically updated by StrandVision's "count-up" capability. The digital sign also features local and national news, sports and weather.
The sign did not replace any of Kell Container- GNC's existing communications media; rather, it's an additional tool. "Employees on all three shifts are now getting our announcements in multiple ways," concluded Mark.