Shelton Winnelson, a leading plumbing and heating wholesaler in western Connecticut, is a progressive member of the WinWholesale group of companies. As an innovator, Shelton Winnelson President, Prisco Panza, recognized the communications potential of digital signage when he was introduced to StrandVision. Since its installation in August 2006, the StrandVision Digital Signage system has increased awareness of the company’s offerings and delivered sales.
Shelton Winnelson, a plumbing and heating wholesaler located in Shelton, CT, considers communications to be a key element of customer service. It keeps in close contact with customers through emails, flyers, posters and seminars. Last year it added another element to its communications mix - digital signage from StrandVision.
Explained Prisco Panza, President, "One of the biggest challenges in wholesaling is communicating with our customers. We offer a lot of services that our customers are aware of and use. At the same time, there are offerings they don't even know about. We found out that our regular customers, who are in almost every day, were not aware of seminars we offer despite the fact that we use fax, email and mail to send information."
StrandVision helps address this issue. The digital signage in the customer service counter area puts the information right out in front where they can't miss it. "Customers at the counter have a tendency to look up at the screen when they are waiting for the materials. We found out that when they come to the counter and they see it on the screen, it seems to sink in more.
"In fact, we had a seminar last night and one company sent 12 people because one of the guys saw the seminar listed on the digital sign at the counter."
The StrandVision Digital Signage has been in place for a little over a year. Over that time, Prisco and his staff have learned to make full use of the system. According to Prisco, "The key is to use it and update it."
Several slides, such as local and national news, sports and weather, are automatically updated by StrandVision. A Shelton Winnelson administrator updates many of the digital signage slides at least once a month using StrandVision's Web-based administrator's console. The monthly updates are easy to do and include the seminar calendar and specials promotions.
Shelton Winnelson also partners with manufacturers to sponsor advertising - an inexpensive way to gain premium access to customers. Burnham, a provider of boilers and heating equipment, sponsors the news and weather and, in addition to the "brought to you by…" banner, is able to display an advertisement. "We basically said, 'Would you guys like to sponsor these messages to help defray our monthly costs and put your brand in front of our customers?' They quickly agreed to take advantage of the opportunity."
Prisco knows digital signage works. "We've gotten a lot of comments from customers. Sales - definitely. We'll post a special and a customer will come in and say, 'I saw that on the TV and I want to purchase it.'"
Even with its success, Prisco acknowledges that digital signage can accomplish more. "We've only scratched the surface. We will probably be using it for even more things. I'd like to eventually put pictures of all of our employees - who they are - what they do - how to contact them. I'd also like to do more vendor advertising."
As to the bottom line on the StrandVision system? Prisco concludes, "It's definitely worth the amount of money that we're spending on it."