Weastec, Inc. - a division of Toyo Denso Co. Ltd. is an OEM supplier of ignition systems, sensors, switches and other automotive products in North America and other markets. With more than 150 employees in its facility in Hillsboro, Ohio, as well as a satellite sales office in Dublin,Ohio, timely and consistent communication is critical to the success of this world-class operation. Recently, Weastec discovered how StrandVision Digital Signage improves employee communication and productivity while meeting the organization's "lean initiative" goals.
Weastec, Inc. supports automotive giants like Honda, Volkswagen and Chrysler. Weastec is intent on being a model organization with world-class processes. As part of this focus, they looked for the latest, greatest and most efficient technology.
Having seen the potential of digital signage with a prototype PowerPoint system in the lobby that their quality circle group had initiated, Senior Manager of Information Systems David Fauber decided to take the technology a step further. Investigating signage technology from area businesses, David received price quotes that were far beyond his budget. He then browsed the web and found StrandVision. He liked that they offered a free trial of the product, that it was web enabled, and that the pricing was attractive. As David explained, "It fit perfectly with our world-class initiative that was both cost effective and the most efficient tool available."
Within two days of receiving the hardware, the system, with a 55" high definition LCD screen strategically mounted over the vending machines, was running. This, in combination with the same content running on the company's intranet, allows the entire organization to see up to the minute news.
Every Monday morning a management meeting is held to review company performance and other topics. Before they had their StrandVision system, a person was responsible to type up noteworthy topics. These were then copied, cut up and placed into acrylic table tent holders. That was the only staff communication for the week.
As a Japanese based organization, Weastec operates on the Kaizen principle where processes are frequently reviewed to find and remove waste in a lean manufacturing environment. An important aspect of Japanese management is the reliance upon employee participation in their decision making. "Looking at several company-wide employee surveys, communication always bubbled up to the top of what people wanted," continued David. "Digital signage helps the communication and it demonstrates Weastec's commitment to the staff."
Now, with StrandVision, the whole communication channel has improved. In addition to the information that management updates several times a day, StrandVision includes local weather and an automotive feed with pertinent content that is automatically updated.
"It's nice to hear people talk about what's being displayed. It opens up dialogue on industry-related topics that are important to them," said David,
The responsibility for content quickly passed from David's hands to other authorized associates. They also work with the recreation, communication and safety committees to have them more directly involved with content updates since the system allows for many users to manage the signage content.
They especially like the system since content updates can be done remotely or even from their homes. "Ease of use was such a great attractor" commented David. "It's intuitive enough that they got a good start without training" although David recommends training since there are so many features that might be missed.