Digital Signage Solutions – 4 Reasons Why You Need to Start Using a Digital Signage Solution

Nowadays, digital signage solutions are being exploited by a lot of business owners because it is offering a lot of advantages that you and your business can benefit from. However, there are still a lot of business owners who are not aware of the power behind digital solutions. This article was written with the intention of helping you learn more about digital signage solutions and the four reasons why you need to start using it for your business. Read this article if you want to outrank your competitors in terms of brand awareness and overall performance.

Here are the four reasons why you need to start using digital signage solutions:

  1. Modern and Impressive – when it comes to advertising, there is some kind of psychological effect if a company uses advanced technology when advertising. Although it is not proven, what do you think will your customers’ reaction be, if they saw two banner from two competing companies; static banners and digital signage solutions. Where do you think would people go? Exactly! They will check the one that uses a more advanced advertising platform.
  2. Interactive and Informative – now that we are in the Information Age, people are always going with the ones that can give them more information. If you are going to use digital signage solutions, you will be able to provide more content which can either be informative or persuasive. Both of these features are the reason why digital solutions are considered as the best advertising platform today.
  3. Convenient and Cost-Effective – unlike static banners that should be re-printed every now and then; digital signage solutions can easily be managed with a few clicks of a button. If you are going to use a player, you don’t have to worry about spending a lot of money just to change the information being shown on your boards. It also produces much better results, making it very cost-effective for all businesses of any size.
  4. Eco-, and Budget-Friendly – using digital solutions will save you from using toxic materials such as paint and plastics. The monitors that you will be using are made from fully-recyclable materials, which makes it very eco-friendly. Aside from this, it is also much cheaper compared to static banners. You can have your very own independent digital signage solution for as low as $300. You will also be able to save a lot of money in the long run, considering the fact that you don’t have to spend money when you need to change your banner.

Digital Signage Solutions – How It Can Improve Your Business’ Productivity

Productivity – this is probably one of the most common concerns of business owners, especially those who are dealing with too much competition. Increasing your productivity means that you will be able to do more tasks in less time, and you will be able to do everything on schedule. However, the methods that we have today are outdated and inefficient, which is why most business owners are in continuous search of something that will help them increase their productivity.

Today, I will be showing you how digital signage solutions can help you enhance your business’ productivity without spending too much money on it. Reading this article will help you determine whether you need to start using one for your business, or simply stick with the outdated method that you are currently using for your business.

Digital signage solutions are made up of LCD display panels and a media player, which has the capability to display flexible information to other people. If you are going to use digital signage solutions for your business, you will be able to display all the schedules, and the things that should be done in such a way that your employees will better understand.

Aside from this, using digital signage solutions for managing employees will also save you a lot of time, because you don’t have to re-print reminders over and over again. With a few push of a button, you can easily reverse everything that is being shown on your digital display, and your employee will be able to see it in no time. This will constantly remind them of the things that should be done, and schedule for the day.

Although digital signage solutions may not drastically improve the productivity of your business, it will still help you save time and money in the long run. Aside from this, you will be able to keep your employees on track, and keep them synchronized with everything that they are doing. The best part about it is that you can do this, just by spending less than $300 for the installation of your digital signage solution.

These are some of the benefits that you can get from digital signage solutions. Always remember that the productivity of your business is as good as the tools that you are using to improve it. This is the reason why it is very important to search for something that will really help you; something that is effective and is within your allocated operational budget.

Small Business Spending on Digital and Social Still Growing

2011 Outlook for Small Business Digital Marketing

Just received some updated statistics on Small Business advertising spend from the 2011 Outlook report from Borrell Associates. Borrell surveyed over 2,800 Small Business owners to find that, of the 84 percent who will spend on digital, 53 percent plan on increasing their budgets in 2011. Money invested in website development, social media and e-mail marketing will grow more than 30 percent in 2011. On the flip-side, local print media, newspapers, directories and radio will continue to get squeezed out of the budget with double-digit cuts across the board from most SMB’s.

According to the report, Small Business represents a huge growth market, and accounted for over 70 percent of all online advertising expenditures last year. Social media is especially interesting for SMB’s and most are interested in Facebook, Twitter, location-based services, and daily deals platforms. I think YouTube also makes sense for the right kind of small business so I’d expect to see some interest and spending there as well. It was interesting that Borrell did not include any data related to YouTube or Mobile marketing strategies. Despite all of the buzz around mobile and video, it seems that small business owners just have not caught-on the way larger brands and retailers have.

Potential Pitfalls

Despite all the data suggesting growth and willingness to spend, the reality is that there is still a lot of confusion as to who to work with to make all of this happen. There is so much noise in the market right now, with average small business owners getting 22 new media advertising pitches a month. These pitches range from local boutique agencies to national solutions like Yodle, ReachLocal and Web.com. It is this noise and shear amount of options that paralyzes decisions makers. With so many so called experts and best-of-breed technology platforms to review and analyze, making a decision alone can take several weeks.

Furthermore, many Small Business owners still lack a real understanding of digital. Website analytics, social media insights and search engine marketing tactics are still fuzzy. Due to this minimal amount of knowledge, SMB’s must trust the provider they partner with to do the right thing. Unfortunately, most of the “big-boys” of SMB marketing are focusing on market share and not the quality of the products or services they provide. This mentality leads to less than stellar results for business owners and a burned relationship for the provider – which ultimately hurts the perception of every SMB marketing company.

Digital Documents Control to Achieve the ISO 9001 Standard Requirements

Ever happened to you that your employee used the wrong document and caused a mass? Ever happened to you that a classified information reach the wrong hands and embarrassed you? Ever happened to you that you lost an important document and knew that your boss would get angry? For no reason? If do, please pay attention!

Using Document Control Software usually meets the ISO 9001 Standard Document Control Requirements. The document control requirements is one of the key elements of the ISO 9001 Standard requirements for achieving an effective quality management system. Without reliable control of procedures and records, a company’s QMS integrity will fail – as a practical business matter and as an auditable compliant system.

There are many solutions today for Documents control both manual and digital. In this article I will examine how one can achieve the requirements with digital solutions. Pay attention, we didn’t write software but a digital solution. Digital solution must not be a document control software

There are two kinds of documentations in organizations. The first is the ISO 9001 documentation requirements. For The second, (other than is required) the organization must identify and document “needed” processes (activities with inputs and outputs). Of course documentation should be appropriate for the size and type of the organization, the complexity and interaction of processes, and the competence of personnel. In other words, don’t go over your heads, you would regret it in the future. The purpose is not to turn the organization to be a secretary for the ISO 9001 Standard.

The first level of digital documents control

The first level of digital documents control over organizations is laid with its management systems. Management systems are software designed to support some of the working processes. The system can be an ERP system, a CRM system or any other system. As long that it documents the working processes. Within the system forms are implemented (screens). The system guides you to fill the correct information at the correct location. Eventually, the information is at the right place and time, organized and being controlled. Even distribution of the information is managed. This is what documents control is all about. So, when you are documenting your QMS and prepare yourself for the terrifying audit, any process that is included within the QMS and is documented via the management system – is covered. But you will have to mention it in the procedure. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.

Basic electronic systems

The most common digital way today is still using the local computer network and email systems for documents control. The Documents management is usually being realized when folders or directories are established and usually it is done locally (a department or a division). The documents are saved on the server for use. Sometimes the system administrator or maybe the quality manager requires that the document would be protected by any changes – the “read only” possibility. The types of documents are varying from forms, procedures, records, plans, work instruction, diagrams etc.

As for routing documents, the email as become the main communication channel. People send as attachments documents for review or for use.

Now, you may think that this is a digital documents control but in fact you only get digital documentation but no control what so ever! Why? First, when you save a document on the server it is actually a manual management and not a digital management. It is correct, the document is digital but the management is manually. The employee saves it in the folder and names the document. He has full control over it. God knows what he is capable of doing with it. Digital document management requires that the document would be submitted via the documents control management system. This way, the system is registering the document and then begins managing his lifecycle. Now, no employee of yours registers any document that he saves on the local net. Correct me if I am wrong.

Second, when you send an email with an attachment it is like exporting a document out of his system and into an individual independent lifecycle. The person who receives this attachment would probably save the massage with the document and whenever he would need it, he would brows through his mails the get the document. Everybody does it. He could make changes and you wouldn’t know anything about it. Tracking those documents, comments made by reviewers, and the final approval history are not automatically accessible in a manual email routing system (which are the common ones). Even if documents are sent through email, system administrators must manually track, update, and communicate the review they receive. To make it more clearly, it is an open loop system. Not to mention the ineffective storage results.

With digital document management system you won’t send the document but a link or any other trigger to access the document via the documents control management system.

Third, even when you save a document and you characterize it as “read only” – that prevents no one from saving the document on his computer, edit it and spread it throughout the organization. Again you are back to an open loop system. Sorry. O.K. Even with the strongest most sophisticated digital documents control management systems you can never, really, prevent that. No matter what anyone tells you. You are depending on your employee and his willing to follow ground rules to ensure regulatory compliance. At the end of the day, we are stuck with the human factor.

So with manual (as if – digital) document control we achieve three things: an open loop method for document management, a document exporting out of the loop and an independent lifecycle for documents. The three things the ISO 9001 Standard is trying to avoid.

Solutions Solutions

The first solution that we offer you is to maintain the present situation (the manual, so called “digital”, management). You must have to support it with documented procedure that describes how one must handle documentation (that is the ISO 9001 Standard requirement) and maintain close control aspects. That would hold against the ISO 9001 Standard but I recommend to overview the requirements just to be sure that you obtain the requirements.

The second solution that I can think of is documents control via the management system. What I mean is that all documentation would be concentrated at one location. Documents are a part of a processes. Some of the processes is documented within the management systems (such as ERP or CRM) and some of it manually (with manually forms). In most systems (the ones that I know) the next module exists. It is a less used module. It is usually called “Titles Management”. The basic idea is to link documents to the process or a record connected with the process within the system. This way you educate the employees to download the documents from one location only. No more documents emailing, no more saving documents on personal computers. This solution requires that all documents would be registered within the system (what a whole a lot of work!). For more details, access your system administrator. This solution is not the perfect one but it would hold against the ISO 9001 Standard requirements. Don’t forget to document the method in a procedure.

If you are willing to invest more of your resources you might consider implementing documents control management software.

Documents control management system

Now, this is the optimal solution. Every quality manager would sleep better at night if he knew that all documents are controlled by a robot (without any feelings and wills other then what is programmed into him). Let’s review the advantages of implementing document management software:

  • Control- this is the most important thing (by the way this is what the ISO 9001 Standard is all about, well, most of it). What do you control?
  • Organization – all documents of all kinds (forms, procedures, plans, diagram and charts – whatever you are using) would be organized, categorized, saved and ready for you to retrieve and use.
  • Distribution – to whom the documents are to be used.
  • Compliance – with your regulatory frameworks.
  • Access information – now, you may think that you have access to most of information in your organization but you would be surprised. With documents control management software you would have the information you need accurately and you would be able to track all documents-related activities to improve quality, accountability and productivity – that means that all information is accessible when ever.
  • Location – the system will manage the location of all documents. No more spreading documents all over the local net.
  • Security – document management software improves security of documents. Electronic document control software programs often use a secure, access-controlled database to store files as opposed to hard-copy storage or network directories.
  • Storage – you would be able to save storage by eliminating multiple documents savings (well, we know that today digital storage is not such a big deal) but Physical storage and retrieval of hard copy documents becomes increasingly problematic as practices grow. And you know it!
  • More?
  • This solution costs. It costs money and human resources – have no doubts about that! But we truly believe that in the long term it pays itself by adding values to the working processes. All of the advantages above are possible to achieve manually by your employees but they are time consuming. And time is money.

    Today there are two possibilities of digital documents control systems: web-based and independently installed.

    The web based solution is simply subscribing to a web site that provides you documents control service. That means that the entire above are provided via the internet. Sounds great isn’t it? As an Internet service, there is no software or hardware to buy, install, maintain, or upgrade. And if the service is not satisfying, just unsubscribe. That’s it. You may access from wherever you are and provide workspaces for people working from home.

    The independently installation is where you purchase a software and install it no your network. You may want it to integrate with your other systems. Now, that will be great for a working process! Today they are usually easy to implement and easy to use and with prices that won’t get your boss upset (too much).

    Summery

  • Using Document Control Software usually Meet ISO 9001 Standard Requirements.
    As for more documentation (other than what is required by the ISO 9001 Standard) the organization must identify and document “needed” processes.
  • The first level of digital documents control over organizations is laid with its management systems. Eventually, the information is at the right place and time organized and being controlled. Even distribution of the information is managed.
  • Saving documents on the local net is not considered a digital documents control management. It is a manual management.
  • Emailing documents for use is exporting documents out of the system and out of control.
  • With manual (as if – digital) document control we achieve three things: an open loop method for document management, a document exporting out of the loop and an independent document lifecycle.
  • First solution is to maintain the present situation (the manual management). You must document the procedure and maintain close control aspects.
  • Second solution is documents control via the management system with a module such as “Titles management”. This solution requires that all documents would be registered within the system. You must document the procedure.
  • Third solution is implementing a digital documents control management system. This solution requires a lot of resources (both financial and human) but it bears a lot of advantages.
  • The first type of a digital documents control management system is an independently installation – you purchase the software and install it on your organizations systems. It may integrate with your other systems.
  • The second type of a digital documents control management system is a web based program – you buy a service for managing your documents via the net.