Dayton Freight: Integrating Tomorrow, Today

Dayton Freight, a private LTL freight carrier based in Dayton, Ohio, believes that “knowledge is power.” They analyze data to examine more efficient cost and route strategies, as well as employee performance and equipment status; for their customers, they make real-time information about shipments available. With this in mind, it made sense for them to turn to a corporate digital signage solution for their internal communications.

“We used to have paper-driven communications but knew there had to be a better solution,” explains Emily Martin, Graphic Artist. “We communicate with our Services Centers daily, so we wanted something faster, more efficient, with the click of a button. Cost was also a big factor and compared to our previous communication, Visix will save us a lot of money over time. In fact, the system will pay for itself in about three years.”

How did they settle on AxisTV? “You could search and search for days for digital signage. The Dayton Freight IT director came across the Visix website and really liked the relationship with colleges – UD (University of Dayton) is local and they had lots of good things to say about it, plus the ability to customize things within the system. And the ability to incorporate web feeds was the final selling point.” Martin and Ashley Lanham, Multimedia Assistant, already created content for internal communications, but now “we can stream real-time data within our internal system, so we don’t have to constantly create things.”

With 55 player licenses, there is certainly the worry of content-creation-overload for a two-person team. But Martin leverages AxisTV’s web-based functionality. “Data is pulled from our internal system to a web feed; there’s content without us having to touch it each day.” The audience Martin and Lanham communicate with is large and diverse.“ Our drivers were the initial audience for us – they are only in the Service Center for 20-25 minutes each day, and we needed something to catch their eye while they are in the break room.”

Following the success of these communications, they deployed AxisTV more extensively. “We’ve grouped our displays by region and by state, so that is another feature we love. We have three main audiences: public who come into corporate, corporate employees, and our service centers (drivers, dock workers, mechanics, clerical). Sometimes our customers come in to see the shipping process, and AxisTV is a great conversational piece. They like the fact that we use these displays to communicate with our employees.”

The type of content is varied as well. “We have the brand standard content with our logo and colors in the lobby steered towards customers. The rest is all internal, so each topic has its own design to help the audience quickly discern what the message is about.” Martin adds, “We’re really big on safety tips, HR or Benefits information, and recognizing employees for their service or those who go beyond the expectations for our customers. We call it “The Dayton Difference.” We are a family owned company and we are more than willing to share specific information with our employees. For things like employee announcements, birthdays, Service % and daily revenue we just had to set them up initially through our operations system, which feeds to a web page that is then displayed on AxisTV. The web page message feature takes the burden off us – this could be a LOT of work for only two people but we can easily manage. In fact, Ashley does most of it now on her own. She updates the schedule Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, spending maybe ten hours a week on this. It’s all scheduled in advance.”

Another positive feature for Martin is the capability to use video. “We have the capability to create in-house videos,” she tells us, “with a green screen and professional equipment, so we can do quick interviews, like a 30-second spot addressing the drivers about upcoming DOT inspections. Having the video component really gives more weight to the message.” It seems to be working – each year, Dayton Freight distributes an employee satisfaction survey, and has seen the digital signage system get more positive comments with each survey. “People are happy with the way we communicate with them. Also, safety is an important factor for a company like ours, since we started displaying safety tips and reminders our employees no longer have to hear things only from their supervisors, but they can also see it first hand. This in return has helped improve our CSA scores and people are more aware of proper safety technics and their surroundings.”

So, digital signage seems like the way to go for a company with multiple locations throughout 11 states in the Midwest like Dayton Freight? “Absolutely. The AxisTV user interface is very user-friendly. Compared to posters, we now communicate real-time with appealing displays and interaction. And the constant updates are also a great thing.”