If you work about an hour north of Indianapolis, snow hazards are hardly unknown. But if you’re one of the 1,500 people who work for Frito-Lay at its 28-acre manufacturing complex, you just might hear news of one on what employees call ‘Frito-vision’.
Frito-vision is in fact an AxisTV corporate digital signage system. Project Manager Rick Crick explains, “The plant operates around the clock. If there’s a snow emergency and people are working, we have to mobilize them to leave quickly. If we had to, we could put something up fast that says ‘We’re shutting the facility down. Perform these steps.’ These are the things you can get out to the site very quickly.”
The growing complex consists in part of two manufacturing plants, two warehouses, a wastewater treatment plant and a coal-fire generating plant. Before AxisTV, communicating vital information to a diverse employee base was always a manual process. “We had a lot of easels and bulletin boards and things like that in public traffic areas,” says Crick. “We wanted to get away from that. It required a lot of administrative effort, and it’s just not conducive to a well-organized facility. “
Frito-vision consists of two media players, a 50-inch display in the main foyer, a 37-inch screen in the cafeteria, and a 42-inch LCD in warehouse operations. Thanks to AxisTV’s screensaver feature, it extends even beyond that. When desktop monitors go into screensaver mode, they become additional AxisTV endpoints. For a dispersed facility, that option makes it more affordable to broaden distribution of content. “We’ve deployed that feature to remote offices like the receiving office and shipping, which are several hundred feet from the front area,” said Crick.
Each part of the facility has different needs, so AxisTV gets put to different uses. Crick listed some of them: “Our HR department uses it pretty extensively for HR events – benefits rollout, a blood drive – and they’ll display weather notifications and birthdays. Our warehouse operations uses it for performance data and scorecarding…and we had pictures of a forklift accident in another facility so we could emphasize safety.”
Crick finds the system’s flexibility essential. “We can have one packet of information presented at each location rather than send someone around with PowerPoint decks,” he explained. “Or if we had an accident that we needed to communicate just to the warehouse, we could push it to the media player in those specific areas.”
Crick added that video capabilities enhance training, and he cited a new case picking system in the warehouse. “I shot maybe five minutes of video with my personal camera and posted that on Frito-vision with some slides, and it was way more effective than trying to wordsmith information about how the system worked. In a site as dynamic as ours, there’s something like that every week.”
Crick was familiar with AxisTV from the church he attends, where its range of capabilities are well used. Unlike the church though, the plant has no IT or creative resources to devote to digital signage. However, Crick praises AxisTV’s ease of use. “I think the main advantage from my standpoint is that it allows you to create communications and get them out there very quickly, especially when you’re in a large-scale environment. If I need, I can have something published within all the critical areas within 15 minutes. You save some money on paper and ink, and that’s important. The real benefit that I see is that anyone trained on the system can create a visual communication on their PC and get it to the masses without ever having to leave their desk.”