Scala Sweetens Little Debbie TV’s Corporate Look
COLLEGEDALE, TN – Not every employee has the time or inclination to stop and check email or read notes stuck on the wall. McKee Foods, makers of Little Debbie snacks, therefore chose Scala’s InfoChannel visual communications suite to give their staff another way to keep up-to-date on company news, events, and the weather forecast. Now instead of digging through memos or the bulletin board, employees can, for instance, find out how to update their 401K statements by watching Little Debbie TV (LDTV) – powered by Scala’s InfoChannel and Alpha Video’s CastNET content management software during their breaks.
Despite being hundreds of miles away, all three manufacturing plants in Tennessee, Virginia, and Arkansas are tied into the same InfoChannel network. McKee Foods corporate headquarters can create messaging that is interspersed with local content produced at each plant.
“The branches are being successful and they love it,” exclaims Tom Hunter, corporate media production manager at McKee Foods. “LDTV is definitely turning heads.”
The first step towards success for Hunter and his team has been creating templates in Scala’s InfoChannel Designer content authoring and scheduling software. McKee Foods employees then utilize these templates in CastNET, a third party Web-based content management system for InfoChannel networks. The use of pre-defined and custom templates helps them keep training and management costs down while maintaining a consistent look for LDTV.
Content distribution from the headquarters to the branch offices was set up in advance via Scala’s InfoChannel Network Manager and has worked so flawlessly that the process appears to run in the background as part of LDTV’s daily operations.
“We haven’t had to put anyone in charge of running Network Manager since publishing has become a virtually invisible step to our users,” adds Hunter.
Working with the CastNET content management system, approximately 20 administrative assistants across multiple departments within each branch create messages specific to their plant and their department. These messages are entered and approved collaboratively over the Internet by one of eight departmental communication coordinators.
“Every contributing department at every facility has a communication coordinator who approves content written by their team,” explains Hunter. “Individuals have the guidelines they need to be effective while being able to work somewhat independently.”
Now corporate communications at McKee Foods has become a welloiled machine, producing three updates everyday in less than an hour of effort from any of their employees. And while other visual communication network solutions would require McKee Foods to hire dedicated full-time personnel for creation and content management, InfoChannel in combination with CastNET delivers an efficient and effective workflow easily manageable by current staff.
To display content, the three McKee Foods plants each utilize one or more Scala InfoChannel Player. These Players run 24 hours a day, driving half a dozen televisions strategically placed throughout cafeterias and break rooms at each facility.
“We could use InfoChannel to schedule the LDTV displays to shut off at night and turn on in the morning, but the Players run constantly without any problems so there hasn’t been a need,” admits Hunter.
While reliability has never been an issue, the playback quality was originally foremost on Hunter’s mind after he had tested a competitor’s product.
“My background in broadcast led me to Scala because they’ve been around for 10-15 years and still have superior video playback and smoother transitions,” says Hunter. “It just has a slicker look.”
About Alpha Video, Inc.
Since 1970, Alpha Video, a member of Professional Systems Network Inc. (PSNI), has been a leading digital video systems dealer, integrator and provider of digital video services. Alpha specializes in products, systems and services for video and digital media content creation, distribution and management. Alpha’s Digital Display Group creates dynamic multimedia productions with text, graphics, animation, sound and video, for broadcast via corporate intranets or the Internet to television-based displays or computers.