Efficient Corporate Communication
Audi Brussels is a definitive example of state-of-the-art automotive production. The company has invested over € 400 million to upgrade the factory where it builds its successful Audi A1 cars. Starting a few months ago, Audi Brussels has opened its doors for factory visits by schools, businesses, clubs and members of the general public. 46” IDS screens have been installed to provide greater visual impact on site.
10,000 visitors with no advertising
External communications staff member Christine Germain says, “Our 2012 target for factory visits was 12,000. But within the first six months of the year we had already welcomed more than 10,000. We met and surpassed out targets, with virtually no marketing.”
The factory visits are not just good for Audi’s image, but also help the company attract staff. As Christine Germain explains, “The A1 has been highly successful, and that has led to big growth for the Audi Brussels branch. We have dozens of job openings for technical and administrative staff, and we also have to deal with the general perception that we are part of an outdated sector of industry, and have no future. The era of mass redundancies and factory closings in Belgium are far behind us now. We are making major investments in top-level technology, but above all in people. Audi’s ambition is to become Belgium’s best employer. Our factory tours reveal another dimension of our company, especially to the students from technical schools who visit. For that reason, we were eager to ensure that the tour would be an unforgettable experience.”
Factory visit with added value
Christine Germain says, “We wanted the factory visits to be more than just a look around, and to have added value both for visitors and for Audi. There was to be more to it than simply leading people through the factory; instead, we were looking for the ideal combination of information, safety and feasibility. The site is fairly large, and for practical reasons there are some units that we simply cannot include in the tour. Others, such as the paint shop, would not be safe for visitors to enter. But since these aspects of the production of the A1 are so interesting to see, we decided to use screens.”
Factory tour corners
Wim De Bal from DOBIT, Scala’s partner responsible for the installation, describes: “The factory tours are an ambitious project for Audi. The aim is to give visitors a really good look at the entire production process, and to enhance Audi’s image both as an employer and as a brand. At DOBIT, we took up the challenge of transforming their ideas about this into real technological solutions and excellent content. Guides show visitors around a range of key departments. At six locations on the tour, known as factory tour corners, there are built-in 46” IDS screens. Stopping there, the guides can supplement the information they give by showing a series of short films. This not only helps visitors to keep track of the steps in the production process, but also allows them to see those parts of the factory that they cannot actually visit.”
The large Elo IDS (Interactive Digital Signage) screens have two great advantages over other systems. Wim De Bal elaborates, “Elo IDS screens have outstanding image quality and a superior viewing angle. The screen acts as its own control panel, with virtual dials that are cleverly integrated into the visual content. Screens are operated via the Scala Digital Signage solution, which means that users are continually in control of content. It is immediately evident that these are not simply ordinary flat screens, and that adds to the desired perception. They radiate quality. Screens are operated via the Scala Digital Signage solution, which means that users are continually in control of content. Scala software gives us the flexibility to create dynamic content and is a very stable and proven solution.”
Visitors have indicated great satisfaction with the factory visits and the factory tour corners. Christine Germain adds, “We regularly survey participants’ satisfaction, and their response is nearly always extremely positive. We have also noticed their appreciation through the number of new bookings we receive. Visitors are highly enthusiastic, and word of mouth is really getting the job done. The guides have also confirmed how much the screens contribute to the tour. It allows them to complete the picture, and to reveal things that would otherwise remain hidden.”
DOBIT is a specialist in technological communication and applications, offering customers solutions for effective, digital communication. DOBIT was among the first in the Benelux to recognize the possibilities of touch screens and in 1990 became the exclusive distributor of Elo Touchsystems for Belgium and Luxembourg, now also servicing the Netherlands. Their work is based on expertise and experience in communication, touch technology, directional sound and custom-made electronics.