Effective Communication at Scale: Ferguson's 1,000 Endpoint Digital Signage Network

May 1, 2020 Mic Wilborn

Ferguson, widely recognized as the top-rated wholesale supplier of commercial and residential plumbing supplies also has expertise that extends far beyond plumbing.

The company has a diverse distribution network that spans multiple business lines, including HVAC, waterworks and industrial, as well as showrooms for its residential products. And with 1,400 locations, 10 distribution centers, and 27,000 associates, Ferguson also has a need for a streamlined, enterprise-wide communications network. After its legacy digital signage platform failed to maintain satisfactory uptime, Ferguson selected FWI to power its nationwide signage network.


  • 1,000
    Screens deployed nationwide

  • 25%
    Improvement in network uptime

  • $310,000
    Saved by switching to BrightSign players

 

The Challenge.


After realizing its legacy digital signage platform had an uptime stagnating around 75% and made deploying localized content difficult, Ferguson sought a true enterprise-grade platform.

In addition to the initial challenges that prompted the search for a new platform, Ferguson also wanted to switch to a more reliable, cost-effective player platform. And with 1,000 endpoints across the nation delivering tailored content to specific audiences and business lines, the company needed to simplify the content contribution and management process and leverage best-practices for enterprise scalability. Ferguson also needed a platform with advanced scheduling functionality, capable of accommodating employee-focused content or customer-focused content on the same screens, depending on the time of day. And on top of gaining the ability to deliver relevant communications to associates and customers, Ferguson sought a platform that would allow them to professionally sell ad space to their vendor partners, delivering the ability to ensure Ferguson’s customers have access to valuable and timely information while simultaneously creating a new revenue stream to offset the costs of the network.

What Needed To Be Done.


  • 01
    Reestablish faith in Ferguson’s digital signage program by improving system uptime

     

  • 02
    Enhance the customer experience and drive adoption of promotions

     

  • 03
    Provide its associates access to relevant information

     

The Solution.


To immediately solve its network uptime challenges, Ferguson not only replaced its underlying digital signage management platform, the company also replaced all of its existing content players.

Because FWI’s enterprise platform is compatible with multiple player platforms, Ferguson had the opportunity to leverage BrightSign players, a cost-effective option that saved over $300 per endpoint while also drastically improving network uptime. And to streamline every aspect of content contribution, scheduling, and device management, Ferguson leverages FWI Cloud. By enabling location-specific content contribution while still maintaining control of global messaging, the company ensures each location can update its screens with a list of scheduled appointments, special events, and more, without sacrificing the ability to maintain a consistent customer experience. And to ensure every aspect of its network is optimized, Ferguson relies on FWI’s Visual Communications Management team, an ongoing managed service engagement that outsources all day-to-day network management to FWI’s software and strategy experts.

Components Used.


The Results.


With all previous uptime, contribution, and management challenges solved across its existing 1,000 screen network, Ferguson is now positioned to expand into additional use cases, applications, and locations—all at a reduced overall cost, due to its use of BrightSign players.

In addition to that, the ability to empower localized content contribution with FWI Cloud enables its showrooms and other retail locations to provide more personalized, impactful messaging, further contributing to the impact of its signage network. Ferguson now has a platform capable of true enterprise scalability, and a dedicated team of experts providing ongoing optimization, ensuring the company receives the most value from its signage network.

Added Benefits.


  • 01
    Improved Device Management
    With FWI Cloud, the Ferguson team not only benefitted from proactive device status alerts, but also gained the ability to easily monitor and manage any of its 1,000 devices—all on the fly, from their mobile devices.

  • 02
    Increased Uptime & Reduced Cost
    After switching to BrightSign players, Ferguson saved more than $300,000 and improved uptime by 25%, drastically reducing the number of downed screens while also reestablishing faith in Ferguson’s digital signage platform.

  • 03
    Delivered Localized Content
    Considering that 67% of Ferguson associates surveyed want the ability to display localized content, Ferguson relies on FWI’s platform to deliver on those expectations, plus scale that impact to thousands of locations in the future.

With FWI’s platform, we have a solid foundation on which to expand, and can easily build whatever we need—whether that’s templatized local content or custom applications.

—DANIEL HEDRICK, DIGITAL SIGNAGE SPECIALIST, FERGUSON

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