Ask the Board – October 28, 2019 | DR. ELIZABETH CORNELL


“What are effective cost-reduction strategies that can be employed with digital signage to keep your capital investment and maintenance low?”

At higher education institutions, budgets are often tight. It’s essential to keep digital signage costs low and make sure precious dollars aren’t being wasted on your investment. Eliminating or reducing signage may not be a good option for cutting costs, since in many cases, the signage was implemented for advertising campus activities and messages, thus reducing printing costs and their associated environmental burdens.

One obvious strategy is to check that the equipment is running, up to date, and meeting performance needs. The less obvious approach is to do that check in person. A school’s campus can be sprawling, which means that many signs are tucked away in various buildings. Your digital signage software might tell you whether a screen is malfunctioning, but it won’t tell you if a soda machine has been moved in front of it or if enterprising students have placed a poster over a dormitory screen to advertise their next party.

Schedule a monthly or bi-monthly physical walk-through to check each screen to make sure there are no spatial or hardware problems. The walk-through will also confirm that your signage is communicating correctly with the software. And, you may notice places where new signage is needed.

Another advantage to the walk-through is that you can make personal contact with the people who have a stake in the screen that’s in their office or department. Perhaps the department no longer wants to have a screen. It can be removed and repurposed. Staff can let you know about hardware and software problems (often people have concerns but don’t get around to sending you an email), and discuss replacement options if their screen is getting old. Replacing old plasma screens with LEDs can lead to substantial reductions in electricity costs. 

Running a digital signage system from the comfort of your desk and safety of your computer is entirely possible. But getting out of the office and into the spaces that host the signage you work so hard to maintainwill go a long way to ensure that your system is running optimally and meeting the needs of the people you serve. While some of the strategies described here may not cut many direct costs, they will protect your school’s investment and help justify next year’s budget request for digital signage.

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Director of Internal Communications
Fordham IT

End User Council

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