Bobby Rahal BMW

This Pennsylvania dealership incorporated digital signage into high-traffic customer areas throughout its facility, increasing staff/customer interaction and providing a new avenue for communication.

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Bobby Rahal BMW
Quick Facts
  • Facility: Bobby Rahal Automotive Group
  • Location: Canonsburg, PA
  • Challenge: Incorporate digital signage into high-traffic customer areas
  • Solution: 32" NEC MultiSync® LCD3215, 42" LCD4215, 46" M46-2-AVT and NP905

In order to increase customer interaction and drive sales, the staff at Bobby Rahal BMW of South Hills (Rahal) wanted to implement a unique digital signage system. Aimed for high-traffic customer areas, the messaging system would highlight special events, dealer announcements and sales specials.

Serving the Canonsburg area, Bobby Rahal BMW of South Hills, located in Canonsburg, PA, is a premier retailer of new and used BMW vehicles. The dealership, which moved locations in 2008, prides itself on employing a dedicated sales staff and top-trained technicians who specialize in extraordinary client care. The South Hills dealership is known among the public for its enthusiasm and excitement for the brand's core values. In 2007, the dealership won BMW's prestigious Center of Excellence Award, an honor presented annually by BMW of North America to recognize sales leadership with the highest level of customer satisfaction.

The Challenge

Attracting customers with appealing signage can be a difficult task to complete when implementing into an existing facility. Bobby Rahal BMW of South Hills (Rahal) wanted to draw its customers into its new location with vibrant signage that would complement its dealership's philosophy. After many successful years, it moved to a new property just a few miles down the road. Craving a new look for the next building, dealer executives decided to explore options that would intrigue and educate customers, as well as new and long-time BMW owners.

“We wanted to deploy screens in high-traffic areas with the intent to use them as a marketing tool, featuring vehicles, dealer services and announcements,” said Rick Speicher, vice president of operations for Bobby Rahal Automotive Group. “Creating a high-end feel that matched the prestige of the dealership was critical in our search for the appropriate digital signage solution.”

Speicher's team sought out features such as a commercial-grade panel designed for extended use, a wall mount that would hide cables for a sleek, uniform look throughout the space and sound capability for entertainment purposes in various areas of the dealership.

The Solution

Coincidentally, Rahal Letterman Racing was also looking for a recognizable brand that it could partner with for its return to the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) circuit in 2009. As a company that features cutting-edge technology and the latest in performance, Rahal found it fitting to work with an associate sponsor that embodied those same qualities. Rahal likened to NEC, since it matched the dealer's dedication to advanced development, precise engineering and supreme quality.

Dealership staff met with NEC representatives at a regional tradeshow and struck immediate interest in NEC's product offering. After matching their needs to the appropriately designed NEC displays, Rahal purchased seven NEC MultiSync 15 Series displays, sizing 32" and 42", to complete its objective for marketing communications throughout the dealership. These areas include the retail parts area, vehicle loaner desk and staff offices. Two of the screens are constantly displaying content related to parts merchandising and sales, where BMW customers are often passing by and can quickly view dealership promotions. Announcements are flashed about the latest accessories in the shop or an upcoming dealership event.

The dealership also deployed two 46" NEC M46-2-AVT displays for entertainment in both the client lounge and office area. Conference rooms were each outfitted with two NP905 projectors, mounted onto the ceiling and used for training sessions and meeting presentations.

"Having the digital displays allows us to easily maneuver the content for special events, like our new location's grand opening, where more than 700 people in attendance viewed unique content created specifically for that event," said Speicher. "On a day-to-day basis, the office displays are driven towards service specials. We've noticed an increase in the interaction our staff has had with customers, and the screens are a huge aspect because they create an opportunity to engage in conversation where it might not have occurred prior."

Rahal runs content from Exhibio software, utilizing a standalone server that allows the broadcast of content to individual screens or a group blast to all displays on the network. This customizable feature makes the new dealership signage incredibly accessible and suitable for a variety of uses. For example, Speicher says the digital signage was a hit at the company's 2009 holiday party, where photos were displayed on the screens of all BMW dealers. This encouraged networking, as every staff member could view the other locations and have more detailed discussions during party mingling.

"The enormous positive feedback we've experienced from NEC's products has motivated us to think of new ways to utilize the technology," said Speicher. "We would love to work with NEC on potential future projects, both at our South Hills location and possibly other Bobby Rahal dealerships, based on the incredible performance with our recent implementation."