International Specialty Products

This global specialty chemicals company with more than 3000 employees upgraded its lobby signage with large-format NEC LCD displays.

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International Specialty Products
Quick Facts
  • Facility: International Specialty Products (ISP)
  • Location: Wayne, New Jersey
  • Challenge: Build a communications bridge among the company's multiple locations/ provide up-to-date communications to employees/update information display capabilities at tradeshows
  • Solution: 46" NEC MultiSync LCD4620 & 40" LCD4020

When it comes to making good impressions on clients, whether it be first-time visitors or long-standing customers, creating a welcoming and in­formative atmosphere can go a long way. International Specialty Products (ISP), a global specialty chemicals company, employs more than 3000 people and oc­cupies facilities in virtually every corner of the world, making it difficult to keep everyone abreast of important company developments and news. Concerned that a communications gap was grow­ing between the company's corporate headquarters and multiple locations, senior executives at ISP agreed that some sort of communications bridge was urgently needed. Simultaneously, execu­tives wanted to update their lobby and tradeshow booth with something dynamic and eye-catching to replace the aged, outdated signage.

The Challenge

For 10 years, ISP visitors and clients were welcomed at the corporate headquarters by a static, backlit box that contained company history, major acquisitions and new plant constructions. The problem was that the intensely competitive business world in which ISP operates brought frequent changes, making it an ongoing and time-consuming process to constantly update the static signage inside the "lightbox." The static panel displays at the company's tradeshow booth posed a similar problem, so Lisa Porter, advertising communications manager at ISP, was asked by the executive staff to create a viable solution bridging the communications gap between ISP's world headquar­ters and its various locations, while also updating the tradeshow and lobby signage.

To aid in the design of the new lobby as well as the company's tradeshow booth, Porter brought in integrator Marc A. Wolfe, CEO of ProActive, Inc. ( ). Porter and Wolfe worked to update the lobby's 8 by 51/2-foot lightbox and tradeshow booth, which displayed static signage.

One of their challenges was the darkly colored walls in ISP's lobby, which limited the impact of the lightbox. The lobby also featured high ceilings and a large open area, making the lightbox seem even more dull and outdated, and although the box was backlit, the static signage didn't grab visitors' attention. Porter needed an eye-popping solution to effectively com­municate with ISP's guests.

Another challenge for Porter was the in­ability to easily update the lightbox with content such as recent sales or acquisi­tions. While the lightbox contained com­pany history, she and Wolfe both realized the new lobby setup and tradeshow booth had the potential to provide much more information than the original format. Wolfe sorted through various technologi­cal options and proposed replacing the static signage in the lightbox and booth with digital signage. Porter quickly real­ized the tremendous opportunities the digital alternative presented.

The Solutions

Porter worked closely with Wolfe and his team to establish logistics and design of the new lobby signage solution and tradeshow booth. Wolfe suggested NEC as the display provider and general solutions con­tractor and the idea of surrounding the LCDs with stone to match other areas of the lobby. This would en­able the digital signage to stand out and grab visitors' attention.

"After weighing our options, we real­ized it would be foolish not to switch to digital because the cost savings alone was substantial enough to justify the initial expense of the dis­plays," said Porter. "More important, digital signage allowed us to display not only more information than the original static format, but also the most current news. There is no limit to how much we can edit and update the content, and digital signage also enabled the use of animated content."

After exploring product evaluation tests of NEC's monitors, Por­ter stuck with them because of their superior quality and product features, notably the commercial-grade panels. ISP purchased seven 46" NEC MultiSync LCD4620 displays (four to replace the static lightbox at its headquarters and three for a nearby lobby on its campus). The four LCD4620 lobby displays, installed in portrait orientation, were combined into a 1x4 tiled configura­tion so that content could run separately on individual screens or all four together. Additionally, the Omnivex software Wolfe suggested would provide Porter's graphic designers with an easy portal to update the system's content whenever and wherever necessary.

In addition to displaying the latest company news and introduc­tory information, special messages can be created in the lobby signage, such as a welcome note to a particular guest visiting the office. ISP personnel have noticed that such personal touches have enhanced their visitors' stay and in many cases have im­proved relationships with their clients.

ISP also purchased nine 40" NEC MultiSync LCD4020 displays for their new tradeshow booth. This eliminated the need for printed, static lightbox panels that would have to be updated frequently, shipped to and from tradeshows and stored elsewhere, incurring a great deal of expense along the way.

"With the new digital screens, we can now change content as necessary in the booth right at the show using Apple Mac minis plugged into the screens," Porter said. "We were con­fident that the digital screens would pay for themselves after using them at a couple of tradeshows."

Moreover, the popularity of the digital displays has led Porter to purchase them for other ISP locations in the U.S., a major step towards bridging the companywide communications gap. Consideration is also being given to adding the displays at ISP's European sites.

"With standardized content run­ning on the digital signage at each site, we have created a huge impact without increasing staff or man-hours," said Porter. "The content is standard enough to be consistent, yet flexible enough to be used in multiple locations. Going digital has certainly enhanced many parts of our corporate community, even educating our employees on aspects of the company they may have not been familiar with previously. The digital signage has helped instill a feeling of closeness that was lacking before we made the switch."

"Converting to digital was certainly the best way to go, considering the value offered, achievable reach and desire to lead their sector," said Wolfe. "By using dynamic content created by Omnivex software, we created a major wow factor. There is a lot more fidelity when using this RGB screen compared to a static CMYK document. We couldn't be happier with the final outcome of the corporate headquarters lobby and tradeshow booth because they give ISP the look and feel that it deserves."

"The response to the digital signage used in our headquarters lobby, at our tradeshows and a growing number of our sites has been tremendous, and the use of the displays has been incredibly successful," said Porter. "The colors are so crisp and clear that you feel as though you can walk up to a panel, reach in there and get past the words to the structure of the image itself. A lot of that has to do with the fact that they're NEC screens. You can't beat that quality. Using these displays has helped frame our com­pany's image as an innovator and a top-tier company. Everyone, from executives to employees to visitors, has noted the displays when they walk past. What's more, the digital signage has helped initiate conversations that would not have otherwise taken place."