Bridging the digital divide to bring car showrooms to life
02 June 2021
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The pandemic has hit nearly every industry, from leisure, through travel, to the arts and entertainment. One that has been particularly impacted is the automotive sector with a reduction in sales during the year, limited test drives and showrooms that have been forced to close.
A collaboration of experts
Little can be done to shift the needle on test drives and showrooms, but a collaboration between Pacer, the optoelectronics & display experts, and Tecna UK, a leading provider of modular display systems, has digitally brought to life a major car manufacturer’s offering across all of its 187 UK showrooms with a combination of high impact print and 32-inch industrial touch screens.
“COVID hit car showrooms hard,” says George Green, Project Manager at Tecna UK – a specialist solutions provider who has worked extensively in the automotive industry. “As they started to open again as restrictions eased, we wanted to offer a digital experience of the car to the customers to help bring it to life. The big challenge was that it needed to be a managed experience and the same across all the showrooms.”
Tecna UK’s expertise lies predominantly in the exhibition and event sector with expertise in static graphics, pop-ups and product display created with their leading T3 framework. Tecna UK is aware that green initiatives are important, not just to their clients, but to themselves, so were reluctant to rely on traditional cardboard in the campaign; instead, they implemented modular flat pack equipment that could be easily reconfigured across the showroom, utilising re-usable graphics, as well as touch screens which provide interactive media content which can be updated when required.
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“Tecna UK had worked with us in the past and knew about our technical expertise in displays and optoelectronics,” says Mark Widdowson, Display Specialist at Pacer. “To bring the showrooms to life and deliver an interactive experience, we recommended and sourced over 180 32-inch industrial PCAP (projected capacitive) touch screen monitors to be mounted to Tecna UK’s T3 system – fully encased for both safety and reliability. The units had onboard an Android embedded system, with its operating system and application-specific software locked down for security purposes.”
Plug & play
It was important that the screens in the showrooms were easy to operate, in other words ‘plug and play’ and physically and electrically safe. Data security was also a critical factor specified by Tecna UK and their client to ensure that any personal information entered onto the touch screen system was protected. Pacer’s engineers rewrote the standard operating procedure for the screens to ensure their functionality was exactly as the client required. In fact, the screens were so low maintenance that they were auto configured to switch on and off at opening and closing time.
The campaign has provided a range of challenges for both Pacer and Tecna UK. The 180 plus 32-inch screens had to be delivered by Pacer in a four-to-six-week delivery time scale, boxed and pre-configured by technicians with the correct application software and having gone through the necessary testing.
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The major car company is delighted with its digital presence in the showroom at a time when selling cars is a challenge. It now has the flexibility through digital and traditional solutions to highlight a range of vehicles over a number of years.
Pacer’s expertise and problem solving has highlighted its willingness to collaborate with companies, like Tecna UK, crossing the digital divide and helping provide green, innovative, customer friendly and imaginative solutions, while staying true to budget and on time.
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