Is the next step for your shop electronic digital signage?
By Beth Osborne
If you do decide to provide the screens, however, you should strategically partner with one manufacturer and become a licensed reseller to ensure best pricing. You can also buy directly from distributors that only sell to resellers. There are ways to get rock-bottom pricing on screens. Keep in mind that the prices you see on a consumer site are not the prices you will pay, especially if you are buying large volumes. Distributors and manufacturers are more than willing to provide special pricing for large quantities.
The other part of the hardware equation: the computers or servers that run the system. These you will want to provide to the customer (versus having the customer purchase them directly) because it’s likely that each will have to be configured for that particular customer and/or application. You’ll need to have a hardware expert on your staff that can configure the right type of computers to run the system. And, of course, your customers will be dependent on you for updates and upgrades.
Software: The next decision is software. Will you pursue developing your own or purchase existing software? Unless you have the resources, there’s no reason to develop your own software; many software packages are available that can provide the functionality that customers are seeking: dayparting (dividing the day into several program/message-specific segments), instant updates, Web-based platforms, scheduling features, the ability to easily change out images, and so on.
Be sure to thoroughly research your choices. You want to choose software that resells to dynamic-signage providers; not one that sells directly to end users. Most of the major screen/display manufacturers also have software products, so this could be an opportunity to receive both products from a single source. Of course the drawback to reselling an existing product is licensing fees, which can vary depending mostly on the number of licenses purchased. Additional maintenance fees might also be involved. This investment is, however, minimal compared to the time and resources that would be required to develop your own software.
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