ABF Packing is a beef processing plant located in Stephenville, Texas, that sells beef products to other food manufacturing and distribution companies. Texas Best Proteins is a food manufacturing company that prepares fully-cooked foods for restaurants and food service companies in its production plants located in Santo, Texas.
Texas Best is the parent company to three brands: Kennedy’s Sausage Co., Farm to Market Foods, and Kajun Kettle Foods. Each brand is dedicated to creating premium products while adhering to the common goals of safety, quality, and continuous improvement. Texas Best and ABF adopt technologies with a long-term view into keeping their plants productive, safe and efficient.
Both ABF Packing and Texas Best Proteins were looking for ways to streamline communications to employees and customers, and decided to explore digital signage content management systems (CMS). The IT manager had seen flat screens being used in restaurants and knew it would be a great way to communicate with employees and customers.
In learning about Skykit, the IT department realized that users could share content updates—in real-time or on a scheduled basis—to any number of digital displays. In addition, the company’s brands would be consistently showcased in all of these communications. Both companies decided to invest in 55” digital display screens which were installed at Kennedy’s Hometown Market (the retail stores), and in the break rooms and the production office.
In both Santo and Stephensville, a large digital display hangs prominently in the retail storefronts, showcasing price menus with stylized branding. The screens are large enough to include product photos which rotate in the top right corner, and the weather forecast in the bottom right corner.
Before installing Skykit, the price boards at the retail stores were printed versions that required frequent updates from multiple individuals. Every time there was a price change a new sign would need to be printed, resulting in multiple versions, a cluttered environment, and often outdated information. This took more time and effort than was practical, especially taking into account that bacon and sausage prices fluctuate with market changes. Skykit enables menu price changes from multiple sources to one Google Sheet, updating the info in real-time.
Texas Best employees who make updates to the price list do so in a shared Google Sheet, which then automatically populates the screens in its stylized format.
Digital screens are located in the employee break rooms in Stephensville and Santo:
The break rooms in Stephenville show stats for the kill floor and production areas, as well as QA cleanliness reports
The screens in Santo show a two-week view of the production schedule. The schedules are of interest to just about every employee, and get looked at throughout the day.
All break room screens at both plants include announcements, food safety information, and content that supports training reinforcement.
Another screen is located in the production office in Santo, home to the Plant Manager, QA team, and a Control Room where samples of prepared foods are checked for quality assurance.
The IT department has a digital display that it uses for testing code bundles before implementing them, as well as showing IT alerts for network health. Utilizing Code Bundles the IT department was able to automate the movement of information for pricing and production scheduling from internal systems to the digital displays.
Watson said he previously created the price list in Illustrator to ensure branding was consistent with the store’s POS materials. This required updating and re-printing for every price change. After implementing Skykit he created a code bundle that incorporated the style of Texas Best’s branded materials, alleviating the need to make updates when there is a price change.
Since implementing Skykit, Texas Best now has a simple, intuitive CMS that allows different users to communicate important information and price changes to staff and customers.
Displaying the production schedule in both the break room and the control room has been a big time-saver for employees. Before implementing Skykit, employees would have to log in to the ERP system to see schedule changes. Now they simply check the screen as they walk by.
Skykit makes it easy for Texas Best to use consistent branding in all of its content and communications. Users can create content using the same familiar applications they’ve always used—like Google slides and documents, images, PDFs, videos and more—and display it on a scheduled basis or in real-time. Updates can be made from any device, even cell phones.
As a cloud-based platform, Skykit is designed to grow with ABF and Texas Best, scaling to their changing needs as required. Online support is included in the annual cost.