Tech profile: Anders+Kern UK
Founded in 1989, Anders+Kern UK Ltd is a leading distributor & integrator of audio visual solutions, with particular specialisms in digital signage, video walls, room booking, projection screens, writing surfaces and AV install services.
With access to some the world’s leading AV presentation brands, including Mitsubishi Electric, Stewart Filmscreen and Abstracta, A+K remains at the forefront of AV innovation and works with commercial, educational and end user customers to unlock the value of their AV projects. Two examples of the company’s prowess are sketched in the following case studies.
Video wall brings diamond impact to fine jeweller’s flagship store
East of England audio visual specialist Anders+Kern (A+K) is the jewel in the crown of an image revamp by one of the diamonds of the High Street – Biagio.
The owners started out in business over 20 years ago with a clear vision to set up a shop for people to visit and have a vast selection of jewellery designed and styled in a way you would find nowhere else except London, New York and Europe.
Biagio sells some of the most sought-after brands such as GUCCI, Emporio Armani and Jorge Revilla. To keep moving forward and progressing the business, founder Biagio Patalano decided to embark on the challenge of opening a brand new shop in Bicester recently. The new store was to be triple the space of the previous shop and would become the brand’s flagship store.
Renowned for discovering ‘something different’ in jewellery Biagio was keen to reflect this in all elements of his new shop. With décor taking inspiration from New York to Italy, eye-catching elements to the shop include 2,500-crystal-rich chandeliers, Italian marble and princess chairs.
Having seen video walls being used in other retail environments the owner knew it was something that could provide the necessary wow factor to the new shop build. It was seen that the video wall could be used to engage customers as they entered the store showing videos and dynamic content.
With a clear vision of the final impact to be achieved, the owner turned to the web for inspiration and made contact with Anders+Kern.
After an initial discussion to establish a brief A+K was able to offer a number of design scenarios for consideration. As a result of A+K providing technical drawings of various screen arrangements Biagio was able start visualising what a video wall could look like.
In the end it was decided a 2x2 video wall offered the best solution. Maintaining a 16:9 aspect ratio for the video wall provided the option to extend content to other single screen locations in the future without the need to consider producing or sourcing new content.
With A+Ks Technical team involved from the early stages of the project they were able to liaise with third party contractors including electricians and shop fitters. This ensured everything was in place so the A+K team could install the video wall to provide the wow factor.
Using the built-in tiling feature of the Mitsubishi Video Wall Displays, A+K was able to daisy chain content from a single output to span all four screens. The video wall content is driven by A+K PADS Digital Signage and is used to show aspirational content and brand videos to prospective customers. For example, video content is provided by Jorge Revilla and GUCCI showing jewellery and watches being made by hand.
These videos show the customer the quality and craftsmanship that goes into the final product and help re-enforce the prestigious nature of the brands.
Biagio also decided that A+K would host and manage the content from a remote server location.
The video wall and digital signage has proven to be a success in raising brand awareness within the store, and now thanks to the scalability of A+K PADS Digital Signage, Biagio has the opportunity to roll out its signage to other stores or locations.
Digital signage turns tide of communication across Port of Felixstowe
The Port of Felixstowe is Britain’s biggest and busiest container port, and one of the largest in Europe. It handles 3.7 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and welcomes over 3,000 ships each year, including the largest container vessels afloat today.
Together with its unrivalled rail and road links connecting the port to distribution hubs in the Midlands and elsewhere in the UK, Felixstowe plays a pivotal role in keeping the UK’s trade moving and delivers real benefits to customers, the community and the industry.
The port faced a common challenge for many organisations – to provide real-time and relevant information to employees. Around 75 per cent of staff carry out operational roles including driving plant and supporting vessel operations, without regular access to PCs.
The port needed a way of providing consistent information to those in frontline roles who are delivering service to their customers every day. The port’s ‘Media Screens’ digital signage project provided an alternative source of information for employees in operational roles. After researching a number of options, Anders +Kern (A+K) PADS was selected to manage content and deliver information to numerous locations across the port.
Twenty-six screens have been installed in canteens, break areas, reception and other communal areas.
The media screens are used to communicate a range of information including progress against customer service targets, vessel and train information and changes to operational procedures as well as non-operational information such as weather, traffic and canteen menus.
In making the decision to choose A+K PADS, a priority for the port was the ability to link the content application to external data sources including operational systems, RSS feeds and web pages to ensure the information was regularly updated.
A+K also helped the port build bespoke widgets to graphically display multiple data elements in a format that is easily understandable at a glance.
Without dedicated resource, a small team has been able to support the development and scheduling of content across the port, which has pushed the boundaries of PADS in terms of the range of content types, data sources and file formats being used.
The media screens are integral to the port’s wider communications strategy aimed at supporting the focus on helping employees understand industry changes and customer service priorities in an ever changing market place.