After taking part in the Greater Connected programme, Didsbury-based tech company NowSignage gained hundreds of new clients, resulting in £300,000 of new recurring subscription sales in 2019/20 and five new jobs created.
Founded in 2013, NowSignage has become a market-leading digital signage platform, supporting thousands of permanent digital signage fixtures across the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the SME has been developing unique solutions to help businesses ensure staff safety and compliance with latest Government guidance.
Founder and director Nick talks to the Hub about how NowSignage is adapting to the new challenges of Coronavirus:
Find out about how we can help your business adapt to the ‘new normal’: Digital, creative and tech business support
We’re all having to adapt to life with COVID-19 and do our bit
The world around us is having to adapt and change rapidly due to the COVID-19 crisis, and in many areas of life technology will change what is accepted as normal both temporarily, and in many cases permanently.
We have worked with our clients and partners to identify innovative opportunities where we can assist with the challenges that businesses of all kinds are facing in the short and long term, particularly when it comes to moving beyond lockdown into a world where the threat of spreading the virus remains.
The opportunity to help the NHS
The incredible Colonel Tom Moore’s achievements have been inspirational, and we thought that if we have the chance to play a small part in making our hospitals safer for staff and patients during this incredibly difficult time, it must be worth trying to do so.
The same goes for workplaces, as we’re now all aware of the need to do what we can to stop the spread and protect the NHS from being overwhelmed. Handwashing and hand sanitising are going to be a big part of any workplace or public space going forwards, so new processes and procedures will need to be put into place to manage this.
At NowSignage, we’ve come up with a unique dispenser management solution to ensure that Hand Sanitiser Dispensers located in hospitals and public spaces are never empty, because of the important role they have in preventing infections being spread, particularly right now.
By installing the advanced LCD Hand Sanitiser Station, employers can play their part, and will receive automatic notifications when dispensers are running low as well as data that can be used to inform future decision-making and provide insight for the most effective positioning.
I’m also really pleased that we were able, alongside our hardware partners, to provide multiple NHS hospitals with digital signage totems and free NowSignage licenses, so they can easily communicate vital messaging such as social distancing and washing hands.
And last month (April 2020) we released a free-to-use COVID-19 digital signage resource that anyone in the world can load on their screens for no charge.
The NowSignage people counting solution
We need to get smarter about managing public space capacities
Social distancing has been with us for a little while now and we’ve already seen how much things have changed when we visit a supermarket. This is going to be the case for the foreseeable future, so public places are going to have to get smarter about recording how many people can be safely allowed inside. Businesses therefore need to adapt accordingly and, crucially, very quickly.
We’ve collaborated with leading technology partner Philips Professional Display Solutions to provide an effective way to manage in-store capacity, both during this pandemic and beyond. It involves installing a people counting sensor on entrances and exits, which sends a live data stream to digital signage screens, enabling staff to manage customer flow accurately and safely.
When combining the reliability and security of NowSignage and Philips Professional Display Solutions’ Android ‘System on Chip’ screens, we believe we have the most robust solution on the market and are excited to begin rolling it out to end users in retail, real estate, transport, public service, tourism and many other sectors over the summer
"We believe we have the most robust solution on the market" - Nick Johnson
The future is bright for NowSignage
I’m incredibly proud of how we’ve adapted to the challenges of COVID-19 and these new solutions we’ve created have the potential to make a big difference to how businesses continue to manage this situation.
We’ve still got big growth plans here and the Hub’s support has been invaluable in growing NowSignage from a niche product to a fully-fledged stand-alone business. The expertise and guidance of Hub digital, creative and tech specialist Neil McCluskey helped us to take the next step by giving us the right questions to ask when identifying potential new markets.
Rather than being a prescriptive course, Greater Connected and the advice we’ve received shaped our ability to market ourselves effectively to new audiences and gave us the confidence to put the focus into our new business.
A fully-funded programme tailored to help digital, creative and tech companies stabilise, adapt and grow: find out more about Greater Connected.
If you’re concerned about COVID-19’s impact on your business, we’re here for you