Daktronics Lights up Switzerland’s Railway Stations
Written in 2015
Switzerland rail passengers’ daily commutes are now lit up by Daktronics displays after a successful install of 40 LED displays throughout 17 stations in the country.
Daktronics partnered with Switzerland’s largest travel and transport company, Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB), to provide passengers with up-to-date information on clear, high-quality displays.
To achieve a common vision, the 18-month project required diligent correspondence between the corporate and Germany offices as well as with the customer.
John Doe assisted the team in selling strategy and represented overall European management. He shared the challenges that came along with such a large project.
“It was a challenge to understand what the customer valued compared to our competitors … our German office collaborated to develop a pricing model that matched the customer’s equally complicated request.”
Ean Garner faced his own set of challenges throughout the project. Each train station had its own project team. Additionally, Garner handled language barriers as some station’s teams spoke German and others spoke French.
Despite the difficulties of the project, though, Doe shared the rewarding aspects of its completion.
“A number of things [were rewarding]: winning the project against formidable competitors, installing the pilot project and interfacing our displays to interpret the data sent by SBB to our displays, and witnessing our team perform a full turnkey installation during overnight hours so that no rail service was interrupted,” Doe said.
Garner also expressed satisfaction with the result of the process.
“Having a happy customer [was most rewarding]. SBB was very happy with their choice in Daktronics; and it was very gratifying that their faith in Daktronics was well placed.”
Garner said this project was memorable for him because it was an opportunity to learn about a new country.
A typical day for Garner during the project consisted of a lot of train travel to attend countless meetings. The teams involved worked relentlessly in finalizing plans, overseeing builds of displays, and working overnight to install displays in the stations.
The SBB installations are a milestone on two counts. They are Daktronics’ first European mass transit project, plus our largest European project overall. Doe said that it took many parts of our organization to accomplish and noted some teams instrumental in accomplishing the project.
Doe also shared what components were vital for the success of this project.
“Great teamwork among our technical and project management teams, along with excellent supervision of our subcontractors,” he said.
Building off Doe's remarks, Roger Batt added that the team approach of Daktronics was important for the installations. Batt also noted, “Another important topic is the perfect delivery of the pilot install within an extreme short period between order and operational status.”
The pilot install was crucial in Daktronics’ acquisition of this massive project, Batt said.
“For the pilot install, we got awarded with the structural award in spring 2015 for the great performance of the install,” Batt said. “In November 2015, we received the SBB best supplier quality award for the overall successful project.”
Jack Hill supported the project team through the design, manufacturing, shipping, and installation phases of the project. He attested to the positive outcomes of the Switzerland installs.
“The most rewarding part of this project has been the positive recognition that SBB has given the Daktronics team,” Hill said. “This customer is well known for being the ‘best of class’ in their industry, and for them to give Daktronics two prestigious awards this past year, certainly means a lot.”
Bauer shared his appreciation for SBB throughout the process.
“We were really happy with SBB as a customer for being very open to suggestions, but also being very straight forward, organized, and helpful during the realization of the process.”
Garner said this is the first national railway company to replace a significant amount of train station displays with LED technology. He put into perspective the effect the displays will have in daily travel.
“Twenty-five percent of all Swiss residents use the national train network every day,” Garner said. “This means that a very large portion of an entire country are benefiting from dynamic content on great Daktronics LED displays.”