For Learning Resources, communication between offices in Illinois, California and the United Kingdom was challenging because of the time difference and the need to share creative concepts with those locations in real time. With artists, product designers and marketing teams based in different locations, it took too long to move products through the development cycle from concept to manufacturing. Learning Resources President and Chief Executive Officer Etienne Veber wanted a solution "that would bridge the time difference between locations and unite them although they're miles apart."
Learning Resources installed two Panasonic HDVC systems—one in the Illinois headquarters and another in California—and is in the process of installing a third in their United Kingdom office. The HDVC system fosters a productive and collaborative team environment regardless of distance or time zone.
"The fact that you can hold up artwork, a design, or a product, instead of spending hours—if not days—in email or on the phone trying to get everyone, everywhere to buy into a concept dramatically increases productivity. We can now schedule a quick face-to-face meeting with our satellite offices, regardless of time, and make a decision," said Veber.
Learning Resources initially used the system for simple collaborative meetings but soon began to use it along with compatible Panasonic Whiteboards and HD Projectors. The comprehensive system not only made meetings more dynamic but also engaged their teams and encouraged participation. With the system mounted on a cart, the solution became mobile and could be moved around as needed to be used by other personnel, including senior management. Instead of merely discussing the issues over the phone, management could use the interactive system to highlight figures, show charts and demonstrate how the facts relate, while the marketing team could illustrate innovative concepts for new product development and get real time feedback. This type of collaboration was further utilized when Learning Resources used the Panasonic HDVC system to produce a commercial.
"Our marketing team worked with production studios to create commercials for our Classroom Jeopardy product, which was featured during Teacher Appreciation Week on the Jeopardy TV show. Using the HDVC system, our California marketing team was able to share and discuss the production of these commercials with our Illinois headquarters in real time," said Tim Bruess, Manager of IT Services.
Learning Resources® is a leading manufacturer of innovative, hands-on educational materials for classrooms and learning toys for the home. For more than 25 years, the company has been a trusted source for educators and parents for quality, award-winning educational products. Headquartered in Vernon Hills, IL with a European office based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England, Learning Resources markets and distributes its products in over 80 countries around the globe.
The company's diverse product line of over 1300 proprietary products serves children and their families, with a focus on kindergarten, primary, and middle school markets in the areas of mathematics, science, early childhood, reading, Spanish language, English language and teacher resources.