Magnatag Whiteboards Blog

Q&A With a Visual Systems Specialists: Why Schedules Are The Educator’s Best Friend

The end of the year is an incredibly busy time for educators across the nation. With the months of December and January marking the halfway point of the school year for many districts across the US, our sales team frequently meets with District Administrators and Guidance Counselors during the winter seasons to help educators prepare to enter into the second half of the academic calendar with their best foot forward. I recently caught up with Jessica, a veteran member of our sales team, to see what educational product most educators are calling about right now. 

How long have you worked here at Magnatag?

Twelve years!

Is there a particular whiteboard system that is in great demand during this time of year?

There are always the few products that are popular regardless of the time of year, but recently I’ve received a number of quotes for our 9-Period Master-Class Schedules. December is one of those months that we see an uptick in school spending, as the end of the year is just around the corner and educators are looking to go into the new year fully prepared; so I can’t say I’m all that surprised by the popularity of the system.

Can you tell me how people are using the scheduling system? Continue reading Q&A With a Visual Systems Specialists: Why Schedules Are The Educator’s Best Friend

How To Guarantee Safety Guidelines Are Followed In Your Factory

In 2015, worker injuries and illnesses went down-from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.0. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration—which is a subdivision of the US Department of Labor—plays a large part in guaranteeing that this statistic continues to follow a downward trend.

In an attempt to maintain this statistic and ensure that their workplace is in accordance with National and State labor laws, many companies have started to reshape the way safety is defined in their culture.

About two years ago, National Grid Electric & Gas reevaluated the steps they were taking to build a safer working environment; of the many things they found, one aspect in particular caught our interest: although employee safety reports were conducted on a weekly basis, their lack of visual engagement was hindering communication efforts—something that was particularly troubling to members of National Grid’s management team.

Continue reading How To Guarantee Safety Guidelines Are Followed In Your Factory

3 Things You Need To Know Before Creating Your First Whiteboard Animation

The average person watches approximately 16 minutes of video advertisements per month. Some analysts believe that this number will double over the course of the next five years, largely due to an increase in quality content.

One cost-effective approach that many businesses are taking to push quality content for their brand is creating whiteboard videos. Whiteboard videos (sometimes referred to as explainer videos) are short three to five minute videos that walk the viewer through a particular problem, story, or concept. Using the backdrop of a traditional whiteboard to serve as a blank slate for the story, the narrator’s words are visualized with the help of illustrations.

Given that whiteboard animations welcome virtually any subject matter one can think of, it’s no surprise that many companies have begun to implement this design element into their advertising campaigns. But there’s more to whiteboard videos than simply talking about a product or service and adding some fancy animations alongside it. In fact, whiteboard advertisements are arguably one of the most carefully constructed forms of video advertisements, as they rely heavily on the art of salesmanship, copywriting, and visual cues.

With a company slogan like “show what’s happening” our team at Magnatag knows a thing or two about making the most out of visuals. So in an effort to help your business get off the ground and start producing video advertisements that actually convert, we put together a list of must haves for whiteboard animations. Continue reading 3 Things You Need To Know Before Creating Your First Whiteboard Animation

3 Things You Can Plan For This Thanksgiving

Here at Magnatag, we’re all about maximizing efficiency so you can spend more time focusing on the important things in life—like spending time with family for example! With one of America’s most popular holidays just around the corner, and we’d like to help you spend more time with your loved ones and less time planning. So here’s five ways you can plan ahead for turkey-day.

Create a checklist of who’s responsible for each dish

Creating checklists is an easy way to ensure that every dish will be prepared for the big day. To ensure that our company-wide Thanksgiving celebration went off without a hitch, Magnatag created a Step-Tracker whiteboard that was displayed in our break room. With the whiteboard readily accessible by every member of our team, we were able to ensure that no single dish was assigned to multiple people. There’s nothing worse than having to run into the madness that is a grocery store the day before thanksgiving—and whether you like to admit it or not, we’ve all been there. Dish checklists can also double as a guest itinerary, preventing any second-guessing that may result during the table setting phase. Regardless of the scope of your party, this is definitely one element of the planning process that should be considered a must-have. Continue reading 3 Things You Can Plan For This Thanksgiving

How One of 2016’s Best Movies Proves Whiteboards Are Awesome

This past weekend I got a chance to catch the new Amy Adams film: Arrival at my local movie theater. If you haven’t already, I highly suggested you check it out. The film covers numerous themes such as loss, love and the unknown; set against the backdrop of an alien invasion—but it challenges the conventional formula of your typical sci-fi blockbuster.

Adams plays the role of Louise Banks: one of America’s top Linguistics professors, hired by the US Government to comprehend exactly what type of threat the ominous foreign spacecraft presents. With the fate of the entire globe left in her hands, Louise must establish some line of communication between humanity and the alien species without provoking a war.

Sounds simple enough, right?

As it turns out, learning an alien language is a bit more complicated than picking up a copy of Rosetta Stone and sitting down with your favorite snack—it requires a much more hands on approach.

Minor spoilers for ‘Arrival’ follow below

Continue reading How One of 2016’s Best Movies Proves Whiteboards Are Awesome

5 Must-Have Products For Your Factory on World Quality Month

November is World Quality Month. What started in Japan in the 1960s to help build awareness for quality control, has now gown to the point where World Quality Month is now celebrated across the globe to encourage businesses to strive for continuous improvement.

Here at Magnatag Visible Systems, continuous improvement is part of our DNA. For over 50 years, we’ve been supplying manufacturers with tools built to reinforce the importance of strategic improvement.

To get in the spirit of the event, we created a list of some must-have products for anyone that is serious about taking their quality control to the next level.

KPI Monthly Scoreboards

Performance tracking metrics are crucial to assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your organization. With the help of Mangatag’s monthly KPI scoreboards, you can track and communicate the performance of your factory on both a daily and monthly basis. All of our KPI scoreboards are packaged with double-sided green/red magnets to indicate whether or not performance goals are being met. Continue reading 5 Must-Have Products For Your Factory on World Quality Month

How To Prevent Important Tasks From Being Forgotten

The Easton, Redding, and Region 9 school district is a tri-district located in Easton, Connecticut made up of five schools: Redding Elementary, Samuel Staples Elementary, Hellen Keller Middle, John Read Middle, and Joel Barlow High School—all of which fall directly under the supervision of Walter Czudak.

Working as the Director of Buildings and Grounds, Mr. Czudak is responsible for at least 250,000 square feet of educational facilities. With jobs ranging in difficulty from changing a few light bulbs, to overseeing the installation of a centralized air unit, the typical day for your average Director of Buildings and Grounds is anything but relaxed.

Earlier this year, the district came under hot water when two separate boilers located in the elementary and high school were installed and inspected, but local permits for the units were never acquired.

While the boiler issue was solved quickly, Mr. Czudak believes the issue could have been avoided if his team was better prepared to handle the multiple step process.

“The boilers came in, but our local inspection never came through. There are so many steps to the entire installation process and we let the permits slip through the cracks. When you’re dealing with two entirely different facilities, it’s easy to have actionable items fall off the radar in favor of one thing or another. ”

As a precautionary measure, Mr. Czudak recently contacted our team at Magnatag Visible Systems to help create a reliable means of tracking actionable data for his facility. Using the working concept of a Work-In-Progress board, the goal was to design a visual display board that would prevent a similar accident from occurring in the future.

With the help of one of Magnatag’s many Visual Systems Specialists (life-long Magnatag employees that specialize in creating visual systems that work), the school district was directed towards the company’s Do-Done StepTracker Whiteboard.WalterDDXT

The StepTracker whiteboard provides users with the ability to actively track projects in real time as they progress along a series of steps in a project. Using red/green double-sided magnets to mark when a step has been completed, the system enables users to accurately standardize project communication status.

“I wanted to create something that could keep everyone on the same page. With so many things going on across all five schools at any given time, the real challenge is keeping everyone up-to-date on the latest progressions. Ideally, a Principal or Superintendent should be able to walk into one of our facilities and know exactly what is going on.”

Prior to contacting Magnatag, Mr. Czudak did not have a visual system for tracking steps of internal projects. Project status was kept within multiple files spread across all five buildings making status updates a nightmare.

With an updated form of tracking—and customized headlines built to cover every step of the state and local government’s guidelines—Mr. Czudak’s newest addition to the district’s permitting process will provide his staff with an added measure of assurance.

Visit our website for more information on how you can design a StepTracker whiteboard for your own use.


Obeya: The Brain of the Lean Enterprise

We recently came across an article in the September/October issue of Industry Week Magazine that talks about Obeya. The article describes an Obeya as a centralized hub used for coordinating production and problem solving. Outfitted with visuals like charts, graphs, and trackers; Obeya’s are an essential part of managing and coordinating lean manufacturing efforts, functioning as a bridge between departments.

Many Factory Managers call upon our expertise in visualization of real-time data to help aid in the development of their manufacturing cycles, and after taking a look at some of the examples of Obyea’s included in Industry Week’s article, it came to our attention that many of the visual management tools that are used to track production requirements are some of Magnatag’s most popular products.

As seen in the photo attatched to the article, Magnatag produces many of the magnetic ChartHolders, supplies and accessories used in rooms of this type. Click here for the link to the article!


Exploring The Forgotten Origins of Halloween

With Halloween weekend just around the corner, the Magnatag team wanted to create something a bit different than our typical blog post to celebrate the holiday. And with a company slogan like “Show what’s happening”, what better way to bring in the Halloween spirit than with an explainer video?

There’s a lot of history behind Halloween and it’s forgotten origins. So sit back, pour yourself a glass of cider, and find out what makes the history of Halloween so mysterious!

How To Amplify Sales Tracking For Your Team

The end of the year is just around the corner, and with that being said, many of my own friends have been putting in extra hours at work to help meet quarterly sales goals. I caught up with a few of my friends last weekend to catch up and discuss trade negotiations on behalf of our fantasy football league, when two of my friends became engrossed in a conversation regarding their sales targets for the end of the year:

“It stresses me out to know I have to hit this sales goal before the quarter is over. It’s not as easy as simply picking up the phone and asking someone to buy something, you know? It’s not really even in my control; I do my part of the job and get someone on the phone, and then it’s in the hands of one of the senior guys to close it out. Half the time I don’t even know who’s responsible for my sale, and it’s not until later that I actually know if it went through.”

Rather than interrupting in the midst of a conversation I had no part in, I continued on with my evening and enjoyed the time spent with good friends. Yet the conversation has stuck with me for the past few days. After digging deeper into the intricacies of sales, I was reminded that American businesses frequently divide their metrics up into monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports. However, nearly every sales team we work with primarily divides their metrics into monthly forms of tracking. In an effort to maintain a better understanding for why our monthly boards are so popular, I spoke with a few members of Magnatag’s own sales team.

What I found was that many Sales Managers approach their quarterly goals on a month-to-month basis, and while it may sound counterintuitive to further consolidate a calendar year, many managers believe daily and monthly tacking offers sales teams more control over their quarterly expectations. Continue reading How To Amplify Sales Tracking For Your Team