Case Study: Mechanics Bank


The Pursuit of Excellence

Mechanics Bank in Mansfield, Ohio, is the last locally owned bank in Richland County. Their marketing states, “The only one we answer to is you.” They back that motto with an unrelenting pursuit of excellence in every possible way. Mechanics strives to enrich the lives of the people and the communities they serve.

So how does a progressive bank reach their customers? Mechanics Bank analyzed the situation and chose digital signage.

“We felt it was a way to effectively communicate with lobby customers and give them messages about products, services and the community,” said Mechanics Bank President, Deborah Schenk. According to Mark Masters, Executive Vice President of the bank, ”We asked ourselves, How do we change the experience of standing and waiting? We soon realized that we could use digital signage as a whole new way to communicate.”

With the decision made, digital signage was ordered. “We put it first in our busiest offices, ones where the lobbies tend to fill up with people. We thought it would make their wait time more pleasant, and that turned out to be the case. We got positive feedback from the customers,” said Deborah.

While it seemed the answer had been found, there were still problems. “The original product was too cumbersome to be as effective as we hoped,” according to Mark. Deborah added, ”We struggled with keeping the message fresh, concise and attractive and doing it quickly enough. It seemed like there was too much that wasn’t within our control.”

Doing the Unexpected

Clearly there had to be a better answer to the communication problem. Enter DRM Productions with Retriever Digital Signage. Initially the bank saw The Retriever and while intrigued they had contractual agreements which limited any change. The bank did, however, have a new technologically sophisticated branch that was about to open that was not covered by any agreements.

Mechanics wanted The Retriever for this new branch but they also wanted more. They wanted an additional digital sign that was dedicated to rates associated with bank business that would automatically update. The problem was DRM had no such product available.

“DRM is completely 100% customer focused. I just think they are always looking to improve, they are always looking to do the unexpected. They are always looking to exceed expectations. As a client that is refreshing and appreciated,” said Kristi Lord, Mechanics Bank Marketing Manager. In that vein, DRM wrote programing to create a new product that specifically filled the needs of Mechanics Bank. The new rate board and The Retriever were a success for the bank and appreciated by customers.

“It was the answer we had hoped for,” said Kristi. The Retriever put the control of the bank’s digital signage totally into their hands. The system is designed to be created, managed and controlled at the local, regional or corporate level, you choose. However you design it, The Retriever obediently and seamlessly, updates about 6 times each hour to keep the information flowing.

Training The Retriever

The process can be tailored to fit your corporate identity. Creation can be done easily by any staff member. Create text only, picture only and picture with text. Users can also choose colors and animated backgrounds from drop down menus as well. All these features are available using the Retriever creation center on the web.

Administration, as well as creation, is managed via the Internet. You may add users and what they can control on any one unit or any number of units. The entire system lies under the control of only those you choose. The Retriever Digital Signage System allows you to “teach” your system how you want it to behave.

“It saves many man hours,” said Kristi. “Before we were printing posters and sending stuff out to the branches and then looking for places to display them. Now, it’s a no-brainer. It’s a click of a button and you save yourself time and that’s money. It’s like adding a staff member.”

“We were interested in customizing the signs to reflect community events in the different communities that we serve,” said Mark. For instance, in their Lexington, Ohio branch, Friday night scores are up each Saturday morning. In addition, Kristi noted, “We had the Olympic news feed up, we also work with the humane society and have had several animals adopted because of it. We have successfully tied community messages with our own promotions.”

Using simple drop down menus anyone can quickly become an expert at creating and updating signs. No need to learn new or install software with The Retriever. Users are not tied to a specific computer since the system is web based. Scheduling signs far in advance to go on or off is as simple as deciding the date and time of your intended action.

The Retriever also offers users the ability to accept RSS feeds to automatically update screens as new information becomes available. A variety of weather forecasts and radar is standard with each unit. The ability to get information from Twitter and pictures from Flickr also is standard.

Going One Step Further

Custom slides can be generated by DRM Productions using corporate logos or other special symbols. Most customers request these be animated like the majority of standard backgrounds that come with the system. These standard backgrounds are added to and updated regularly along with other improvements on all Retriever units. Each Retriever will always have the latest operating software, that is updated right along with your signage.

Mechanics Bank is particularly sensitive about security, They found it reassuring to know that The Retriever only needs a normal web feed to work. With no need to get into your intranet, IT departments find the system a refreshing addition since they don’t need to make plans for it or manage it. The system simply goes out to your password and ID protected Retriever site to download new content.

Mechanics used The Retriever originally at their newest branch and then at two other locations when old contracts expired to be sure this time, this system, was the right fit. The bank quickly expanded its use and now has Retriever systems in all locations. In addition two of the branches have video feeds to customers as they wait in their cars at the drive thru windows. Now instead of seeing a picture of themselves on the screen, customers see special marketing messages developed and controlled by The Retriever. “This latest addition of The Retriever at our drive ups gives us an opportunity we could never take advantage of before”, said Kristi.

“The ease of use, clarity of message, creativity, the many design options, its all been positive from an internal staffing perspective. We’re hearing positive things from customers as well,” said Deborah Schenk.

“My personal impression is very positive. It has helped to achieve our goals because of its ease of editing and input. The aesthetics of the graphics, just the way it looks, is more appealing. It has more pop and is friendlier to view,” according to Mark Masters.

“It is very easy to work with DRM, in every way. They made installation so simple. They are always very up front with what is needed. Every installation went smoothly and it was done faster, at each branch, than I thought it would be. The signage looks professional,” said Kristi Lord.

Please visit to see for yourself all the possibilities. There is a fully functioning demo of the Retriever Digital Signage at the site. Play with it and you’ll understand why Mechanics Bank along with restaurants, hospitals, libraries, retail and industry find The Retriever to be the answer to their communication needs. The design conforms to fit you and your needs. Of course DRM Productions stands ready to help.

You call, we answer; its a formula that works.

Jay Miller

Jay Miller

Jay Miller is the CEO of DRM Productions and the original developer of Retriever. Working primarily on the sales side of the business, Jay has been using his creative skills to help clients communicate for years. Outside of work, Jay has a passion for learning and is constantly challenging himself to develop new hobbies and interests.