Hey guys... I have a production/post production facility. We have been on a steady climb and everything has been hunky dory... up until now. We are so busy, that things are falling through the cracks. We need a better checks and balance system in place so that scheduling, deadlines, estimates, purchase orders, job numbers, and billing becomes a smooth process. We seem to manage the big projects, but we are getting buried by all the little orders, tag changes, dubs, fast channels, etc..
Anybody know of some admin systems that are dialed in for a small to medium size production company.
Have you checked into Schedule-All? A few of the networks I work with use it and love it - one interesting thing, get a widescreen monitor and turn it sideways. The programs uses vertical space so a sideways monitor (rotated 90 degrees in display settings) makes the ladies at one particular network very happy.
[Steve Wargo]"Looked at the website, John. Any idea what this might cost?"
Since they've kept that information hidden I'm assuming it's rather expensive, even for the Edge product. I saw a product like this at NAB and it started at $15,000. I went ahead and filled out the information on the contact sheet, but I think for our shop, it's probably going to be too expensive.
We're actually setting up FileMaker Pro right now to handle our administration. It's much more media centric now allowing us to put video, scripts, graphics, etc.... into the database so we'll be able to use this not only as a project management tool, but as a client review tool as well.
[walter biscardi]"Since they've kept that information hidden I'm assuming it's rather expensive, even for the Edge product. I saw a product like this at NAB and it started at $15,000. I went ahead and filled out the information on the contact sheet, but I think for our shop, it's probably going to be too expensive."
Starts at $995 but to be truly useful for us, it's $9,995. A bit more than we need to spend, but it does look like a very good application and depending on what you need, there are four versions from $995 to $9.995.
We're going to create our own database using the new FileMaker Pro 8.5 as it has a lot of multimedia features now with it which are very helpful to us.
I know this answer isn't as cool as getting new software, however, I'd consider hiring an employee to take care of all that for you. My wife handles everything you mentioned except for the proposals working about 20 hours a week or less. (We have 3 full time producer/editors and complete about 100 projects a year.) Think about hiring a mom (or dad) that has the skills but wants the flexibility in schedule so she/he can take the kids to school and pick them up. Most are willing to except lower pay in exchange for a flexible schedule.
All those "non-revenue generating" tasks seem daunting to the one actually producing the videos. To an administrative type, it's quite easy for them to manage a lot more efficiently and effectively that we can as the creatives.
[MindYourVideoBusiness]"All those "non-revenue generating" tasks"
Although way oversimplified, I prefer to think of them as "anti-revenue" tasks. If you're doing all the things on Jackie's list (scheduling, deadlines, estimates, purchase orders, job numbers, and billing), you're just not available to do the work that actually brings the money.
If you don't have the resources to hire even a part-time employee, check your Yellow Pages for answering services. (Paper Yellow Pages. Not a prayer in the whole wide world that you can do this online.) You'll often find companies that will do much of the above...AND answer your phones...for relatively short money.
I lived in a town of a couple of thousand people, and, other than estimates and a handful of "only me" tasks, paid $400/month for all of the rest. AND answering the phone. You'll be amazed how much easier this makes your life.
Your mileage will vary, but very much worth looking into.