Our film business may be small, but to produce and publish film is more complex then you think of at first sight.
The client is one type of customer want to have a film produced and/or published. A client is normally an organization, but could be a individual. When the customer is an organisation, we need to keep track of contact persons within the organisation. We also have the situation where we are a subcontractor to another company who in their turn have clients.
The viewer is the end customer who sees the film. If we are the publisher and we have the customer interaction, this type of customer also needs to be managed.
One type of product we deliver to clients are films, or to be more exact one or more master copies of a film. Each film is unique, but the process is similar for films in the same category.
Another type of product is an individual person with one or more roles in a film production. The roles in a film production is more or less standardized by Hollywood, so we don’t try to invent something new.
The third type of product is raw or edited media, that in the end will be used to create a film.
The individuals in a film production are actors, extras and crew. They are either employees or contractors, with many different types of contracts.
We also have products and services, from suppliers, used in creating a film, that will be part of the project, e.g. as bill of material and as essentials.
In addition to this, a film production is always done in several locations.
With this complexity in mind, we need to find an IT-support for our processes that is not to expensive, scalable and flexible.
Our main financial system, Visma e-Ekonomi, handles our articles, customers, suppliers and employees. We create orders, invoices and manages the ledgers. It also has a time module so we can keep track of time for all employees in each project.
It’s possible to import & export registers to Excel and the service have REST-API’s to integrate with.
Our challenge now is to find a good workflow and IT-solution to schedule individuals, with separate roles, to projects and customers, in different locations.
We recently migrated our mail to Office365 and we then got access to two other Microsoft applications, Customers and Bookings.
The question is now if we can use these applications and if so, how. Our Visma solution doesn’t have booking functionality, so in that case, we need to change our main system.
Within Microsoft Bookings, we can add services to book. The application also give the possibility to say which individual, from the AD, that can provide this service. By using a web-page, it’s possible for a customer to book an available person with a certain role (product) in a calendar.
We can limit this booking functionality to internal users if we don’t want to expose the information externally. The service have public API’s that makes it possible to integrate to other applications via Azure.
This means that we can have a simple solution where we can book individual persons as roles in several productions. Initially a very manual process, but with possibility to integrate to our other solutions, e.g. Visma, later on using Azure.