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How Salesforce Streamlines Production Operations

By and 03.17.23
Reading time: 4 minutes


That detail was part of the concert rider for Van Halen’s 1982 world tour. The request to remove all the brown M&Ms seems ridiculous and is just one more story about the legendary demands made by celebrities. 

But lead singer David Lee Roth later explained in an interview that the M&Ms demand was an indicator of whether the concert promoter had read the band’s complicated contract and reviewed the critical information about Van Halen’s complex stage and production setup.

Managing talent demands is just one part of the entertainment industry’s production operations. Here we dive into the many aspects of production management and how leveraging Salesforce tools can help streamline operations on a macro and a micro level.

Talent, scheduling, and distribution operations with Salesforce

Productions such as movies, television shows, and commercials require a lot of people and processes to bring them to life. Throughout the production lifecycle, there is an endless to-do list, such as assembling a cast, creating costumes, setting up craft services, tracking equipment, balancing a budget, and distributing a movie. 

We can break this down into three core themes:

  • Booking and scheduling: This area involves overseeing a show’s budget or checking the availability of a sound stage
  • Talent management: This covers not only a celebrity’s personal demands, such as hotel room preferences, but also concrete details like an agent’s contact information
  • Content and rights distribution: This field is for the licensing of intellectual property and the process of sharing, publishing, and promoting content across various platforms and products 

Productions must have an organized process that expertly manages all the details and workflows because lost time or scheduling errors can have substantial financial impacts in this industry. But unfortunately, many productions are barely getting by with time-consuming emails, manual spreadsheets, or homegrown, purpose-built technology. And sometimes, as with call sheets, still using paper!

We often see production and operations organizations struggling with these challenges:

  • Complexities: A time-consuming creation and distribution process results in a lack of visibility into production costs and timelines
  • Inefficiencies: Data is in disconnected silos across the organization, and a reliance on manual processes is slowing production and leading to downstream impacts
  • Low adoption: Productivity and employee empowerment are decreased because of the lack of built-in collaboration and an intuitive user experience with current tools

But with Salesforce, production companies can achieve a simplified, seamless journey with a configurable and customizable system that meets their unique production needs and the size and scale of their business. From greenlight to distribution, all the production steps are automated within one platform to give visibility into what is happening at both a high level and in granular details. 

CalendarAnything optimizes scheduling for The MBS Group 

CalendarAnything is the #1 Salesforce Calendar App. The app helps production teams see everything they need to know at-a-glance in one view, organized and filtered by the most important variables. Teams can manipulate Salesforce data directly from CalendarAnything to streamline processes and improve user adoption.

The MBS Group leveraged CalendarAnything to ensure greater stage and studio scheduling visibility. As the world’s largest studio advisory and production services company, The MBS Group services more than 500 sound stages across North America and Europe and supports more than 450 productions a year. 

The operations division of The MBS Group is responsible for scheduling the production stages and studios. The scheduling was being done manually using Excel spreadsheets, which were time-consuming, disorganized, and lacked visibility among its users. The MBS Group was looking to grow and expand by adding more studios but was being held back by the scheduling system’s limitations. 

Silverline implemented CalendarAnything to provide visualization for The MBS Group’s studio and stage scheduling. CalendarAnything allows The MBS Group to create customizable Salesforce calendars from any standard, custom, or external object. The MBS Group leveraged these CalendarAnything functionalities to improve its scheduling:

  • Gantt view is used to visually see at-a-glance the overall schedule for a set time period  
  • Conditional coloring and textures define production statuses, such as ‘in contract’ or ‘on hiatus’
  • Filter panels and filter sets easily search and view objects by predefined criteria
  • Integration with Conga from the Salesforce AppExchange allows for the printing of schedules

Silverline provided The MBS Group with the ability to conduct scheduling within Salesforce in a more organized and less disparate way. The new object model has allowed the company to scale by adding more studios. It has lifted the restrictions on manual entry and made the system more automated and user-friendly. Now users can easily create a stage and a studio record, and it’s done instantly as opposed to having to update a picklist or a dependency.    

With the addition of Salesforce Experience Cloud, outside studios and operations people that are not Salesforce users can also see the CalendarAnything schedules. “Now we can give them a community license, and they can view whatever we allow them to see,” said Armbruster. “That is a big deal because right now we have a super collaborative platform. No more calling to ask, ‘Do you have a hold on this?’ Now they can just go online and look, and it’s in real time.”

A complete solution to enhance content distribution

We’ve talked a lot about the beginning of the production journey and the areas of talent management and scheduling. Now we want to focus on the post-production lifecycle and how Salesforce can help with content and rights distribution. 

Many companies are working with outdated systems; the average legacy system used in content licensing operations is 20 years old. By leveraging Salesforce, companies can stop relying on legacy systems and start streamlining negotiations, close deals faster, and gain insight into opportunities and their progress. Salesforce can help companies in the content distribution space by: 

  • Driving operational excellence and maximizing revenue: Complete CRM integrated with inventory and rights systems in one platform
  • Unifying sales and marketing to grow pipeline faster: Leverage lead scoring, automate marketing, and drive ROI with real-time reporting
  • Maximizing rep productivity and selling from anywhere: Mobile access with integrated email, calendar, voice, and data capture tools to enable collaboration
  • Selling smarter with intelligence at every stage: Predictive intelligence to spot trends, account insights to anticipate customer needs, and intelligence to drive smarter cycles

Silverline worked with a leading entertainment company with 13,000 half-hours of content in their library, viewed on over 500 streaming platforms and telecasters worldwide. The company used legacy systems like Excel and Outlook to track and manage its distribution content sales conversations. 

Silverline implemented Salesforce Sales Cloud to make the company’s processes more automated and less manual. The organization quickly saw how much of a difference having a single source of truth makes to its business. Shortly after launching, the company did an internal account territory reshuffling, which thanks to the work of Silverline, went smoother than they had ever experienced. 

Silverline offers industry-leading best practices to design and build Salesforce solutions that solve business challenges unique to the entertainment industry. Learn how we can help your production organization.

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