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Ensuring greater visibility for The MBS Group’s stage and studio scheduling

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 MBS Group provides studio management, studio design and development, and equipment inventories for lighting, grip, and expendables. The company has more than 100 locations spanning 95 cities, 13 states, and seven countries, with resources at the ready for both studio owners and content producers.

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Manual processes prevent company growth

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. 

“The old scheduling system did not allow the team to collaborate,” said Joleene Armbruster, Salesforce Business Analyst at The MBS Group. “They worked in silos. It was very cumbersome, not user-friendly at all. It wasn’t in real time, and separate studios couldn’t see each other’s schedules.”

A Salesforce calendar solution optimizes scheduling

The MBS Group needed a better way to visually see from a calendar perspective which production occupied a stage or studio at a specific date and time for scheduling purposes. The MBS Group already had Salesforce, but the new scheduling needed to be accessible to both Salesforce and non-Salesforce users. 

The MBS Group engaged Silverline because Armbruster had previously worked with Shift CRM, which Silverline acquired in 2021. Silverline implemented CalendarAnything to provide visualization for The MBS Group’s studio and stage scheduling. Silverline updated The MBS Group’s object model to work with CalendarAnything and made the system easier to manage, maintain, and update. 

“Silverline has been absolutely amazing to work with, I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” said Armbruster. “They listened when I wrote the requirement, and they understood. They asked questions. They were problem solvers, and they were great to work with for my entire team at MBS.” 

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.

Improved visualization streamlines schedule management

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.   

“Now we’re tracking our occupancies in real time,” said Armbruster. “Studios can look at each other’s schedules and ask questions, Chatter each other about them. For example, we have two studios who are constantly pursuing the same shows. Now they each have their occupancy and their holds, and they can see on each other’s calendar who has a hold on what.”

“One of them will win the show, and the good news is now we know that they’re both pursuing it, and the executive team knows without even having to call them. They can just look at the calendar, and there it is. We can also see what services we’ve bid on it: Has Props bid on it? Light and Grip? That’s separate from our occupancy.”

With the addition of Salesforce Communities, 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.”

Silverline is continuing its collaborative efforts with The MBS Group. It is implementing further enhancements to Salesforce to make the system quicker and more efficient. Silverline is focused on adding marketing functionalities such as event planning, gift tracking, and email sending by integrating Salesforce with relevant software products. Silverline is using Salesforce’s out-of-the-box functionality and tools to make The MBS Group’s system more robust.

“We have multiple systems at MBS, but Salesforce has become a very powerful and user-friendly tool,” said Armbruster. “Now we have operations people that want to have Salesforce. It’s spread like wildfire because of how user-friendly it is and what it is able to track.”

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