The Challenge

Reel Security provides on-set security services for Hollywood and beyond. The fast-paced nature of film and television production means the number of security personnel needed at a given location, or even the location itself, will often change at the last minute. This calls for a dynamic system to manage customer orders and security assignments in real-time.

When we began working with Reel, they had outgrown their intricate spreadsheets. First, we got them up and running in a custom FileMaker database to handle customer orders and personnel assignments. The new system was designed to be flexible and scalable enough to allow for future expansion.

However, an ever-increasing volume of client phone orders placed a greater and greater burden on Reel staff. In addition, each assignment required a fair amount of business data to support each order – data that still needed to be entered by Reel staff. Reel needed a way to streamline the process.

The obvious solution was to enable clients to enter their own service order requests, and provide related business data, via the Web. However, this was easier said than done: Reel’s clients needed an incentive to do this work, rather than just default to the tried and true method of calling the Reel office.

That's where Beezwax took a leading role in designing a solution…

The Beezwax Solution

Working closely with Reel’s management team, Beezwax developed a sophisticated web system that not only allows clients to place their own orders, but streamlined many tasks that Reel's clients traditionally did manually: tracking schedules, locations, invoices, budgets and more through a highly-interactive web interface. This additional value provided the necessary incentive for Reel's customers to use the web application.

For this project, Beezwax’s web developers focused on building a best-in-class web system based on Ruby on Rails. They worked closely with our FileMaker developers to develop a communication protocol between the two platforms that provides a seamless transition between back-office database and web-based client services.

At Beezwax, we take pride in the strong partnerships our development teams build with stakeholders in all our projects. After all, it's not just about finishing the code but also providing a complete, long-term business solution. We worked closely with Reel management to identify opportunities where the new web system could provide features for enhancing their clients’ experiences.

The Success Story

The new system has enabled Reel's clients to place orders at any time, from any location -- in addition to completing time-consuming manual tasks like budgeting, calendaring, scheduling and generating business documents, automatically, in minutes. There's less tedious work by Reel staff and increased client retention. In fact, having best-in-industry software has helped Reel Security to attract some of the best clientele in the film and television industry.

Perhaps most significantly, this system is robust and flexible enough to support dramatic expansion to Reel Security's business. They recently opened an office in another large city. The system Beezwax built was able to handle all of the additional traffic from that office with one modification – accommodating the difference in time zone.

Finally, getting Reel's clients connected via the web lead directly to the next step: bringing this data to mobile devices, so that users can make changes in real-time, from any “location".

That's showbiz!