The adoption of digital technology in cinema projection systems has enabled the development of infinite possibilities in innovation. Most notably, a cinema owner-operator can drive process efficiencies and cost savings while extending the life cycle and quality of the projection equipment previously not achievable. The singularly most impactful outcome of technology adoption is the ability of an exhibitor to improve the reliability of operations to meet their audience expectations.
For many, the technology journey has been challenging because they were not prepared with the information needed to provide the leadership, planning, and execution of tools for the future state of their cinema operation.
Available technologies have integrated diverse tools and enabled them to interact with one another and also allowed interoperability of hardware and software suppliers as well. Technology innovations have created their own challenges though, even for the many efficiencies they’ve created for cinema operators.
For this reason, selecting a support partner to establish a program is only the beginning, the correct selection can mean the difference between losing sleep over unplanned downtime of your projection equipment and extending the relationship into a managed services contract to ensure equipment health so that you can focus on providing exceptional experiences to your customers.
We can help with any of the following areas where a technology journey has stalled or where they aren’t working together optimally.
To provide a central view of several aspects of the business and the physical conditions of each theater and its assets, it is critical to properly set up and implement the IT infrastructure and software technology. Executed correctly, this step enables centralized management of all circuit complexes from a single point, so that each theater can be accessed and supervised from anywhere not operated as a Silo.
Manage Processes and Services
Standardization of processes and activities can create both operational efficiencies and improve profitability. It will be important next to establish operational procedures to address every type of situation that might present and formalizing SLAs that can guarantee response times. Determine the communication channels which should be used by theater staff to reach and communicate with the centralized support organization when required. Completing this step will minimize variables between the activities at theater level and headquarters.
Determine Organizational Structure
You will need to determine the key team member roles and responsibilities for their involvement in keeping the projection systems running smoothly. There are several options for programs to consider: in-house or hybrid programs.
If you in-house your program, do not overlook projectionists at the theater level, they are your frontline and in direct contact with your equipment. Are they properly trained and do they have the technical expertise to immediately handle any situation or execute the internal escalation processes to accelerate resolution? If your in-house program does not have the technology or the experience needed, perhaps a hybrid program is right for you.
In a hybrid program, your projectionists could be frontline and provide on-site support for the vendor’s remote support to complete tasks that cannot be done remotely. During the selection process, getting the vendor’s commitment through service-level-agreements (SLAs) means you will have clearer expectations on vendor response and quicker solutions. If your vendor cannot agree to response times, and your organization cannot accept the downtime revenue losses, perhaps the vendor should not be considered.
One benefit of a hybrid program is that the contracting service partner can interact with your current internal team members and will have the infrastructure and capabilities to implement your program successfully.
Facilitate Team Collaboration
Supporting your team with tools can stabilize end-to-end processes. Technology can become a repository of situations, the primary communication channel, and enable tracking of all activities.
Smart tools will help your team remain on top of any open cases and generated alerts that need attention, monitor capabilities that can trigger the creation of new cases, and assign the duties to a specific team member according to their role.
Providing in-real-time data views for all open cases for example, or tracking of the tasks, milestones, and due dates allows for their effective collaboration on solutions with other team members and efficient distribution of the workload.
Once the day-to-day operational core platform is implemented and adopted, consistent review and analysis of the data will reveal insights into behaviors of both equipment and the team.
Data for data sake is not useful if there is no analysis of the data and a full understanding of the operations and parameters which may affect processes in your business. As you move away from a reactive state to a proactive state of operation, the data collected becomes valuable when used to continually transform and enhance the organization.
Data comparisons between assets at different times of day can highlight specific issues with a unit, signifying a potential need for maintenance or operator training. By tracking the metric 'time to resolve' of common downtime issues and using the data to strategize operational solutions, facilities can begin to minimize the turnaround time. Improving your equipment uptime is just good for business. Period.
As the company's operational leader, aligning the team to a shared vision is necessary. Your improvement goals should be measurable, and bold, but attainable. Communication will be the critical component of your team's success against the improvement goals identified. Clear communication of the important metrics and directing the team on where more focus and consistency are needed will drive results to the bottom line.
With the technology available, and by establishing the right indicators, you will have a quick view of the results shown as data, for how the team is performing, as well as what they are achieving compared to goals. Some of the most common indicators to consider could include the average time to issue resolution, equipment uptime, % of cases solved remotely, and average cost per dispatch.
The process of reviewing data, analyzing it, and compiling it used to be a tedious task, wasting hours and frustrating many. With the use of advanced cinema technologies, these times to measure and report are a fraction of the time and allow you to get back to focusing on improving other aspects of your business.
By improving operating efficiencies through automation, you will realize a significant reduction in the amount of time needed to gather information and make manual calculations. With time-wasting activities reduced or eliminated, the managerial efficiencies alone will enable operations to focus on a new set of improvement opportunities that were once further down the list or consistently ignored for the lack of time.
Continually improving the efficiency and effectiveness requires getting the most out of the technologies deployed which means they should be continually innovating with features that directly impact your business performance and results.
Why Cinema Equipment?
Cinema Equipment and Supplies (CES) has been partnering with cinema exhibitors for over thirty years to improve their businesses with innovative solutions that impact millions. Within the last ten years, we’ve been implementing technologies and developing cutting-edge digital solutions to simplify projection support operations. With CIELO, we have demonstrated our ability to reduce customer's emergency cases, improve uptime and reduce the time to resolve issues all while providing seamless integration and operability between several platforms. We’re committed to your success, offering 24/7 technical support, monitoring, and providing best-in-class managed services. Learn more about CES and CIELO.
About Cinema Equipment and Supplies: For the past 30 years, CE+S has been a pioneer in delivering first-in-market innovative technology, CE+S created the first home-grown tech support solution in Latin America, and in 2015 it revolutionized the cinema industry with the launch of CIELO, a first-of-a-kind, cloud-based, remote monitoring, technical support and analytics platform developed for the Internet of Things (IoT) era.