AAM View: Work smarter, not harder

Operating efficiently isn’t just about cutting costs, as Alessandra Skarlatos, marketing manager at Arts Alliance Media explains.


 It can be difficult to justify investing in something vague like agility, flexibility, or corporate culture — but financial institutions are beginning to assign such “intangible assets” real cash value when estimating what a business is “worth”. It isn’t as easy to prove as the ROI on your latest marketing campaign — but your company values, employees, and ability to weather changing market conditions have a direct impact on your revenues.

Exhibitors, like any business, should evaluate their goals and values regularly and assess whether they reflect day-to-day operations, and their longer term strategy. Interrogating priorities you communicate to employees can reveal a gap between what you’re doing now and where you’d like to be.

This practice should extend to analysing your relationship with, and attitudes towards, the technology and services you invest in. For instance: does your business rely on employees with a ‘can do’ working attitude? Think about how your technology partners empower them; do they offer training that encourages your staff to become more self-sufficient? Does head office incentivise site managers with bonuses based on concessions revenue? Consider what their working day looks like; how long do they spend on back office tasks that could be automated? Does your software help prioritise revenue generating by removing repetitive admin tasks? How do technology partners help you protect your competitive advantage; whether as an art house cinema, a cutting-edge innovator, or all-in-one entertainment centre? Can they offer you professional services that let you focus on your customer experience instead of the technical details for your growing range of software and hardware solutions?

The pursuit of efficiency in the workplace

As a workplace, a cinema is challenging, with deadlines,
last-minute changes, and complex technology. It’s more important than ever that exhibitors ask themselves whether they are keeping pace with changing consumer behaviour by choosing to work smarter, or work harder. One of these options is sustainable, the other is only a temporary solution.

Contrast these two film bookers: one spent all day chasing every site in the chain after a feature was updated mid-release. The other spent a few minutes using their Circuit Management System (CMS) to update the feature and publish the playlist centrally. Who worked harder?

Operational efficiency is about more than cutting costs. It is about making sure your company can react to situations quickly, unhampered by lumbering processes accumulated over years. Translated into objectives for your technology, exhibitors seeking efficiency should pursue software solutions that reinforce a culture of flexibility, deft decision-making, and simplified process. In practice, you could engage in anything from centralising your playlist-building using a CMS, to linking your loyalty scheme data to your email marketing campaigns. Your staff can only be in so many places at once, and if weighed down by too many tasks, they won’t be able to give any of them the attention they need. In the long term, that creates more problems than it solves. Technology is a powerful tool you can wield to shape corporate culture.