Metropolis Studios

“We’ve integrated FileMaker into so many areas of our business; from the finance department to our sound engineers. Our custom FileMaker solution can grow and develop with us as our needs change. FileMaker has been an absolute revolution for Metropolis.”
- Ian Brenchley, CEO at Metropolis

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Harmonizing business at Metropolis Studios

World-renowned recording studio opts for custom solution built on the FileMaker Platform over inflexible SAP system

Overview

  • World-renowned music complex needed to speed up financial operations with integrated, flexible solution which could also be rolled out to other business areas

Industry

  • Education Media/Music Industry

Solutions

  • Quickly and easily built a comprehensive solution on FileMaker which replaced inflexible SAP enterprise finance system, along with additional solutions being created to aid artists and clients

Benefits

  • Far-reduced administrative time, multiple device support via WebDirect, live commentary input across both audio / video created at the studio

Metropolis Studios is Europe’s largest independently owned recording, mastering, creative and production complex. In the 25 years since its inception, Metropolis has seen the likes of Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Lana Del Rey, U2, Rihanna and many more make music behind its walls.

Based in a former power station for Chiswick’s railway in the early 20th century, approximately 50% of the UK Top 40 charts is either recorded, mixed, mastered or creatively treated within Metropolis’ impressive building in West London.

Challenges:

Being the fast-paced creative business that it is, as Metropolis grew, its business requirements grew with it, including its finance and invoicing demands. Needing a dedicated system to help, Metropolis sought the services of SAP and its enterprise-class finance system. However it soon become clear that the clunky nature of inputting and exporting data meant the solution wasn’t meeting Metropolis’ business needs, or successfully keeping pace with the company.

In addition to the financial demands, it was plain to Metropolis that by automating and digitizing various other elements of its business - it could increase productivity by moving efforts away from administration and form filling, a common pressure-point of many businesses, and more towards helping Metropolis’ clients make music. Specific areas that Metropolis wanted to focus on streamlining included: bookings and reservations, client contact and data capture for content created at the studios.

Keeping us at the forefront of business, FileMaker is what helps us stay ahead of the curve of other music studios. This is vital when handling some of the music industry’s biggest names. Thanks to the flexibility and easy integration of FileMaker we’re a better connected business, we’re expanding our international credentials and we get to spend more time with our clients, rather than worrying about lengthy administration. FileMaker isn’t just supporting our business, it’s enabling it.

— Oli Sussat, Director of Marketing, Communications and Technology at Metropolis
Metropolis Studios
FileMaker has enhanced workflows across numerous areas of Metropolis' business including: finance, bookings, CRM, reservations and data capture

The FileMaker Solution:

Needing an alternative solution fast, Metropolis’ Director of Marketing, Communications and Technology, Oli Sussat, who was already familiar with the FileMaker Platform, set about building a custom financial system in just a few short weeks. From the very beginning, the FileMaker solution took over all Metropolis’ invoicing, credit and financial requirements from the SAP system, in a way that was perfectly suited to its business structure. After only a few days of using the new solution, the Metropolis team quickly realized the potential of FileMaker to make a difference in the other areas of the business that it wanted to speed up.

Soon, in addition to its financial system, Metropolis was using the FileMaker Platform to handle the all of its booking and reservation operations across its four music studios, and as data capture for artists and engineers, who wanted to make notes or log information about audio and video created at Metropolis.

FileMaker has touched so many different areas of Metropolis’ business that it’s virtually impossible for staff members and external clients not to interact with the system on an almost daily basis. Also, thanks to the user-friendly nature of the platform - people enjoy these interactions too!

Benefits:

Metropolis takes advantage of the numerous features FileMaker has to offer including fast access across mobile browsers via FileMaker WebDirect, available in FileMaker Server 14, web technology that instantly runs FileMaker solutions directly in a web browser, and its use on a wide variety of high end tablets through mobile browsers. This helps when Metropolis clients’ bring their own devices to work on in the studio, and ensures they are constantly connected with the systems they need.

Clients can play audio, or play a video inline and inside the layout of FileMaker Pro via FileMaker Go, negating the need to constantly switch between applications when making live comments and entering data about a music video or audio track. 

By linking FileMaker into many of its day-to-day business operations, Metropolis has created a system which is faster, smarter, more agile and inherently easy to upgrade than its previous systems. The ability to customize the functionality, look and feel of FileMaker solutions quickly and easily is what cements it as the ideal platform for organizations of all types, looking to change the ways in which they manage, and do business.

Metropolis Studios

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