The SSE head office and warehouse in Redditch
SSE Audio Group Ltd, established in 1976, provides professional audio services to the live events industry. SSE’s original core business was the provision of audio systems for concert touring. As the company has grown, becoming the largest of its kind in the UK, it has also diversified into related fields such as sales and installations. The company’s touring activities cover any form of audio event; from an Iron Maiden rock festival, to a Mass by his Holiness the Pope. Installations vary from theme parks, to nightclubs, to venues like the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo and The O2.
To support the shifting demands of the industry, SSE has its own in-house manufacturing that builds the infrastructure, packaging, cases, cabling and interconnect systems required in its touring and install activities. In addition, the company has support departments for servicing, repair and sound design.
Today, SSE employs 120 full-time staff in the UK and a further 45 in France. With revenues of £23 million last year alone, the company is experiencing exponential growth year-on-year.
Without FileMaker, SSE simply could not function. The suite of solutions developed by G2 Software sit at the core of our business and control almost every aspect of it. New features are added almost every week, and the software always adapts seamlessly to the plethora of challenges we have thrown at it over the years. Put simply, our custom FileMaker solution has been the key to accommodating our own rate of growth and new business demands,
John Penn, Managing Director, SSE Audio Group
The warehouse operates faultlessly thanks to the G2 Connect solution developed on FileMaker
The demands of modern, large-scale concert touring requires systems with many component parts being assembled and delivered to locations all over the world. Efficient quotation systems, coupled with precise inventory management is critical. Omitting to ship a key part of the jigsaw is not an option.
At any given time, over 50,000 different items, across 3,000 different product lines must be identifiable across five warehouses. The ability to locate each stock item at any point is crucial to the smooth running of the business.
SSE caters to a wide variety of live events in the UK and beyond
SSE first introduced FileMaker for stock management in 1992 as a simple flat file records system. In 1997, G2 Software was brought in to rebuild and integrate the system into further facets of the organisation. Thanks to FileMaker’s versatility, it was and still remains, the ideal upgradeable solution for SSE.
Key to the success of this custom solution is its ability to integrate with other technologies seamlessly, such as Motorola barcode scanners, to provide a central solution that can reach out to different arms of the organisation. The Motorola devices were programmed as multifunctional tools to monitor the movement of stock items. The interface between the FileMaker Platform and barcode scanners pinpoint the whereabouts of any one item, at any instance in the past, present or future, be it out on a job, permanently located at a venue, in repair, out of service, etc. They communicate directly with the FileMaker solution, tracing stock and job status, whilst providing management reports that are updated in real-time.
The use of FileMaker extends beyond when stock leaves SSE. Customers can log a fault with any hire or sales item via SSE's website, by email or via smartphone apps. Customer logs are captured on the fly, automatically processed through FileMaker, then pushed to iPad for the relevant engineers. This means stock items are repaired or replaced by engineers as soon as issues are highlighted by customers, maintaining exemplary service, and minimising downtime and lost revenue.
Engineers can in turn, report their feedback on maintenance work or replaced items via iPad into FileMaker, updating the appropriate departments with any follow-up actions. Engineer reports also feed back directly into the stock management system, keeping stock levels updated automatically, even whilst staff are out in the field.
The SSE head office and warehouse in Redditch operates faultlessly thanks to the G2 Connect solution developed on FileMaker
- SSE now has full visibility of its stock management and rotation in an incredibly complex environment, all without any server downtime to suit its global shipping operations
- Staff have direct ownership of the solution, allowing them to directly update the system and respond immediately to problems
SSE’s custom FileMaker solution has grown and adapted in tandem with the business itself. The business would not be in the position it is today without the FileMaker’s capability to control additional business areas as they are identified. Helping to run the company for over 20 years, SSE has moved through various iterations of the platform, and plans to continue to upgrade as the organisation continues to grow.