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FORT DE FRANCE, Martinique — Serving more than 400,000 residents of the French Caribbean island, Martinique la 1ère is focused on streamlining its equipment tracking efforts. As part of public broadcaster France Télévisions, the station broadcasts music, news and talk covering politics, culture and local life. Martinique la 1ère offers programming on the radio, TV and online, targeting the 35-and-over population. In addition, it streams content on its YouTube channel.
The station has been on-air since 1937 under different names along the way, but became Martinique la 1ère in 2010. It recently moved operations to new offices in Fort de France. Désir Quiquély, Martinique la 1ère’s A/V equipment manager, explained that the station’s legacy system of keeping notes on paper, over email or in Excel made it a challenge to keep track of equipment location and maintenance history.
Having used NeoGroupe’s NeoWinners for promotion tracking, the station looked into their other offerings for a solution to replace the insufficient system. It settled on NBS Asset, part of the NeoGroupe Business System. NBS Asset has been in place at Martinique la 1ère since 2012 and is now used across three departments in the organization: TV maintenance, radio maintenance and IT. The system keeps track of everything that happens to the equipment throughout its active life.
Where’s the Gear?
As a new piece of equipment comes in, it is added to the database and assigned to a specific individual, site and/or room. Quiquély uses the system to track items such as cameras, smartphones, SIM cards and portable recorders that are given to journalists for their OBs. Because the lifespan of these items can be five to 10 years, having the information on hand in a centralized database is essential.
Being able to do an annual inventory check without any preparation is a huge time-saver.
Scanning a barcode or entering a serial number immediately accesses the entire history on a piece of equipment. Information on recurring outages/faults is particularly useful for assessing if a power supply is faulty, said Quiquély. He can also easily pull up how many times a piece of gear has been used outside the station. And being able to do an annual inventory check without any preparation is a huge time-saver, he added.
Overall, NBS has improved the station’s professionalism and service quality, said Quiquély. Having a handle on the equipment has reduced the number of times that a reporter had to go out lacking some technical resources to perform his or her job.
The station may next link NBS Asset to its active directory so it can track equipment loaned to employees. When someone leaves, the system would send an alert about any gear that the former employee still holds.
NeoGroupe Business System is a modular software solution, which helps companies manage budgets, purchasing, assets and inventory. Martinique la 1ère says it’s looking to explore other functions, such as NBS Ticket, which is a module that tracks incidents and assigns/processes them until resolution. It is also considering NBS Smart, an application that allows for smartphones and tablets to connect to the centralized database.
Quiquély praises the Neogroupe software’s intuitiveness as well as its “efficiency and ease of use,“ which allowed the station to put the product to use without formal training. However, he knows that Neogroupe now offers training online, should he need it in the future.