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RFP questions/concerns to be covered during final presentations

  • Please touch on how your Quench group could be of value to CES.
    • Quench has answered the bell by producing consumer facing events for brands like Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, etc. We’ve also done corporate meetings for the likes of Farmland foods, the international flooring company Schattdecor, and international farm implementation manufacturer GEA, to name a few.
    • We have produced up to 48 events for 2,000+ attendee’s events in over 48 cities in the same year. This included venue procurement, talent procurement, lights, sound, stage, IMAG, registration/ticketing, security, catering, insurance social media geo fencing and reporting, consumer feedback analyst etc…
    • There is a myriad of services we could provide, including but not limited to venue procurement, talent buying (including national "A-listers" and soon to be A-listers), music acts, equipment purchases and financing, facility consulting, and execution of live events.

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  • Please discuss more about how you would support webcasting.
    • For over 15 years we have been doing live webcasting for dozens of clients like Yahoo!, WebMD, etc.
    • We execute live or prerecord “live playout” webcast every week; some weeks every day. Some of our expertise includes but is not limited to building microsites, like this contest to win the chance to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the 7th inning stretch of a Chicago Cubs game.
    • We hope to take this national to every park. Folks will audition live in front of Wrigley field which will be streamed here, on the site folks can vote live or to an archive. Consumers can also upload their own versions when the webcast is not live.
    • We have been advocates for trying to educate our clients that they don’t always need to distribute via expensive satellite or fiber. Instead, they can webcast, including smaller occupancy meetings, like this video promotes.
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    • We have three full blown HD live streaming systems, complimented by reciprocal relationships with similar facilities all over the country and the world.
    • Oftentimes webcasting goes beyond providing a signal to Akamai. That’s where our extensive experience working in HTML, HTML5, PHP/MySQL, Flash, Javascript, CSS, can come into play.
    • We look forward to helping you with your next webcast.

  • Elaborate on how you would hire and direct producers to support our video or graphics work.
    • Every day Big Shoulders hires producers all over the country—in fact, the world. Big Shoulders may be the most qualified freelance provider in the United States. Because we work with over 358 clients, we’re able to see the world in diversity that allows us to plug the correct people into the proper projects. Once the scope of the project is revealed we can tailor producer applicants so that there are multiple to choose from, or handpicked by us based on criteria and genre.
    • Video and graphic producers will be given a budget from which to maintain. The budget is monitored closely by accounting to help the producers stay on track. Producers have a myriad of built in resources which have added value without additional expense by leveraging our world class assets.
    • Here’s a small example of some of the expertise that we track:

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Intro To Company

We are a world class provider of visual services and equipment to corporations, broadcasters, and agencies.

This unique blend of clientele allows us to bring original ideas and one-of-a-kind solutions to bear for our clients. We are able to take trends or emerging technology that may be unique to one industry, and introduce, repurpose, or modify it to help clients reach their goals in ways other companies cannot, at any price.

Working with ad agencies as their vendor that creates content at the same time, these same agencies work with you allows us to organically streamline workflows. One example of this is providing production support for a meeting company, where we can work hand-in-hand to supplement each other’s strengths and availabilities.

One of the companies that we’ve always had extreme respect for was MediaLoft.

Other things to know about us—for over 20 years we have been creating content for the internet. We own our own world class equipment, have dozens of the most talented artists on staff, and hire hundreds and hundreds of the very best freelance specialists all over North America. These freelancers are vetted, including criminal and financial background checks.

We provide professionals who are guaranteed for performance and rates.

We work in all 50 states and have worked in 38 countries in the last few years

We are a 24/7 facility on-call at all times, with live reception and scheduling 12 hours a day.

SLA Discussion

We are no stranger to commitments like SLA. They may go by different names such as Deal Memos, SOL’s, Contracts, Service Orders, and they have us interface with different systems like ebill, iPayables, EDI, ERS, GMS, LB –ARC Requisitioners EIN, on and on… all of which make us very comfortable with having an agreement of any name, and work with any systems like Beeline.

Quick examples

  • We have a 3 year renewable contract with the American Medical Association
  • Multi year deal with extension for Northern Trust Bank
  • We have a long term agreement with Exelon to provide live events
  • We have an ongoing relationship with many networks, with non-disclosure agreements
    • These include but are not limited to ESPN, E! entertainment, Access Hollywood, HGTV, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, etc., etc., etc.
We have MSA with y’all now. Yearly we review some of the appendixes, during the course of the year dozen of targets are tracked so that emerging trends can be accounted for in the renewal.

We would like to discuss a 3 year commitment which is renewed on performance yearly but with the level of transformation that is going to be taking place around these parts.

We recommend that the SLA/MSA be reviewed and possible modified as early as 6 month from now and then every 6 mounts for the first 18. This way as we receive feedback from all the department we interface with and work for we can adjust the agreement to and tailor it to be as cost effective as possible.

CES RFP Case Studies

  • Project intake approach
    • In some ways Big Shoulders is agnostic in regards to project intake approach; We manage everything from sophisticated, automated requests. Which come in and demand confirmation of being received along with a response timer to confirm how long it takes to respond?

      On the opposite side of the spectrum we go all the way down to phone calls and text messages in the middle of the night from international clients hoping to receive services like live broadcasts with as little as two hours’ notice.

      We respond to systems like Beeline including iPayables, Cognizant Catalyst , GXS TradingGrid, Vendor Portal Sears, Viacom The Swim, etc. We plan on using the Beeline system to initiate projects and assignments specifically.

  • Creative director/team selection
    • Our approach to assigning a creative director to a project, whom then becomes part of the process of selecting the rest of the budgeted team, is very similar to how we select almost any position for a role on any assignment.

      We first try to obtain the dates that the project will be worked on along with any known deadlines. This allows us to confirm availability. We also try to ascertain the budget parameters if they are known or anticipated.

      But most importantly, we try to find the “type” of project. We want to confirm the communication goal or genre of the project. If we know the scope of work it allows us to use our vast resources and database of vetted professionals to plug the right artists, engineers, etc. on the project.

      Often times there will be a requested individual whom is known to the client and whom they would prefer to work with. We can check with the individual first before making other recommendations.

      Often times it is our responsibility, and our responsibility alone, to pick the right person. Whereas other times we merely collect potential candidates the client sends are way and help them collect the rest of the budget resourced need to complete the task. However the team is chosen. We continually garner feedback; during, after and long term about the team. This feedback allows us to continually refine the process of successfully recruit and assign the proper team.

  • Resource allocation
    • One criteria that uniquely qualifies Big Shoulders to be your partner is our current knowledge of your facilities and the similarity’s it has to ours. In the production world, our facility is a near mirror image to what you are building in Oakbrook. When appropriate we would love to host a field trip to our office in the John Hancock. Here you’ll find Avid systems, a Graphics war room, audio suites and Live production stages. All of these resources can temporarily supplement your internal capacity if there’s a peak in demand. This is a most cost effective approach because there is no permanent expense. There is only an allocation of resources at the time needed and not beyond.

      Our facility’s ability to collaborate is exponential. A project that is started at either facility can be finished at the other and vice versa. Some examples, a project edited in Oak Brook, could have graphics or audio added to it instantaneously so that the audience in Oak Brook will have immediate access to the creative additions. We believe we can have your facilities share Big Shoulders’ cloud infrastructure to help eliminate cost. This could make it easy to access some resources on a “only on demand” case by case need.

      The same goes with “on location”—the resources that we have at our fingertips across the country and internationally can be accessed, then allocated based on need and budget. This does not just go for personnel and equipment but extends into benchmarking, venue and talent procurement, etc.

  • Production schedule
    • We at Big Shoulders produce production schedules every single day. We use software like Studio Suite Xi to confirm availability, allocate and budget resources, maintain budget compliance, and ensure deadlines are adhered to.

      There are dashboards available to key stakeholders that allow them to monitor and track these performances via permissions.

      While not as thorough on budget and conflict management, we also utilize a visual schedule that allows multiple levels of detail where there is physically a scorecard of who is working on what and when.

      This can help maintain efficiencies, reduce redundancies, and influence timelines in a positive way to help exceed deadline goals.

  • Project budget estimate and timing
    • As the process of selecting the proper professional begins, we address all of these concerns putting a timeline together to ensure completion on time on budget. An estimate is always submitted prior to work. Once approved by the client it’s turned into a working budget which is adhered to strictly. We are always trying to find efficiencies and minimize redundancies. We often find extreme values and bring line items under budget.

      On occasion, unpredictable circumstances or clients’ desire for more expensive resources, will dictate the need for a change order. This is where any budget overages are approved before funds are allocated. When our project is completed, the finalized budget with all known expenses is then turned into a preview invoice which is submitted to our direct reports. If everything is approved on this invoice, we either follow that company’s protocol for submitting expenses, or simply send an invoice.

  • Breakdown costs by production elements/phases
    • Every project is different, especially in regards to the differences between a massive live event and an oft repeated task. Projects are usually separated into preproduction/ planning phase/ production site surveys/ testing for rehearsal, post event production including editorial and distribution. Finally, some larger projects have ongoing maintenance, storage, recurring activations costs associated.

  • Technical/production challenge resolution and contingency planning
    • Each of the case studies below shows how challenges were overcome on budget and on time, or reveal how overages were properly addressed via residual guidelines.

  • Budget and change management
    • In addition to live expense tracking with built in warnings, we have a resolve factor using credit memos in the rare case a budget cannot be conformed or resolved. Projects of a large enough scale are assigned an accounting profession to help assist Creative Directors and Producers as soon as the project “firms”.

  • Project evaluation/customer satisfaction measurement
    • We utilize a survey tool to judge and track client’s (internal or otherwise) satisfaction and elicit feedback. These survey are sent and collected:
      • during the assignment
      • after the project is completed
      • and months later to ensure and measure the projects long term effeteness. This allows us to compare first blush reactions with long term response to continue the evaluation process in an effort to continue garnering learnings.

Graphics Case Studies:

  1. Revised PPT Deck: Client needs to revise an existing PPT deck for a presentation three days from now. Specific text will be available tomorrow afternoon. Assume fewer than 15 frames.

  2. Strategic Business Document: Objective: Develop a strategic business document to track department successes compared to last year and to prioritize our goals for the upcoming year. “This is a high-level piece that must engage our audience and present the information in a very concise, illustrative way. We would like to include a more visual infographic that captures our process change." This piece has a limited budget and is due three weeks from today.
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Video Case Studies:

  1. Restaurant Initiative Story: 3-5 minutes. Objective: Communicate an initiative an O/O in the McDonald’s System is successfully testing in their restaurant. Work with clients to determine the story to be told. The shoot involves an on-location sit-down interview with one or two people and shooting b-roll on location. The finished video requires some basic to medium level graphics (name keys, title cards, etc.) and a track of music. The final piece will be shown in a meeting three weeks from today.

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  3. “Sorry I can’t be there” Message: 5 minutes. Videotape the CEO delivering a scripted message (script will be provided.) Assume teleprompter and makeup artist. Graphics are minimal name keys. The CEO is available tomorrow morning and the finished video is required within 48 hours from now.

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  5. Graphics-heavy video: 2 minutes. Description: Narrator and music driven video providing an overview or an update on a topic. The client may have some idea for the desired look, but needs help developing the graphics and creating an engaging piece. An illustrator will be required as well as an editor with a very high level of After Effects skills. Include finding and recording voiceover talent and finding and licensing library music tracks. Allow at least two revision sessions to complete. Work must be finished within three weeks.

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  7. “Sizzle Piece”: 90 seconds. Objective: Develop a high energy video utilizing existing footage. Search for appropriate footage, find appropriate music track and edit video. Requires Editor with some graphics skills to include screenshots of tweets, websites, etc., and a couple of stat charts. Requires Photoshop work on still photos. Video will be shown in two weeks.

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Transition Plan

As we migrate to the new system we are able to include and retain best practices and procedures that need to be maintained.

Our plan includes scheduled daily briefings with the McDonalds traffic manager. To start off with four people but as process unveils itself and true scope is realized.

Surveys are taken to ensure Internal client requests are being answered, Estimates are being received, modified and approved, Production and assignments are being carried out at the same or an increased level of quality. Projects are being checked for budgetary compliance. Projects are being reconciled after to confirm they’re performed on time and on budget. All collateral and assets associated with the project are archived per McDonald’s stipulations, rules and regulations. Success rate of long term implications and implementations.

We will have weekly meetings for dissections of the process status to confirm efficiencies and/or ways to increase accuracy or accountability.

We will have monthly closeouts where we confirm Project/assignment completion ratios, Budget adherence percentage, Monthly fiscal reporting. Same is tracked, quarterly, bi annually and yearly.

If we had to leave you with thoughts regarding the plan it this…

  • We know scheduling, coordinating and accusation
  • We run an all most mirror image of the facilities you will have and can supply cost effective supplemental service on only a as needed bases.
  • We know the current structure extremely well   .currently meet the goal you set for us on the Daily
  • We interface in hundreds of way so there will be familiarly and bring expertise in any system t is installed.