SVG Sit-Down: Beam Dynamics CEO Kaszycki on Maximizing Physical-Asset Usage, Tracking

Knowing where your equipment is can save money, increase efficiency

For most sports-production professionals, asset intelligence has to do with metadata related to video and audio files, but what about keeping track of the physical equipment and software that travels the globe capturing that content? That’s where Beam Dynamics comes in. Beam Dynamics Co-Founder/CEO David Kaszycki sat down with SVG to discuss the company’s latest developments in maximizing asset utilization while minimizing asset loss.

Beam Dynamics’ David Kaszycki: “It’s all about solving problems faster. It’s all about giving resources to the people that need it when they’re on the ground.”

How did you see the need for improved asset management?
In a previous job, I would visit about 200 sets and studios and professional-sports venues every year, and I saw that they were managing tens of thousands of assets from thousands of vendors. The engineers on staff needed to stay up to date with firmware and software updates, documentation, security patches, accessing the manuals, finding out who to contact, and where to get a spare part. Basically, I saw that every vendor had their own portal to manage that, and I thought, What if we could give these engineering teams insight into all of the data across every vendor and it was standardized? That was the first thing we built: take an inventory list and enhance it with millions of pieces of data without the user having to do anything.

As we built that core functionality, we added more layers of scheduling components and a robust ticketing system that can now be tied back to give users preventative maintenance by identifying potential risks and problems. We can correlate that across multiple customers and provide insights and say, “Hey, this product is experiencing a lot of problems when someone upgrades it to this firm or version, and this is how that was solved.” It allows us to provide what we call “asset intelligence.”

Who puts in the data?
[With] traditional IT-type equipment, that can be done through a device scan, but more-traditional assets are typically not connected. We’re working with Mobile TV Group on a layer where they can basically upload their inventory list or their bill of materials and [we] are able to pull in all of that data. They just put in the model number, and we instantly enhance it with all this data.

Is it a subscription based service?
Yes, a subscription based on the functionality that someone needs. It scales based on the number of assets as well as the number of users that you need. That allows us to hit smaller production companies or OB companies all the way up to the larger companies.

These kinds of systems manage and track things, but, unless the people at the company are on board to put the information into the system, it can be useless. How do you make sure people use the interface?
We’re starting to tie in with people’s ERP [enterprise-resource–planning] systems so that, when a purchase is made by finance, it instantly hits their inventory list without anyone needing to touch something. The second way is, we’ve developed an invoice purchase-order or packing-slip scanner: if something arrives on the dock, all they do is take a photo, and we instantly scan it and enter that data into their inventory system. Every time we started thinking about what we’re going to build, we wanted to make sure that the people using the system could use it as quickly as possible and that they could get the data and information that they need.

What else can Beam do?
We can look for trends, like how something in the workflow chain can impact an upgrade of a product earlier in the chain. These are insights, and it’s knowledge that exists, but it’s siloed.

It’s all about solving problems faster. It’s all about giving resources to the people that need it when they’re on the ground. And I think that’s something that’s really lacking. There’s a lot of brilliant tools for creating content and technologies for the movement of content and the capture of content, but who’s looking at how the stuff used to do that is actually managed? Sometimes, we’ve seen that a staff is too large or things are getting misplaced and lost. You’ve got a facility, and you’ve got 150 trucks, and a lens breaks over here. So you go buy a new $80,000 lens, but it turns out you’ve got one sitting on the shelf somewhere else. When you start to add these things up over time, we see potentially billions of dollars of inefficiency in our industry alone. That’s the value that Beam is trying to unlock for the industry.

Is AI part of your solutions?
AI can help by understanding what assets you have, the team members you have on your team, and how those assets are related. We’re very conscious of privacy and protection of data, so we try to limit that, but we do use it in a lot of our internal tools and the way in which we collect data sources.

But one of the things that we found is, while we do have algorithms that help us collect this data from vendors and manufacturers, we still need that human element.

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