Leading rigging company uses Flex and CrewDriver for crew scheduling

Once Riggit started using CrewDriver’s intelligent crew scheduling automation - they couldn’t imagine how they had done business without it. Today they use CrewDriver for crew scheduling to instantly schedule crew for gigs both small and large, requiring teams from a single specialist to a full contingent of 150 and more. But when CrewDriver and Flex partnered to make it easier for users to transfer data between softwares, it took the Riggit customer experience to another level.

For Riggit, using CrewDriver aligns with their ethos of quality and safety.

Riggit, founded in 2000, was a response to what the owner -- Rick Smith -- deemed a lack of safety awareness in the live event industry.

“It’s incredibly unregulated, anybody can hang anything in a venue and do a show with zero certification,” said Matt Lees, General Manager. “Rick had had enough of people hanging things up with strings, so he started a company to focus on rising stars and bringing in people who were like-minded.”

crew scheduling for rigging companiesNot long after, Rick turned Riggit, a boutique specialty company handling rigging, lighting, and labor, into one of the largest non-union labor providers in Western Canada.

Bringing together inventory management and crew scheduling

It took hard work, integrity, and the right tools. Tools like Flex and CrewDriver, to marry inventory management and crew scheduling in a way that made his whole operation flow smoothly.

“With the exception of big rock and roll shows -- which are quite complex -- we do all quoting through Flex,” said Matt, “now that it’s part of our company culture as far as quoting is concerned, we have some good historical data, we can look at longer term trends and how our equipment has been utilized in the past.”

As one of the earliest adopters, they started using CrewDriver over five years ago. Initially, using it exclusively to schedule labor for big rock shows at large arenas that required a large crew.

“It was just a time saver,” said Matt, “we would be texting and calling crew, sometimes over 300 people because some will say yes, and others are not available, it would take us days because we would be doing some blanket booking, sometimes sending twenty to thirty texts at a time and waiting for a response.”

He said being able to automate confirming crew around the clock is an amazing benefit. Most crew finish shifts late at night, so prior to CrewDriver they’d be waiting for someone to hit their desk at the office before getting a confirmation.

“These are people who are working 24/7, they just got off some gig for somebody else, we want them to be able to take the call and time shouldn’t play a role in whether they can accept an offer or not,” said Matt.

Intelligent Crew Scheduling

Matt said one of the most valuable features of CrewDriver is the intelligence behind it. That and collecting data to make assumptions based on how they book crew, and learning what their hit rates are for placements resulting from offers. The Flex to CrewDriver export has also allowed him to eliminate additional steps highly prone to human error.

“We would quote a show, where you have the risk of human error, a sales executive would share that quote with me, I would put that information in CrewDriver where I or one of my coordinators could make an error, any time in that process where we could remove human error is a plus,” said Matt.

“And now I click a couple of buttons and all that info seamlessly transfers into CrewDriver,” he added.

The International Dota2 Championship

Used by permission, Valve Corporation Photo credit: Steve Kidd Photography.

Riggit takes on big names

They’ve supplied crew for the likes of Andrea Bocelli and Lady Gaga, but Matt said nothing compared to working with The International 2018, DOTA2 World Championship held this year at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.  For those of you not in the know, DOTA is a multiplayer online battle arena video game and these tournaments are absolutely huge.

TI 2018 is the single biggest event held at the Rogers Arena, to date. Weighing over 194,000 lbs. on more than 140 points and total truss lengths measured in kilometers. The number of shifts totaled 1,655 with over 16,000 hours worked. In total, there were 307 people who worked an average of 9.7 hours per shift all within a ten-day period.

“The total hours worked was staggering, virtually every shift was booked through CrewDriver” said Matt. “I can’t imagine working without it. The grief and hassle it saves is colossal. If you’re booking crew for productions of any size, I’d call it a necessity.”