Digital Transformation Takes the Stage at Maryland Theatre

4 min read

SITUATION

• Legacy processes included physical files that made collaboration for each event challenging to all involved
• With over 300 events and performances each year, the Maryland Theatre needed to streamline information and processes related to its packed calendar, nonprofit operations, sales initiatives and maintenance needs

RESULTS

• Improved quality of documentation, enabling faster, more informed decisions and delivery of an overall higher quality client and patron experience
• Hired an additional staff member to support the growing performance and events schedule

The Maryland Theatre first opened its doors in 1915, as a Vaudeville house. In 1927, it became a movie palace that offered audiences multiple movies daily for over 40 years. Even after being partially destroyed by a fire in 1974 and a consequent renovation, the theatre remains a significant part of the area’s history. The anchor of the area’s Arts and Entertainment District, the Maryland Theatre is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

While the staff of the century-old venue honors the past, they understand the importance of enabling audiences to enjoy the theatre for generations to come. That means ensuring the success of the business side of the theatre — digitizing and optimizing processes to improve efficiency, organization and collaboration across departments. The theatre now uses Laserfiche to support these efforts, collecting and managing information, and automating workflows so that staff can spend more time on creating a spectacular guest experience. 

Digital Transformation at a Century-Old Institution

The theatre staff spent years looking for a solution that would help streamline day-to-day tasks and processes that are typically managed through a customer relationship management software (CRM). “Nothing ever seemed right,” said Audrey Vargason, operations manager at the Maryland Theatre. “Any system we looked at was either too costly, not customizable enough, not user friendly, or not cloud based.”

Laserfiche solution provider Doing Better Business introduced Laserfiche as a potential fit for the Maryland Theatre’s needs. “Ultimately, we chose Laserfiche over a big-box CRM for reasons such as security, customization, cloud-based accessibility, local customization support, and a user-friendly interface for a multi-generational workforce.”

Today, the theatre has implemented Laserfiche across multiple departments to:

  • Collect and centralize data such as leads and opportunity details
  • Archive and manage the information lifecycle for digital files, emails and other records
  • Collaborate on content across offices
  • Modernize the client and employee experience with e-signatures and online forms
  • Automate and manage tasks in a central location
  • Strengthen information governance with more visibility into the theatre’s content and more standardized, automated content management practices

“Laserfiche has had a positive impact on our time management, collaboration and accounts receivables, all things we believe are essential to providing quality entertainment,” Vargason said. “It also invokes our core value of collaboration.”

Streamlining Information and Processes for Better Documentation and Decision Making

In addition to hosting 300-plus events and welcoming over 100,000 people annually, the theatre operates as a stand-alone nonprofit, adding complexity to documentation and process requirements. The staff has found, however, that Laserfiche adds an extra layer of quality assurance.

“Laserfiche has elevated the quality of our documentation,” Vargason said. “The organization and detailed documentation of our events is noticed by our clients, and it elevates the overall professionalism of our organization. It instills confidence in clients, knowing that we are focusing on the details, and we will deliver well-executed events.”

The theatre has seen benefits from using Laserfiche on a day-to-day basis for:

  • Leads collection and management: Laserfiche is a powerful tool for capturing information about potential clients and opportunities, providing centralized document storage, improved collaboration between sales and marketing, and robust security features to help protect the theatre’s lead data.
  • Contracting: Using Laserfiche to manage and generate contracts, supported by an e-signature integration, streamlines the contracting process.
  • Records management and client/event information storage: Storing digital files related to clients and events, as well as having the ability to manage emails and other records in Laserfiche, provides a centralized and organized place to access the information staff members need to do their jobs, while supporting compliance and recordkeeping requirements.
  • Task management: With so many performances, films, talent competitions and other events to organize, and plenty of other moving parts to the business, the theater uses a customized Laserfiche form to centralize tasks and make sure they are moving forward.
  • Online contact forms: Using Laserfiche Forms on the theatre’s website, staff members have streamlined the process of collecting and managing inquiries, including for a recently launched internship application.

Laserfiche continues to grow with the organization. The theatre recently added a maintenance portal and hopes to introduce the board of directors to their own portal soon.

Additionally, integrations between Laserfiche, Microsoft 365 and Outlook streamline information flow even further, reclaiming time for staff members for value-added activities rather than making sure emails and other files are stored in the right places.

“Gone are the days of navigating paper files,” Vargason said. “We can quickly and efficiently view files, refer to contracts and past conversations, and make faster decisions when it comes to planning and executing our events.”

She added that the organization’s ROI extends beyond monetary metrics, with the theatre seeing improved productivity and reduction in errors — making the theater easier than ever to do business with. By digitally transforming the theatre’s paperwork, the team was even able to hire an additional staff member to support their growing performance and events schedule.

The theater continues to implement Laserfiche across more areas, with the board of directors, technical department and accounting department on the horizon. The ongoing digital transformation has increased efficiency, organization and collaboration at Maryland Theatre, so that staff can focus on the part of their work that can never be digitized: creating outstanding events and memories at a historic cultural venue.

“Laserfiche is better than a CRM; it’s a centralized hub where all staff can view, add and update information for our events and performances,” said Jessica Green, executive director at the theatre. “The program holds staff accountable and offers them a checklist at the same time — empowering them to complete the 200-plus tasks that are necessary for each event and performance.”

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