Customer story

“HandsHQ is exactly what we wanted it to be.”

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Challenges

LiveFX delivers breathtaking special effects that enhance entertainment and TV shows. The specialist team works with expensive artists as well as members of the public – all of whom it has to keep safe.

“The jobs we’re doing can involve fire, flames, pyrotechnics; all kinds of things that are quite high risk,” explains Jen Townsend, SFX Supervisor and Company Director at LiveFX, “and we have to manage that risk.”

With a team of five, supplemented by a larger team of freelancers, LiveFX can have up to 25 people working on each job. Often work has very short lead times, with clients calling for jobs the next day. This means customers can need quotes, proposals and risk assessment method statements (RAMS) instantly.

LiveFX is the UK’s premier specialist in delivering safe, exciting and imaginative special effects for TV and entertainment. As approved suppliers for BBC, ITV, SKY and 1st Option Safety, the expert team provides breathtaking special effects that enhance some of the UK’s biggest TV shows.

Jen is responsible for compiling the RAMS. She says, “I was still working on templates that were very tired and needed a lot of work to complete and keep up to date. I would write them in Word, save as a PDF, then email to production. If we needed changes, it was difficult because I had to go back to the original Word document. And it didn’t look as professional as I would have liked it to.”

“It was great working with the HandsHQ team. They are so helpful and flexible.”

Jen Townsend

SFX Supervisor and Company Director
LiveFX

Solution

Jen knew there must be a better way to compile the RAMS documentation that clients required. Following a web search, LiveFX had an online demonstration of HandsHQ RAMS solution.

“One thing that worried me was how flexible the system was going to be and whether we were going to be able to make it what we wanted it to be,” remembers Jen, “because our industry has quite specific requirements.”

However, Jen’s concerns were soon allayed by the HandsHQ team. Jen says: “We could specify the show, we could put the producers’ names in there. Right from the first meeting, HandsHQ were all over it and the solution is exactly what we want it to be.”

“It was great working with the HandsHQ team,” adds Jen. “They are so helpful and so flexible – even down to the training. I’m a bit of a technophobe but I felt from day one that HandsHQ was going to be a very intuitive system. And it really has been.”

Results

Instead of taking several hours each week, RAMS can now be completed in far less time. Jen reports: “HandsHQ is definitely saving us massive amounts of time. It takes less than an hour to get all the information into the document, checked and sent out to the client. Other people in the company are noticing how much quicker I can get stuff done and turned around.”

“The RAMS statements look so good, it makes our company look good.”

LiveFX

Jen puts the time savings down to the ease of use of HandsHQ. She says: “HandsHQ just lays things out really easily. You can see where you are going, you can see where you are. There’s not a hundred different tabs that you have to find things in. HandsHQ just leads you through the process and makes life so much easier. It’s brilliant.”

The system is so easy to use, Jen feels confident in handing off some of the risk assessment workload to junior members of staff. “Being as easy as HandsHQ is,” says Jen, “it won’t be difficult for me to train my assistant to do some of the more simpler risk assessments.”

In addition to the time savings, LiveFX are pleased with the professionalism of the output. “The RAMS statements look so good, it makes our company look good,” emphasises Jen. “It definitely helps to build trust in LiveFX as a competent contractor with good health and safety practices. The health and safety departments that I send my RAMS to – at the BBC, at ITV, at big production companies – they’re impressed with the documents, how they’re laid out and the amount of detail in there. Since using HandsHQ, I haven’t had anything back where they’ve said can you change this or can you give us some more information about this. Everything’s been accepted very well.”

With happy clients and time saved back to the business, the investment in HandsHQ has more than paid for itself. Furthermore, the clear documentation is helping to reinforce the health and safety procedures internally and with freelancers, helping to protect the LiveFX team, its customers, and the stars and audiences with whom they work.

“Now I feel that we’re in a really good position,” Jen confirms. “HandsHQ has been like a breath of fresh air. I don’t have to worry about RAMS or COSHH documentation anymore – it really has made my life so much easier. I’m so grateful.”

LiveFX is the UK’s premier specialist in delivering safe, exciting and imaginative special effects for TV and entertainment. As approved suppliers for BBC, ITV, SKY and 1st Option Safety, the expert team provides breathtaking special effects that enhance some of the UK’s biggest TV shows.

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