Highlights

  • Automating daily manual task assignment
  • Building a customizable schedule based on multiple parameters (personnel availability, pricing, geolocation, time intervals, necessary equipment, etc.)
  • Enabling cost optimization
  • Providing an additional revenue channel

Technologies Used: C#, Microsoft IIS, Angular, ASP.NET MVC, JavaScript, Rapidis SDK, .NET, Google Maps, MySQL, Amazon Web Services

Methodology: Agile

Customer

Based in Denmark, the company is the second largest media group in the country. At the moment, the customer runs 13 newspapers, 57 weekly magazines, and 4 radio stations, and 4 printing houses. The company also operates a number of online media with around two million users reading them monthly.

Need

The customer turned to HQSoftware to develop a job scheduler that would automate the manual process of assigning daily tasks to a pool of photographers, as well as enable cost optimization.

The delivered system would be used by journalists to create tasks, an administrator to check the generated schedule and introduce changes if necessary, and photographers to view tasks, mark them as resolved, and upload media content. As long as photographers would use the solution in the field, it should be compatible with different mobile devices.

Solution

Prior to partnering with HQSoftware, the process of distributing tasks between photographers—both full-time and freelancers—was manual. Our engineers built a system that allowed for automatically generating a schedule with one click based on such information as:

  • A list of tasks with geolocation where the shoot will take place, a time interval of the shoot, and the equipment necessary for the shoot (cameras, video cameras, drones, etc.)
  • A list of the full-time / freelance photographers and their pricing

Developers at HQSoftware integrated with the customer’s roster to keep track of all the available photographers, their geolocation, and time intervals they are able to pick up a task. By integrating Rapidis SDK, our team enabled the system to generate an optimal itinerary for each photographer and create an overall schedule. Accessible through a grid and in the map, the schedule can be further customized depending on the changing needs.

manual-plans-automation

For instance, if some task did not get into the grid due to lack of full-time photographers, experts at HQSoftware ensured the system would highlight such a task for an administrator to take action. So, a person in charge may edit or suspend the task, set an overtime for a full-time photographer or assign it to a freelancer, and then re-generate the schedule based on the changes introduced. Furthermore, our developers made it possible to get an estimation of how much each task will cost. If the result is satisfying, the administrator “locks” the schedule and the system sends notification to all the interested parties.

Using Angular, engineers at HQSoftware made it possible for photographers to use the solution from different mobile devices, view tasks, mark them as resolved, and upload photo/video files. Our team also enabled the system to associate the uploaded files with a particular task and notify journalists, as well as pre-process files (change metadata) before sending them to a print storage

Outcome

Collaborating with HQSoftware, the customer automated the manual process of assigning tasks to a pool of photographers. Compatible with any mobile device, the delivered job scheduler allows for generating a daily schedule with just a click and customizing it if necessary. In future, the customer is planning to white label the solution to get an additional revenue channel.

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Sergei Vardomatski

CEO