San Diego, California
Type of Business
Music production and licensing
and Promotional CD's
Number of Locations
Number of Employees
- PCs networked with Microsoft
- Microsoft Windows NT
- Users on system: 70
MAS 500 Modules
- System Manager
- General Ledger
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Sales Order
- Inventory Management
- Purchase Order
- Cash Management
- Multicurrency Management
|MAS 500 Brings Sweet Sound
of Success to Network Music
At least ten times every day, most Americans
hear a production of Network Music — but never realize that they’re doing
so. The lilting strains forming a backdrop for the latest documentary.
The music that adds excitement to a commercial. Even the “ka-ching” on
a radio show when a contestant answers correctly. All these sounds come
from Network Music, one of the largest music libraries in the world.
Network Music is a library of more than 200
CDs containing 2,000 original compilations recorded in the company’s studios.
It also creates custom Private Label CDs featuring corporate logos that
are distributed as premiums and promotional items.
Network Music was putting so much effort
into its recordings that it just didn’t have time to upgrade its information
technology. Its System 36 mainframe with dummy terminals had been performing
faithfully for 15 years.
But the trusty old mainframe couldn’t deliver
the sophisticated management reports that were becoming increasingly essential
to the company’s success. Reports were produced manually from a spreadsheet,
as well as a secondary database. Data had to be entered twice. So it was
no surprise that staff members demanded an up-to-date system of networked
The firm switched over to Microsoft Windows
NT, gave everyone new desktops, and opted for the best accounting package
they could find.
Ron Helms, Network Music’s CFO, decided on
MAS 500, “mostly because I’m an accountant,” he said, “and
I understand what a good software package has got to do. I could tell
that MAS 500 had everything we wanted.
” Because the entire system was being upgraded,
Network Music’s finance group had to learn the software on new hardware
at the same time. However, most of the staff had PCs at home, and were
familiar with the Windows operating system. Learning the software proved
to be fairly easy, with an intuitive user interface that replaced the
former menu-driven navigation.
“One of the immediate benefits is the ability
to create management reports in a real-time accounting environment,” commented
Larry Anderson, vice president of marketing. “Before, with our manual
system it took as long as 45 days to prepare a report. Now we will be
able to extract any data we want, whenever we like.
” Open architecture is another MAS 500
feature that pleases Network Music. “Our in-house programmer wrote a Contact
Manager program for us to maintain customer information,” says Helms.
“This was easily linked to our MAS 500 financial reporting system,
thanks to the system’s Visual Tools.” Now salespeople can create orders
in the Contact Manager, and link the information directly to the order
entry system in the software. This has completely automated the order
entry process, and dramatically cut down on processing time and errors.
Helms describes how an account executive
might be talking on the phone with
a prospect who wants to try out a sound effects package. The executive
can pull up an electronic order form, fill in the appropriate billing
and shipping information, specify volume numbers, and turn the customer
into a client, all without ever leaving the desk. The order then goes
directly to the credit department and on to the vice president of sales
for approval. Upon receipt of credit verification, the entry becomes a
“We like the fact that MAS 500 is
so flexible,” adds Anderson. “The music licensing process is extremely
complex, and things change all the time. With our old system it was very
labor-intensive to accommodate updates. But the system has created a seamless
environment, so that a change gets made only once.
” E-commerce is next on the agenda for Network
Music. When customers download music from the web, data will be sent directly
to the MAS 500 order entry module. The system will send an electronic
invoice, post the credit card payment and track the transaction history.
Internet delivery (and related electronic reimbursement) means that Network
Music’s offerings will be instantly available to television, radio and
other multimedia producers around the globe, without requiring physical
shipment of a tape or CD.
“Based on everything we’ve seen so far,
MAS 500 is definitely the best package for Network Music,”
says Helms. “It has the horsepower to keep growing with us, gives us the
reports we need to stay focused, allows us to make changes on the fly,
and helps us stay ahead of the market.”