BBN Radio Manages Explosive Growth With Smartsheet
With 200 radio stations across 14 countries of North and South America that reach over 200,000,000 people, Bible Broadcasting Network (BBN) needed a way to manage operations and their explosive growth. Smartsheet was the solution.
- Media and Production
- Medium (50 - 999 employees)
- North America
- Federal Regulation Adherence
It’s been incredible to see every department at BBN find their own way of adopting Smartsheet into their workflow. We like things that just work – no frills, no unnecessary complications. That’s Smartsheet.
Bible Broadcasting Network (BBN) started in 1971 with one radio station. Today the broadcasting company has skyrocketed to include more than 200 radio stations across 14 countries of North and South America, reaching over 200,000,000 people.
But it wasn’t always smooth sailing. In 2010, BBN was headed for a busy season of station acquisition and aggressive expansion. It was clear that the network’s system of hard copy documentation and fragmented communication was too archaic to keep up with the fast-paced decision making required for BBN’s ambitious expansion goals.
“Most of our workload fell on department heads to track manually. Hard copies of documents were haphazardly archived. It made reflecting on past projects difficult,” says Jason Padgett, Operations and Business Manager at BBN.
The company needed a way to better manage its operations. Padgett searched for a workflow management tool that would benefit every department and simultaneously bring the network’s technology systems into the 21st century. Most important criteria? The tool had to be flexible enough to manage daily task lists or large, complex projects.
When they found Smartsheet, Padgett knew it was the solution he’d been looking for. “The spreadsheet layout made it really easy to get started and was simple for me to introduce to everyone at the network,” he says. “Our teams loved the idea of shared accountability; pretty quickly everyone began assigning tasks and taking ownership of pieces of projects that they were working on.”
Two years later, every department at BBN has come to rely on Smartsheet in their daily operations.
Before any new radio station acquisition, Padgett sits down with all the teams that will be involved and sketches out the project.
“I take our discussion and lay out the plan, goals, and timelines in a sheet and build out the project from there,” he says. “I then share the sheet with everyone involved so that we can collaborate as a team during the process of expanding our network.”
The company also uses Smartsheet to track and manage the budget for each acquisition, attaching all related documents--from the initial bid for a station to the final acquisition price--to the project sheet for easy reference.
New Station Builds
Once the network has finalized the acquisition of a new station, all of the steps to build out the new location are prioritized in Smartsheet. “It’s the perfect tool for these complicated projects because it is so flexible. As our projects evolve, so does the sheet that tracks it,” explains Padgett.
Smartsheet revolutionized BBN’s IT department and their system for responding to IT requests. Now, BBN’s IT manager creates a ticket sheet for every issue, tracking each step of the resolution in Smartsheet. The sheet is shared with all involved in the request, providing greater transparency, trust and efficiency.
“I’ve seen a huge change in the way our IT department works not only amongst themselves but with the rest of our network,” says Padgett. “Tickets don’t fall through the cracks and supervisors are all kept updated.”
FCC Re-Licensing Efforts
Every eight years, all radio stations must be re-licensed by the FCC. Before Smartsheet, the steps were tracked through hard copies and organized at random, making meeting federal regulations a herculean effort. Transferring tracking and planning for this process to Smartsheet made planning for re-licensing much easier.
Now everything is centralized in Smartsheet, including documents detailing government regulations and the steps that network management is taking to meet each one. With Smartsheet, planning for this effort and progress towards goal completion can extend beyond just one person. Collaboration fuels preparation.
Padgett smoothly operates BBN’s HR department with the help of Smartsheet. “Smartsheet helps us completely in-process and out-process employees,” he says. “It’s incredibly helpful to have a quick tool that I can trust to make sure we’ve covered all of our bases, especially when there are so many other responsibilities across network departments.”
BBN hosts large fundraising events twice annually. The network uses Smartsheet to help plan the broad scope of details and track volunteer registration. Planning now takes half the time and the execution of each event is flawless.
“It’s been incredible to see every department at BBN find their own way of adopting Smartsheet into their workflow. We like things that just work – no frills, no unnecessary complications. That’s Smartsheet,” says Padgett.