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Rebuilding an essential internal tool for a niche industry powerhouse.

Millenia3

Millenia3 specializes in managing media content and campaigns, a critical yet often overlooked aspect of media operations. They faced significant challenges with their outdated legacy software, which was slowing down their processes and making collaboration difficult. Recognizing the need for an upgrade, we partnered with Millenia3 to completely rebuild this essential internal tool. This project not only improved their operational efficiency but also refocused their efforts on their core business strengths.

Vision
  • Reimagined the entire UX to better support the unique demands of media traffic management.
  • Enhanced performance and future scalability.
  • Ensured seamless integration with existing systems for a cohesive workflow.
  • Introduced new features to improve organizational efficiency.
  • Automated and streamlined time-intensive manual operations.
Victory
  • Achieved a comprehensive understanding of a specialized industry to support innovation in a highly specialized tool.
  • Transformed the user experience with a complete overhaul, not just a superficial update.
  • Integrated with Quickbooks Online for efficient, automated invoicing, streamlining financial processes.
  • Delivered an ultra-fast solution that allowed for more effective collaboration among team members.

Client Industry

Broadcast Traffic Specialists

Platform

Web App

Services Performed

UI/UX Design,Web App Development,QA,Project Management

Technology

Laravel

React

Inertia
Quote
...their customers come first.
Throughout an 8-month long project, Black Airplane guided us through the creation of our bespoke software development from Design to Dev with professionalism. They, like me, share a love for creative problem solving with consideration for all the variables... While they can take on likely anything, they’re also humble enough when to bring in a specialist when the situations demand it on the project, as the satisfaction of their customers come first.
Kevin Keegan
VP, Production & Technology, Millenia 3

Vision

Mission Brief

Millenia3 manages broadcast media traffic for some of the biggest brands on the planet. As a respected longtime veteran of the broadcast industry, they’ve had to evolve as a business to stay ahead of the curve. But through the years, their internal software tools hadn’t evolved with them. Their old custom legacy software was a hassle to use and nearly impossible to update.

This engagement was an opportunity for a reimagined user experience that could be transformative for their operations. Their teams needed to feel the difference of software that could facilitate rather than obstruct their work. We partnered to rebuild this critical internal tool from the ground up, freeing them to focus on what they do best.

Challenges

Millenia3's initial attempt to revamp their software with another agency had been unsuccessful, impacting their schedule and budget. Recognizing the importance of client involvement, we ensured they had daily access to progress through our transparent and iterative product development process. This approach allowed for immediate feedback and adjustments, aligning closely with Millenia3's evolving needs.

The technical complexity of this project was significant, particularly in integrating the new software with various internal and external systems. A key challenge was interfacing with third-party APIs, some of which lacked proper documentation or were outdated. To tackle this, we engaged in proactive communication with these third parties, aiming to maintain business continuity throughout the software transition.

Our team's deep dive into Millenia3's unique industry nuances was essential. We invested time in understanding their specific processes and needs, ensuring our solutions were not just technically sound but also perfectly tailored to their operational context. Acknowledging and addressing these challenges promptly allowed us to collaborate effectively with Millenia3, setting the stage for a successful partnership.

Why Black Airplane

As both a design and development partner, Black Airplane was uniquely positioned to holistically maneuver this project from vision to victory. Our team always seeks deep understanding of business logic, challenges

Flight Plan

Design

For this engagement, the client provided a wealth of documentation to help us understand how their current product worked and what they were looking for.

Discovery & Wireframes

For internal web applications such as this one, it is normal to spend most of the design scope in repeated cycles of holding discovery conversations and building wireframes. While visual design is important, in these cases, it’s usually much more critical to account for the business logic correctly. This was especially true for Millenia3, as we needed to account for some nuanced business logic and complex processes. Moreover, the project demanded creating tailored solutions for multiple teams, each with their unique use cases and requirements.

To ensure a deep understanding of the client's needs, our team engaged in frequent, in-depth discussions with the client team. Their expertise in their business was invaluable, and we had a significant amount of learning to do. Through continuous conversations, note-taking, question-asking, sketching of diagrams, and extending beyond scheduled call times, we aimed to grasp every aspect of their business operations. This comprehensive approach was crucial to guarantee that our solutions meticulously catered to every detail of their process.

High Fidelity Visual Designs

As we firmed wireframes, we transitioned to building high fidelity visual designs. Though an internal tool, it was still important to give Millenia3 users a high quality visual and user experience. For nearly every product we build, we include a visual components & styles library to help guide design and development. This is similar to a brand guide, except for user interfaces (UI). Depending on the needs of the product, our team will either custom build that library or will employ an existing design system. In this case, it made sense to leverage an existing system (MUI), which helped improve efficiency for both design and development.

Development Support, Handoff, and Documentation

During design, we included a developer on most project conversations. This ensured alignment on MVP feasibility and helped us identify and plan for any potential technical challenges.

As part of our design process, we always include clear annotations, notes, diagrams, and any other design artifacts that will help communicate the design specifications to any audience using the final design files. This especially helps with the handoff from design to development. At the end of the design phase, we had development handoff conversations. We talked through expectations, surfaced any potential challenges, and continued to get aligned across internal and external teams.

Development

As we embarked on the development journey for Millenia3, our preparation was key. Armed with comprehensive designs and exhaustive documentation, we were poised for a smooth transition. However, the true essence of software development lies in its fluidity and adaptation to evolving business landscapes. Here, our agile development methodology shone, steering the project towards success with adaptability and foresight.

Choosing the Right Tech Stack

Involving our development team early in the design process paid dividends. It enabled us to make informed decisions about the technology stack, ensuring seamless integration with Millenia3's complex business logic. Our choice? Laravel, Inertia, and React (leveraging the MUI React component library). This stack has been our ally in numerous successful endeavors, thanks to our deep expertise with Laravel and our proficiency in crafting modern, user-centric experiences with Inertia. This decision was a cornerstone in our strategy to foster rapid development while meticulously catering to user needs.

laravel logo

Learn more about our Partnership with Laravel

Frontend Systems: Balancing Customization and Efficiency

Our mission was to craft a frontend that not only accommodated complex business logic but also remained adaptable for future enhancements. The project demanded intricate features like interactive datagrids, responsive search with intelligent autocomplete, and collaborative tool-like functionalities. To achieve this, we leveraged MUI within our Laravel-Inertia framework. This choice streamlined our frontend development, allowing us to concentrate on creating the unique, sophisticated interfaces that are the hallmark of Millenia3's operations.

Integrating with Quickbooks Online & Automating PDF Generation

Our engagement with Millenia3 wasn't just about technical integration; it was about understanding and aligning with their organizational needs. A key aspect of this was our integration with Quickbooks Online. What set this process apart was our direct collaboration with Millenia3's accounting department. By working closely with those at the heart of Millenia3's financial operations, we didn't just implement a standard integration; we crafted a tailored solution that seamlessly aligned with their specific accounting practices and workflows.

This bespoke approach ensured that the transition and ongoing operations were intuitive and efficient for the accounting team. The synchronization of invoices, billing services, and customer data between our product and Quickbooks Online was meticulously planned and executed, guaranteeing data consistency and organizational coherence.

In parallel, we tackled the challenge of automating PDF document generation – a task of critical importance in Millenia3's communication with partners, customers, and vendors. Previously, this process was labor-intensive and time-consuming. By understanding the specific contexts and requirements in which these PDFs were used, we developed an automation solution that not only expedited the process but also enhanced the accuracy and reliability of these crucial documents. This automation translated into significant time savings and reduced the margin for error, thereby streamlining communications and improving operational efficiency.

Workflows, Business Logic, and Domain Knowledge

Understanding and reengineering Millenia3's asset tracking and invoicing workflows was a significant challenge. Assets in Millenia3's ecosystem are multifaceted, linked to various operations and billing processes. Our deep dive into these complexities allowed us to craft software that not only avoided disrupting Millenia3's operations but also enhanced them. Intuitive processes, typeahead features, and automation significantly reduced their workload, boosting efficiency.

Our collaborative approach with Millenia3's team during our regular standups, sprint plannings, and demos was pivotal. It enabled us to capture and adapt to 'last-minute' requirements, a common occurrence in complex projects. This adaptability was crucial, as demonstrated when we identified and resolved a key organizational issue for an employee, leading to even more streamlined operations.

Victory

In our collaboration with Millenia3, we didn't just deliver a product; we revolutionized their operational landscape. The journey culminated in a triumphant launch, marking a significant milestone in efficiency and technological advancement for Millenia3.

Revolutionizing Efficiency with Automation:

The heart of our victory lies in dramatically boosting Millenia3's operational efficiency. We replaced cumbersome, manual workflows with automated systems, transforming time-consuming processes into sleek, streamlined operations. This shift not only saved valuable time but also minimized the potential for human error, allowing the Millenia3 team to focus on more strategic tasks.

Transforming Collaboration with Intuitive Software:

We tackled the challenge of a legacy application that was a bottleneck to effective collaboration. Our solution? A web-based platform that's not just a tool, but a collaborator in its own right. This intuitive, real-time software fostered a new era of collaboration within Millenia3, ensuring seamless synchronization across teams. The result was a digital environment that didn't just meet their needs but anticipated and adapted to them, courtesy of our deep dive into understanding Millenia3's unique domain.

Future-Ready with Scalable Technology:

Our partnership with Millenia3 is a testament to Black Airplane's commitment to not just achieving goals but exceeding them. By blending our technical prowess with a deep understanding of Millenia3's domain, we crafted a solution that didn't just solve problems but created new possibilities. This project stands as a beacon of our ability to transform visions into victories, pilot ideas into innovations, and steer challenges into triumphs.

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