Mills James Builds a Bigger Production Playground
The company doubles its warehouse size to bring new stagecraft possibilities to clients.
By: Mills James
For years Mills James has been operating out of a warehouse in the West Belt area. Then came growth in the creative firm's high-end events business, and—a new source of growth—an expansion of their audiovisual services for Columbus' burgeoning hospitality market.
Most of Mills James' corporate and broadcast clients see them as a video and event production company, but they also deliver concierge-level audiovisual support to hotel properties in the Columbus and Cleveland area. Chief among them is the Greater Columbus Convention Center, where Mills James is the in-house audiovisual production company for the hundreds of events that pass through the capital city every year.
"Our previous strategy was to place pockets of equipment and personnel in each of our many in-house locations," said President Arthur James. "To better serve our clients, we decided to centralize the majority of our equipment and logistics personnel in one place."
Mills James' clients and creatives were also pushing the employee-owned company to invest in scenic design and construction services. "We needed the room to build just about any scenic element our creative teams can dream up," James said.
So, began Mills James' new adventure: the search to double their warehouse footprint.
Logistics Manager Matt Christian, Warehouse Foreman Rob Brock, and Chief Operating Officer Scott Lanum led the way. Their wish list: six loading docks for their expanded truck fleet, space for their event gear, room for a sizeable scenic shop, and enough office space to house their crewing, sourcing and logistics teams.
Mills James' search ended at 3001 International Boulevard in west Columbus. Their new warehouse is about twice the size of the previous one, giving Mills James one of the largest events and video production footprints in the Midwest.
"Our expanded footprint enhances our ability to serve our expanding number of clients and locations around the state, including growth at the Convention Center," said James. "And our staging dreams can now become a reality. We call our new scenic shop 'the fishbowl,' a new space isolated by a clear, floor-to-ceiling vinyl curtain that lets us view shop operations as a safety measure."
"With six dock bays, dedicated truck staging space, a quality control area, and room for an expanding equipment inventory, the new space is one where we can grow," Lanum added.
Now that the 20-some members of Mills James' events logistics team have a new place to call home, they're discovering new efficiencies, and faster and more flexible delivery processes every day—well in time for tonight's load-in and tomorrow's stagecraft.
About Mills James
Mills James is a full-service creative media company specializing in video and event production with facilities in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio, and Boston, Massachusetts. For more than three decades, Mills James has been helping some of the country's biggest brands plan, develop and execute the events and videos that have shaped, driven, and celebrated their growth. Mills James provides event and video production services to Fortune 500 companies, startups, and not-for-profits. For more information, visit millsjames.com (https://www.millsjames.com/
Richelle Antczak McCuen
Marketing Communications | Mills James