Following an extensive development phase, B2B marketplace Prozaar was launched in late 2020 with the aim of serving production companies, suppliers, and freelancers across the globe. The online portal enables easy access to equipment and crew, connects companies and provides a new digitised, cross rental model.
Prozaar Founder, Girts Pütelis developed the concept while working as an Account Manager at LiteCom Group. He informed TPi that the platform was several years in the making and it was not until the first global lockdown in March 2020 that Pütelis was afforded the luxury of time to turn his idea of the Prozaar platform into a reality. “I first had the idea in 2016 while I was working on the Eurovision Song Contest,” he recalled. “That year, we thought we would try something new so, instead of relying on our own stock to run the show, we utilised our vast network to source equipment.”
The end result is a business model, which simultaneously alleviates the pressure on company stock while bringing more opportunities to other companies in the sector.
After several months of development, Prozaar is now up and running. The online platform has been designed to have an easy-to-understand interface, which provides a clear overview of offered articles and prices. Initial predictions suggest that users can save up to 30% on production costs. While this is a good start, Prozaar suggests that a 70% workload reduction will be possible for users purchasing equipment and services.
“Whether you’re managing a major production or a small event, Prozaar will guide you through the technical jungle and connect you with the right suppliers and professionals,” asserted Pütelis. ‘There have been multiple attempts to create inventory dependent applications, but they create additional workload and complexity,” he stated. “Prozaar aims for the opposite by simplifying our complex trading processes.”
Despite offering an alternative solution for obtaining equipment, Pütelis insisted that the goal was not to displace any existing solutions such as established dry hire companies. “There are many markets and customers that have not yet discovered dry-hire services whereas other companies see dry-hire warehouses as the only source of the equipment,” he noted. “Prozaar is not looking to displace any player in the market, but to provide multiple options to customers.”
The founder went on to suggest that Prozaar will be of optimal use during the traditional busy season of various sectors. “There are certain times of the year when everything is in demand – including the stock from the dry hire companies.”
Prozaar strives to spotlight a larger directory of companies who might be able to supply that key piece of kit. “We are not trying to solve all the issues, but rather provide a network for users to interact with other companies and in some case introduce individuals to the concept of cross rental,” he reported.
While concerns have been raised that the platform could end up resulting in price dumping, with companies undercutting one another, Pütelis was keen to point out that the Prozaar seeks to produce industry averages, “thereby giving customers the relevant information to gauge deals before they are signed”. Not only that, but Prozaar’s vast library of products, which is continually updated, will provide increased options and solutions for customers as opposed to favouring the so called ‘big brands’ on the market.
“We want users to open up for alternative equipment,” he stated. “If we would allow users to import their own inventory, they would most likely choose the item they are used to or that is well-known.”
Unlike pre-existing marketplaces, Prozaar is designed specifically with the idiosyncrasies of the live event and broadcast production industries in mind and promises to service the full purchasing and selling cycles – from request to offer and, eventually, to order – allowing businesses to manage the full process without ever having to leave the platform.
“Prozaar was initially designed as a cross-trading platform for equipment suppliers,” explained Pütelis. “Due to the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve widened the usability for basically any member in the supply chain of the professional AV industry. With the current functionalities offered, we can’t see any restrictions to any industry sectors and we genuinely hope this will help businesses widen their business network and survive current crises.”
Although the platform’s early adopters have been effusive in their praise – citing its intuitive interface and usability as being key strengths – Pütelis admitted that the real test would come when regular business activity resumed.
Prozaar is currently offering a free membership during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available on the company’s website.
This article originally appeared in issue #257 of TPi, which you can read here.