Hampshire Fire and Rescue
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service deploys FloSuite's Web-based Self-service and Availability Service solutions to streamline resource management processes
In today's 24/7 culture of instant information, organisations are continually seeking new ways to harness technology to generate and provide accurate, real-time data.
In the public sector, the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) also needs to deliver challenging and complex professional services, and balance this with pressure to reduce operating costs and improve process efficiency.
The UK FRS sector is rising to these challenges by making significant changes to organisations through ambitious business transformation programmes.
Key focus areas are: evolving the way in which the FRS engages with staff and the adoption of modern resource management practices to help meet efficiency targets and provide employees with more flexible working arrangements.
An important enabler for business transformation is adoption of IT solutions which can provide a suitable framework to manage less standardised processes. These technologies also need to give employees access to information via modern, easy-to-use interfaces, whilst maintaining organisational visibility and control over the processes.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) - a progressive, technology-embracing organisation - recognised that positive change can be effected through IT-enabled business transformation, and decided to invest in FloSuite as part of a broader infrastructure re-development programme.
Hampshire was specifically seeking a solution which could integrate seamlessly with a new Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) application (FireWatch®) and other systems, and provide a Web-based, process-optimised user experience for Fire Fighters and Managers.
It was important that the system should enable reduction in the overhead involved in gathering and maintaining data, and underpin the processes that 'feed' and update Availability Management, Human Resource, Training/Skills and other elements of FireWatch.
HFRS also wanted a comprehensive enterprise Business Process Management platform to enable replacement of paper-based, manual, or inefficient processes with Web-based solutions.
The ability to support risk management, in other words retaining and improving visibility of processes, outstanding tasks and quality of data, was also viewed as a critical requirement within this high-risk working environment.
Infographics worked closely with HFRS on the first FloSuite® deployments to minimise timescales. Using the FloSuite Case and Business Process Management platform, comprehensive solutions for HR Self-service and Availability Management were developed.
There were a number of key factors that influenced HFRS in the selection of FloSuite:
- FloSuite offers the flexibility of providing a range of targeted solutions focused on Fire and Rescue Service-specific requirements, as well as a generic platform for deployment of additional business processes
- FloSuite's Enterprise Application Integration and 'Middleware' capabilities would enable new solutions to integrate with the local authority-run SAP® and other systems, leveraging existing data and technology investments, as well as FireWatch
- Solutions for HR Self-service and Availability could be integrated seamlessly with the FireWatch ERM system, enabling live, real-time updates to crewing and availability information via the Web, in addition to other communication channels such as text
- Self-service could also be integrated with the FireWatch Availability Service solution, enabling the impact of changes made via Self -service to crewing to trigger proactive exception notifications, e.g. when an appliance drops below minimum staff or qualification levels
- FloSuite's Web-based user interface is easy to understand and use by all types of staff, with minimal training required
- FloSuite can integrate closely with familiar Microsoft® offerings, including Microsoft Office®, Exchange®/Outlook® and SharePoint®
- Solutions can be developed, and later evolved, to manage business change using FloSuite's Microsoft Visio-encapsulated configuration environment. This includes facilities for web form design, process modelling, business rules, document/email outputs, actors and other elements
Working with Infographics, Hampshire has developed a web-delivered process management solution for HR and Availability Self-service, as well as new interfaces to the local authority-run SAP system to facilitate the seamless flow of specific information between FloSuite, FireWatch and SAP.
Self-service enables employees to access and update their HR information, view duty planner/availability data, training information, change their availability, request holidays and access other activity types, plus provides a white pages capability.
Changes to information can be reflected in real-time within FireWatch and configurable controls used to implement and manage business rules for approval procedures and to provide suitable 'views' of information depending on staff profiles.
As Self-service is integrated with the FireWatch Availability Service, staff can remotely book on and off duty via the Web, with the impact triggering a variety of configurable notifications to relevant staff via text, email or pager. These changes are automatically fed through into the FireWatch duty planner.
Hampshire intends to deploy a number of additional, complementary business processes using the FloSuite platform in future, including:
The ability to remove unnecessary and burdensome business processes that can be rationalised to improve service and internal operation. The service has embarked on a continuous improvement journey to look at all the internal workflows with the aim of challenging existing work practice to remove duplication, bureaucracy and delay, and improve service.
Key benefits include:
Reduced administration by removing paper-based forms and additional, unnecessary manual checks
Improved service for external and internal customers
Streamlined support and improved efficiency
Improved work practices, removing staff frustration
Timely and accurate information
Greater accountability and responsibility
Reduction in conflicting priorities and improved resource management
Opportunities for innovative approaches, using technology as part of the solution