North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) has transformed the way in which it manages operational and back office administrative functions using FireWatch®, a specialised Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) Solution from Infographics UK Ltd.
As the number one integrated ERM solution for the UK Fire and Rescue Service, FireWatch, developed by the Microsoft Gold Partner Infographics, is already used by around one third of Services.
Recent ROI analysis has revealed that the FireWatch software suite has enabled NYFRS to make a significant contribution to the Service's efficiencies programme, achieving administrative savings of 40%.
It has also helped dramatically reduce the number of spreadsheets and paper-based processes used across multiple internal departments, and provided managers with a real-time integrated view of the organisation's resources and assets.
Jonathan Foster, Group Manager - Efficiencies, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "FireWatch has and continues to make significant contributions to the efficiencies programme within NYFRS and is now an integral part of our day-to-day business.
"Although the system has been a challenge to implement, we are now reaping the true benefits of a fully integrated system which is continually being improved to serve the individual needs of NYFRS and our partner services across the UK."
FireWatch was selected to integrate and manage the complex operational and administrative functions of the Fire Service, including HR contracts, recording of personal details, availability management/duty planning, health and safety, occupational health, and training and development.
As a result of the successful implementation of these FireWatch solutions, NYFRS has been able to streamline the management of core operational and administrative functions, improve collaboration across teams and departments, and assist senior and middle managers to strategically plan and manage organisation resources.
Key benefits of NYFRS's FireWatch deployment include:
• A significant contribution to NYFRS's efficiencies programme; by consolidating functional administrative support, a 40% administrative staff saving was achieved
• Reductions of large amounts of spreadsheets and databases across all departments, leading to reduced system maintenance and duplication avoidance. In one department alone, it has resulted in the removal of 15 spreadsheets and 2 databases
• Removal of paper records for Retained crewing availability, leading to reduced administration and improved automated reporting systems for management information
• Removal of paper records for Retained payment claims, resulting in reduced administrative burden from stations through to the payroll department, and more speedy, accurate payments which can be monitored by individual members of staff
• Provision of a one-stop shop for operational crews from declaration of crewing availability, attendance at operational incidents, recording individual activity at incidents for skills maintenance, along with payment claims
• Removal of paper timesheet and holiday records for support staff
• Consolidated one-stop system for managers to gain timely and relevant information for the entire organisation, including support staff and managers
• Integral to Training and Development Strategy, FireWatch has led to a reduction in risk to staff through effective skills and qualification management and, ultimately, to a more accurate Training Needs Analysis year-on-year
Russell Wood, Director of Sales at Infographics UK Ltd., said: "We now work with around one third of the UK's Fire and Rescue Services, providing them with an integrated resource and asset management platform, and this illustrates a definite shift towards a more integrated approach within the sector.
"Currently, many Services are investing in new mobilisation systems, and as a result are gaining a clear understanding that HR, Training/Skills, Asset and Operational Resource Planning are not distinct processes. In reality, they directly link to fulfilment of the same goal: having the necessary resource, skills and equipment required to fulfil current and future obligations.
"By investing in an integrated database and approach to management of that data, it is possible to work with a single or shared mobilisation system - which is not easily achievable without a solution like FireWatch in place.
"The decision by North Yorkshire - and many other Services - to invest in FireWatch over recent months and years continues to underline the major benefits that can be achieved, which also include optimisation of broader business processes and organisational structures."