The City of Springfield in western Massachusetts is home to more than 150,000 residents and is the third largest city in the state. It may be best known for being the birthplace of basketball and Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Springfield is in the midst of a successful and long-term effort to revitalize itself.
The City of Springfield was unwittingly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly on unnecessary overtime across its 33 departments, and inadequate oversight of improper leave accrual practices significantly inflated retirement payouts.
The City’s 1,500 employees, not including the school district’s 5,000 employees, filled out paper timesheets, before a timekeeper in each department input the information into a spreadsheet. But the manual process wasn’t reliable, and employee sick, leave, and vacation time wasn’t always recorded and deducted, increasing payouts.
The City was experiencing large budget deficits and needed access to data that could help it better manage workforce costs, which represented 65% of the operating budget.
To manage these issues, the City of Springfield and Springfield Public Schools wanted an automated workforce management solution that would increase employee accountability for verifying their actual time worked and time off taken.
They also wanted visibility into real-time labor data and analytics across all departments to better manage labor costs ― including reducing unnecessary overtime and its significant costs ― as well as to improve budget planning and ongoing budget oversight.
Both the City and school district needed a solution that could accurately apply the bargaining agreement rules of each of the 13 municipal and 13 school district unions.
The City of Springfield and Springfield Public Schools elected to implement an automated UKG™ workforce management solution to better manage labor costs, increase productivity, and improve compliance. The solution interfaces with the City’s enterprise resource planning system. The fire and police departments use UKG TeleStaff™ to schedule their staff.
“We’ve made good progress in the last five to six years in Springfield, and a lot of it is because we have good labor data to make better decisions with, which in turn leads to cost savings and enhanced services for our residents.”
Chief Administrative and Financial Officer
Hourly employees now clock in and out in the UKG solution — and attest to their time in the solution each week — giving the City of Springfield an accurate accounting of employee time worked and sick, leave, and vacation time taken.
Real-time visibility into employee time and fast access to analytics data has enabled the City to better manage overtime, reducing overtime by 50% for building inspections and alarm call backs. Custodial overtime spending also has been cut by $800,000.
“We’ve made good progress in the last five to six years in Springfield, and a lot of it is because we have good labor data to make better decisions with, which in turn leads to cost savings and enhanced services for our residents,” said TJ Plante, Chief Administrative and Financial Officer for the City of Springfield.
Using labor level transfers in the solution, the City can easily determine how much time employees have spent working on specific projects, information it needs when reporting back to state and federal agencies. After a tornado hit Springfield and damaged city-owned buildings, the City received $28 million in restoration reimbursements from FEMA in just months because of the quality data it provided.