The Oak Creek Police Department's 90-plus employees provide public safety services to the 35,000 residents of Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The department has more than 15 specialty units and employs 63 full-time sworn personnel, 19 full-time emergency dispatch personnel, six full-time support staff members, and six part-time support staff.
At the Oak Creek Police Department, the scheduling process had remained unchanged for more than two decades. The department, the largest in the city, had grown significantly during that period. Its processes were manual and relied heavily on internal resources across several divisions. To process payroll, a stack of timecards was hand-carried to seven staff members. The source calendar was posted monthly in the dispatch area.
"There was one copy, and if it got lost, it was quite a challenge to re-create. Only one person had access to it to make changes," said Oak Creek PD Capt. Michael Bolender. Changes were made directly on the posted page. By the end of the month, it was full of ink, pencil marks, correction fluid, and highlighter.
Then the document was filed. "That was our database — folders of old calendars," said Oak Creek PD Capt. John Edwards. Officers filled out timecards by hand, and then scheduling personnel reviewed them and made corrections.
The stack was then sent to City Hall, where additional staff reexamined the timecards before forwarding them to payroll. "That was every pay period, with two of our people working overtime on a Sunday," added Edwards. "If there were issues along the way, they had to be communicated back to police supervisors and then to City Hall personnel again."
As sick time, last-minute training, and emergencies arose, further administrative attention was required, which equated to about three supplementary days every month. When officers called in sick, the supervisor had to take time from their regular duties to call officers at home to fill the vacancies. The manual processes also increased the likelihood of errors and noncompliance.
At the end of the year, staff spent days reviewing accruals, accounting for all pending vacation requests, and creating monthly schedules.
Oak Creek PD selected the UKG TeleStaff™ solution to automate its scheduling process. Using the company's revised implementation process, the department was operational in less than 90 days. As personnel data and shift patterns were created, the information was tested on the spot.
“The UKG TeleStaff solution allows officers to manage their own schedules. Now, if they want to take a comp day, they make the request online or with a mobile device, and if it meets the rules of minimum staffing and if they have accrued the time, it's done.”
Automated scheduling saves $70,000 in labor costs
With the UKG TeleStaff solution, scheduling processes at Oak Creek PD are no longer manual and error-prone but are automated and precise. The streamlined process also has saved the department at least $70,000 in staff time per year. There is no more weekend overtime spent processing scheduling information before payroll or hours spent handling and reviewing timecards.
Improved compliance with staffing policies
Supervisors now rely on UKG TeleStaff to automate schedules according to specialty, availability, and collective bargaining agreements. They can feel confident that all policies are being correctly followed.
Easier scheduling, increased staffing accuracy
Calendars are now updated in real time online and can be deciphered easily without the clutter of handwritten changes on a paper calendar. The UKG TeleStaff solution also has remedied the need for supervisors to call their list when a vacancy arises at the last minute. Via telephone, email, or text message, the system contacts only the personnel who fit the staffing requirements, so qualifications are aligned with assignments. In cases of emergency, the UKG TeleStaff solution can notify the entire staff with the push of a button.
Self-service tools increase employee satisfaction
End-users now have the ability to view their schedules online and see instantly how much vacation or sick time they have accumulated. They can submit vacation requests by telephone, mobile device, the internet, or the intranet and can see whether their time-off requests have been approved or rejected. Officers are notified of overtime opportunities in an equitable manner and can quickly see if they have been awarded an overtime shift.
"The UKG TeleStaff solution allows officers to manage their own schedules," Edwards said. "Now, if they want to take a comp day, they make the request online or with a mobile device, and if it meets the rules of minimum staffing and if they have accrued the time, it's done. If not, the system does not allow them to do it. Before, you turned in cards, sent emails, and wondered — did you get [the request]? With the old way, you didn't know until you saw the posted sheet, which was often quite a bit later."
Fast, easy access to staffing reports
Personnel immediately began utilizing the solution's reports, which show accruals, exceptions, and other information, all of which can be viewed from a remote location via the internet. This information is far more accessible and available more quickly than before.
Resources preserved, autonomy increased
Now, with the Oak Creek PD relying on the automated UKG TeleStaff solution for its scheduling needs, staff no longer diverts resources, said Bolender, and members of the workforce are more in control of their schedules.