FireWatch & FloSuite help Hampshire Fire and Rescue to reduce costs by £1.5m p.a.

FIREWATCH is helping Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service achieve reduced costs of around £1.5m p.a.

Hampshire today announced it has gone live with the final resource management element of a wide-ranging deployment of the FireWatch and FloSuite solutions, both products from specialist software manufacturer Infographics UK Ltd.

The Service estimates the project will deliver around £1.5m in savings per annum by supporting reduced staffing costs, through flexible crewing and business transformation.

The successful deployment of FireWatch, the #1 Enterprise Resource Planning & Management Solution for Fire and Rescue, involved the replacement of multiple standalone departmental systems with one integrated solution, now used to plan and manage resource across the Service.

Additional project elements were delivered using the FloSuite Business Process Management suite and integrated with the core FireWatch solution, which included self-service workflow/forms automation and interfaces with SAP for payroll purposes.

The project included replacement of disparate solutions for: Human Resource Management, Wholetime, Retained and Support Staff Availability, Event & Drill Recording, Maintenance of Competency, formal Training Delivery, Fleet & Asset Management, Health & Safety, and Reporting & Analysis.

A key aspect of the availability element of the deployment was that Hampshire could support new working practices, including Wholetime and Retained staff working seamlessly together. The ability to be able to use joint resourcing of appliances, and also detach and cover resourcing gaps between the different contract types using one system, was also crucial.

As a final phase of the project, Hampshire recently switched off its previous standalone Retained Availability system after completing the live rollout of FireWatch Retained Availability, Web-based Self-Service, a ‘real-time’ Availability Map, Mobile/PDA Web Client and Availability Service (text/pager gateway and impact rules engine).

The deployment of the FireWatch and FloSuite systems has played a key part in helping to underpin Hampshire’s Efficient and Flexible Crewing Project, aimed at transforming the way in which resource levels and deployment of operational staff are planned and managed.

Mick Crennell, Area Manager, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:

"At a time when the Fire and Rescue Service is focused on achieving more with fewer resources, FireWatch has been able to help Hampshire FRS increase operational efficiency and support our efficient and flexible crewing project. This will in turn support the achievement of a reduction in staffing costs of approximately £1.5m per annum.

"Many more benefits will be realised as the application's deeper functions are made available to users; it is recognised that the integrated nature of FireWatch will greatly assist and lead to significant operational improvements. This will, along with enhanced organisational knowledge through better use of information, release still further opportunity for improved service and efficiency."

Key highlights of the project benefits achieved include:

• Increased operational efficiency has supported Hampshire's Efficient and Flexible Crewing Project, which will in turn help deliver a reduction in staffing costs of approximately £1.5m per annum

• The ability to recognise and address individual competency needs before expiry. This has resulted in an improved ability to fulfil Health and Safety and moral obligations to provide a highly-trained workforce

• Direct integration of skills information and availability with changes in competency status now helps ensure organisational confidence in the competency status of staff to attend incidents. This is due to assessments or automatic refresh timelines being immediately reflected, rather than updating only after manual processes have been undertaken across separate systems

• Improved integration of information and data across departments and functions in general, providing greater opportunities to report, analyse and manage organisational performance

• Greater inter-departmental working and elimination of duplication, improving business operation time and reducing the process burden on staff

• Reduced opportunity for data entry errors and improved data protection controls. Data accuracy has improved, giving greater organisation confidence in internal information

• Simplified and more customer-focused working practices have helped improve service delivery across business units. Continuous improvement and rationalised operation is now possible, as information and data can be accessed across the organisation to provide improved service and facilities

• Removal of in excess of 100 paper-based and online forms and spreadsheets, which were duplicated and unconnected across the Service

• Removal and rethink on authorisation and validation points, resulting in a greater degree of personal accountability. This included removal of unnecessary checking (approx. 500 claims per month), releasing capacity for teams

Infographics is now working with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service to deliver several major follow-on projects, including: shared Control Centre integration using the FireWatch Mobilisation System interfaces, and further integration with the new shared County Council, Police and Fire and Rescue Service systems. These projects are due to be delivered during 2015 to help achieve further efficiencies and improved services through greater collaboration and co-ordination between partner organisations.

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