September 25, 2012
New Survey Finds Vast Inefficiencies in Public Safety Scheduling and Resource Management
CHELMSFORD, Mass. - A new public safety scheduling survey commissioned by Kronos Incorporated and conducted by The Praetorian Group reveals that the majority of the nation’s public safety agencies are faced with vast inefficiencies resulting from manual scheduling and resource management processes. The majority of respondents - 78 percent - reported that they did not have access to an automation tool for these functions.
• Public safety professionals employed in supervisory positions such as chief, lieutenant, captain, and sergeant, as well as in roles of officer, EMT, firefighter, and corrections deputy were surveyed. Agencies included were fire, EMS, police, corrections, and state and federal organizations. The survey specifically explored how agencies currently manage overtime, emergency recall, shift trades, and vacation and position bidding.
• Among the 78 percent of respondents that noted they did not have scheduling and resource management automation, 42 percent said their employer utilizes a manual spreadsheet such as Excel™ to create schedules, while 14 percent said they still rely on pencil and paper.
• Public safety personnel commonly work overtime hours and more than 53 percent of respondents said their employer tracks and manages overtime on a manual spreadsheet.
• The survey also found that more than 80 percent of emergency recall of employees to duty during disasters or other mass-response events currently involves supervisors manually contacting employees.
• Trading shifts among employees is a common practice in public safety. The survey showed that 71 percent of the agencies surveyed presently rely on employees to track their own shift trades and subsequently pay themselves back.
• In terms of vacation and shift bidding - or picks, as they are often called - 65 percent of the respondents stated that their employer conducts the process using pencil and paper.
• Greg Ekstrom, vice president and general manager, Kronos TeleStaff Solutions Group
"Public safety is under tremendous pressure to be more efficient and accountable in controlling labor costs, minimizing compliance risk, and improving productivity. The survey results emphasize that these organizations are struggling in the face of inefficiencies with managing an incredibly complex process of scheduling, which involves factors such as staffing minimums, qualifications, availability, union agreements, and labor regulations. Only automation of scheduling and other resource management processes with solutions such at Kronos TeleStaff can effectively address these challenges."
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The survey was conducted online through four popular websites for public safety personnel: CorrectionsOne.com, EMS1.com, FireRescue1.com, and PoliceOne.com. Survey respondents represented agencies ranging in size from one sworn member to more than 5,000 sworn personnel with the majority of agencies surveyed falling in the range from one to 300 such employees. The 19-question survey covered topics ranging from basic scheduling practices at an agency to level of automation of that process, as well as the extent of integration between scheduling systems and other departmental systems (i.e., HR, payroll, RMS, CAD) currently in place. The questions also addressed priorities for scheduling, emergency callback procedures, shift bid process, and more.
About Kronos Incorporated
Kronos is the global leader in workforce management solutions that enable organizations to control labor costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. Tens of thousands of organizations in 100 countries - including more than half of the Fortune 1000® - use Kronos time and attendance, scheduling, absence management, HR and payroll, hiring, and labor analytics applications. To learn how Kronos uniquely delivers complete automation and high-quality information in an easy-to-use solution, visit www.kronos.com.