Global Hackathon Winners | BookingLive: Covid19 Resource Management System
April 15, 2020
Welcome to the Digital Transformation Solution Team: BookingLive. BookingLive provides citizen, customer and patient engagement, appointment scheduling, and online booking systems and software. BookingLive took part in the Covid19 Global Hackathon and won first place for the category Solidarity in Action. BookingLive was also the only Welsh (& British) organisations to make it to the top 10 globally. BookingLive’s Online Booking, Online Scheduling System and Appointment Solutions are currently in use across central and local government as well as NHS trusts, NHS digital and large corporates like Dyson, Mircosoft, BMW and 1000+ different clients across 52+ countries.
Covid19 – Tech Problem
In a broad group of operational areas, key institutions in our communities such as the NHS are facing a common challenge: how to get the right resources to the right people at the right time.
Urgent resource needs (volunteers, PPE, care home staff) are not being met because supply networks (staff agencies, volunteer bodies, manufacturers) are too fragmented for already stretched institutions to process in time. This puts strain on those triaging the deployment of resources to resource consumers (hospitals, care homes, isolating households) and leaves the vulnerable exposed, to the point of costing lives.
Whether the resources are care staff, volunteers, or physical goods you face a common set of questions:
- How do you integrate disparate suppliers (recruitment agencies, volunteer bodies, private sector manufacturers, venues) into common pools, so you can access the total supply with minimal complexity while still respecting their internal boundaries?
- How do you triage for relevance in order to deploy resources effectively (e.g. clinical/non-clinical volunteers; specialist/generalist staff; priority/non-priority goods)
- How do you use over-supplies in one area to meet shortages in another?
- How do you reduce the human requirements of resource administration to keep services running and reduce overload?
BookingLive Covid19 Global Hackathon Solution
A customisable system that automates common logistical functions in resource management and booking, and applies them to multiple crisis resource settings, so you can consolidate inventories of facilities, people and goods; triage/prioritise their distribution, and provide an adaptable booking interface that allows the resources available to reach the people who need them with the least friction possible.
Because we have built this ground breaking solution on an existing solution which is already set up and handles millions of transactions; and because we already work with hospitals, health bodies, local governments, private companies and voluntary organisations – this means that the system is customised for emergency response during this pandemic, we are ready to immediately deploy at any scale necessary, from single, smaller organisations such as a care home, to a nationwide and even international roll-out. We not only have the system primed and ready, but a full team from AWS infrastructure to project managers and support engineers ready at hand.
Covid19 solution detail
1) When 2000 people suddenly volunteer, how do you triage their skills, so you can retrain and certify clinical returners and use other volunteers according to their skills? Our app offers a sophisticated system for managing volunteers in an integrated way, from skills based triage and recruitment to smart deployment (if you have a surplus in one area, you can deploy them to an area with shortages, instead of putting them on a waiting list, even if each area is managed by a different provider).
2) As professionals fall ill in care homes, how do you recruit to fill the staff shortage? Our app consolidates all the recruiting agencies, so we can create a national pool of care staff, cleaners, kitchen porters. Our system also helps predict and locate shortages, and prioritise resources. It also helps track symptoms within homes so you can aggregate them and spot trends and allow “remote visits” from family via video, and remote consultations and advice from medical and/or isolating staff via video, voice and chat.
3) If people have to go to hospitals, post offices, or other public services, how do you enforce social distancing when people have to queue to be processed? Our system provides digital queue control, so people don’t have to queue next to each other.
4) When people are desperate for information, and go to the website or make calls, how do you lead them to the right information and spare human resources to deal with complex calls or emails? Our system offers a first line of support chatbot that can triage initial enquiries and direct people to reliable information, without taking up resources.
5) As hospitals and care homes struggle with obtaining goods, how do we ensure all available resources can be harnessed? Our system allows goods suppliers to aggregate their inventories, so key agencies can book them in one portal, instead of trying to contact 200 suppliers. It also allows us to track demand and supply trends, anticipating and mitigating shortages.
6) How do you keep public services running with staff at home? Our system allows for the booking of activities and services, including via zoom, entirely digitally.
7) How do you allow professionals and family to have contact with vulnerable, isolated people without putting them or themselves at risk? Our system allows them to communicate/visit remotely by video, voice and chat.
How we built it
Our leadership team gave its full backing to the initiative and staff volunteers from across the company came together to hack solutions that build on our strengths and can scale and be deployed rapidly. The Global Hack provided further inspiration, a framework and a timescale that helped us move into accelerated action.
We consulted challenge calls from the public sector to identify preliminary need; we also consulted with advisers in the local government, care home and recruitment sectors to narrow down and enrich the relevance.
We then carried out a co-design workshop with staff members from across the business, from developers to client services to senior management up to CEO level. This was followed by a technical workshop with the software developers and configuration experts in the team, to identify the feasibility of the design concept, and a roadmap to implementation.
Further consultation with stakeholders confirmed evidence of need and validated our solution, and the Global Hack slack channel provided networks and referrals to institutions who might benefit adding further validation and confirmation the demand and relevance was global.
Team members then worked on re-configuring our system to be able to process not just venues and activities as before, but human resources. We spun a parallel production environment on AWS and created a sandbox where missing functionality could be gradually added. We likewise agreed partnerships with third party providers we could integrate into our offering to complete the functionality.
We allocated the Global Hack period to arriving at a deployable and immediately scalable Proof of Concept that could nevertheless be further refined and tailored to the needs of individual government agencies. health bodies, hospitals, care homes and volunteer organisations.
Claim your system today
Claim your system or find out more about BookingLive’s scheduling systems and its partnership with organisations going through digital transformation during this pandemic, and how BookingLive can bring its 10+ years of successfully servicing the public sector to support you with your department’s digital goals, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)117 933 8632 to speak with one of our public sector solutions specialists.
More about BookingLive
See below a report generated by Charnwood Council on the outcome and ROI of their BookingLive Online Booking, Reservation, Scheduling Software System. Their implemented solution has provided substantial benefits across the local authority as well as for the citizens and users accessing their services. See the report below.
- 88% of all new orders for booking activities or buying WCs were made online in the first – this has steadily risen to 93% over subsequent programmes
- 68% reduction in calls – consistent reduction
- 50% reduction in administrative tasks – and still rising
- Customers can access and update their information in real-time and independently via their BL account
- 67% increase in WC memberships – consistent
- 29 hours reduction in CC advisors’ resources needed
- Robust and complete database of WC members updated in real-time
- Reduction in the potential for error
- Cost savings to the authority and the customer on stationery and postage
In the summer programme, 1 customer booked 28 separate activities in 1 transaction – out of normal office hours in around 30 minutes – it is thought that this would have previously taken 1 officer most of the day and several contacts with the customer.
Customer Survey Results
- 85% were satisfied or very satisfied with the new process – no one was dissatisfied91% of those that answered were satisfied or very satisfied with the ease of booking88% rated the service good and above
The web team also reported a 104% increase in relevant web page hits.
Due to the success of the above the Council Leisure Team now use Booking Live’s appointment booking, scheduling tool and other booking services to promote the uptake of a wide variety of different solutions as their system of choice.
Digital Transformation Project Detail
Booking Live (BL) Deployment
Implementation of a new corporate booking system which would enable customers and local citizens to easily book Active Charnwood holiday programme (HAP) activities and purchase Wild Card (WC) scheme memberships online via Charnwood Borough Council (CBC) online scheduling website whilst still being able to provide an improved service for those customers who may need some support or prefer to use the existing traditional channels such as phone or face to face.
Project Requirements and The Solution
Booking activities were done using a single contact channel (phone) through the Council’s Contact Centre (CC) during standard opening hours. The process was very manual and administratively heavy, relying on simple spreadsheets and wall charts to monitor bookings made, manual calculations of costs (including any relevant applicable discounts) with paper confirmations, instructions and guidance sent by post to customers.
The majority of WC purchases were also made using the same contact channel (phone), although there was the ability to buy/apply for them from the locally owned but privately-run Leisure Centres. Paper application forms were used and paper membership documents sent in the post.
Where forms were completed at a Leisure Centre, the form had to be physically collected or brought to the Leisure team, checked then passed to the CC team for manual input on Lagan. Any payments due to the Council were paid over in bulk at an agreed time within the financial year – leading to checks required to balance the books etc.
Related CRM scripts were not being used for various reasons leading to workarounds and service/process knowledge was dependant on the experience of the individual officer and due to the manual processes, there was a reliance on staff remembering to do something.
There was no working renewal process in place and there was no robust database of members. The volumes of WCs appeared to be reducing.
As a result of the above, processes were lengthy for both external and internal customers, open to error and difficult to accurately understand the WC membership in terms of volumes and the customer base and customer insight indicated that customers would welcome an online option.
Consequently, the service determined that the above was no longer fit for purpose and an online solution sought to help facilitate the overall process redesign , this also linked in well to meeting the Council’s corporate priorities/vision/values.
A procurement exercise was undertaken to purchase a corporate online booking system. BL were successful in bidding for the contract.
Working in partnership with BL our new online booking system was successfully delivered and went live on 01/04/2019 at 8.00am with a publicised time of 8.30am with the first booking being made online at 8.27am that day for multiple activities.
The new booking and buying of WCs process is now fully electronic from end to end, regardless of what contact channel the customer uses to access the service, and they have immediate electronic notifications and access to all their information via their BL account.
Customers can access the service and information 24/7 365 days per year.
BookingLive: Find out more
Find out more about BookingLive’s scheduling system and its partnership with organisations going through digital transformation, and how BookingLive can bring its 10+ years of successfully servicing the public sector to support you with your department’s digital goals, please contact us via email, or call +1 (0)117 933 8632 to speak with one of our public sector solutions specialists.
To see a live demonstration of this booking software solution above and others click HERE.