Organization: City of Wheat Ridge
Customer Since: 2009
Headquarters: Wheat Ridge, CO
We needed to get away from the magnetic board, and EIOBoard is a stable, and mature product.
It was really simple and away you go.
Wheat Ridge, Colorado, is a suburb of Denver, a small community with a population of approximately 30,000. The municipal government serves the public safety and community needs of Wheat Ridge. There are 400-500 people employed by the City of Wheat Ridge, depending on the season. The primary services provided by the municipal government are a police force, recreation center, and city planning.
Mike Steinke, IT manager for the City of Wheat Ridge, knew there was a problem, particularly for two Wheat Ridge offices: City Planning Department and the Recreation Center.
The City Planning Department is responsible for economic development, long-range planning, and building and inspection, and zoning. With 5-10 concurrent community development projects and hundreds of daily inspection requests, it became difficult for the team of ten planners, inspectors, and administrative employees to keep track of each other. The engineers routinely visit several job sites a day. The building inspectors also spend most of their day visiting different buildings around Wheat Ridge.
The Recreation Center had different challenges. First, there are two locations, one for health and wellness activities for kids and adults, and the other specifically for Wheat Ridge’s senior citizen population. “We needed to get away from the magnetic board,” says Steinke. With two Rec Center buildings, keeping track of employees became too much of a hassle. Many employees work at both locations, and most are part-time with schedules that change from month to month. Further, due to the nature of the part-time workforce, turnover was high. “They come and go like the wind,” says Steinke.
Both offices utilized a magnetic board that listed employee names, whether they were in or out of the office, the time they left, and their location. However, because employees in both locations moved from location to location throughout the day, it was impractical to return and update the centrally-located magnetic board every time their location changed.
An online search resulted in Steinke finding Savance, a software and network company that designs and installs solutions that automate business functions. Savance’s Electronic In Out Board (EIOBoard) solution allows employees to check in and out using a computer, touch-screen kiosk, card reader, or mobile device. Status updates can be customized to indicate which job site or location an employee is going to, or if they are working from home, or in a meeting. Additionally, Savance Large Screen Display can be added in order to display employee statuses on large screen displays throughout the facility. Overall, Savance EIOBoard seemed like a great fit for what the City of Wheat Ridge needed.
As part of the search, Wheat Ridge also looked at Microsoft Communication. Steinke said, “We also looked at Microsoft Communicator. While it did the job, it was not as economical as EIOBoard, and it was more complicated than what Wheat Ridge was looking for, which was a good employee tracking solution. We need it strictly for check-in and check-out. It’s especially helpful for the recreation center, which has two sites and many employees work at both locations.”
Steinke was particularly interested in Savance’s Outlook Add-In, an interface that allows users to integrate EIOBoard with Microsoft Outlook. With the Outlook Interface, users could utilize a familiar application that would automatically update their in/out status based on calendar events.
The Outlook Add-In incorporates EIOBoard with the functionality of Microsoft Outlook, which is convenient for offices that utilize Outlook for scheduling meetings and checking email. Whenever the calendar in Outlook is changed, the EIOBoard system automatically updates. The electronic office sign in board is especially handy for planning meetings and future vacation plans. Employees can quickly identify the status of every other user before picking up the phone or traveling to a coworker’s office.
Wheat Ridge employees can organize the Outlook Add-In to his or her specifications, grouping coworkers by customized Groups, handy for keeping track of committee members or project groups. With the electronic status board, employees can also communicate with one another via the Outlook Add-In using text messages, private chats, and more.
Employees in both the Rec Center and City Planning have access to EIOBoard and Outlook from their desktop computers, which they update throughout the day. In addition, the receptionists in each department have access to the electronic in out board for all the employees in their area. This is especially helpful at the Rec Center, where it is more likely for employees to forget to update their status before leaving the building. “Not all employees have Outlook at the Rec Center,” explains Steinke, referring to fitness instructors, lifeguards, etc.
Some City Planning employees are also using EIOBoard’s mobile apps so that they can update their status from their mobile devices. Apps are available for both iOS (iPad and iPhone) and Android, and there is also a basic mobile interface is available for any mobile device with the ability to connect to the Internet. Users can change their own in/out status, and also check the status of their coworkers. Users can also communicate with one another via the mobile interface, using notes and text messages. The mobile EIOBoard options allow city planning employees to update their status from the road, which is convenient for billing and planning purposes, as the time spent at each job site or building inspection is recorded for later retrieval. GPS location tracking is also available if needed.
When Wheat Ridge decided to go with EIOBoard, they were happy with the smooth implementation. “It was really simple and away you go,” says Steinke. He also appreciated the fact that upgrades are seamless.” You don’t lose settings every time you upgrade,” he says.
After almost five years of using the system, Wheat Ridge is so confident in the product and Savance that they contracted the service through 2018, and they want more. Steinke has proposed that Wheat Ridge use EIOBoard for scheduling dispatchers and limited-space classes, such as training or exercises sessions.
The City Planning office can now check into EIOBoard no matter where they are, vital in an office where both collaboration and mobility are important. At the Rec Center, employees are able to keep track of one another’s constantly changing schedules. It is especially helpful for employees that collaborate at both office sites, saving a drive over if someone is out sick. “It has become a stable, mature product,” said Steinke.