“We have been using mpro5 for over 6 years now and would not consider going back to paper. The technology has more than fulfilled our original requirements, to such an extent that we’ve extended its use into other areas of our business, such as HR and mobilising cook supervisor inductions and appraisals.”
Carol Stebbing, Business Support Manager, Hampshire County Council’s Catering Service Division (HC3S)
Paperless working is the future for any organisation concerned with reducing costs, saving time and minimising errors. The endless stream of paperwork is a burden for any local authority, which is why Hampshire County Council’s Catering Service Division (HC3S) asked mpro5 to help them move away from its time-consuming, error ridden auditing processes, in order to save costs and rid itself of unnecessary bureaucracy.
One of HC3S’s main responsibilities is to ensure the health and safety of children in local schools by carrying out regular audits of school kitchens. To do this, HC3S staff were filling out copious amounts of paperwork every time they completed an audit. When 600 schools were involved, this equated to a significant amount of time and resources.
Not only this, as soon as an audit was completed, staff physically returned to the office to hand in the completed paperwork. Data was then re-entered into the organisation’s own internal database and reports manually created. “While our main objectives were still achieved, the process was far from efficient. It was also demanding resources that the council could just not afford,” said Carol Stebbing, Business Support Manager for HC3S. The division also had no quick way of alerting local council departments of any potential hazardous or harmful situations.
Stebbing recognised the inefficiencies within this process and wanted a solution that would enable HC3S to:
- Complete paper-based tasks on smartphones and tablets
- Improve and speed up management reporting
- Incur minimal financial risk
- Was highly secure and easy to use
A major attraction of mpro5 for HC3S over other solutions is the fact that the service does not require large upfront capital investments since it’s available on a monthly subscription which covers all hardware (iPads), software (mpro5), networking (Windows Azure) and support costs involved. The solution also contains a multitude of different features that can simply be turned off or on to suit HC3S’s own business needs. This was a far quicker and more cost-effective solution that trying to build anything bespoke.
Council staff replace paperwork with mobile audits on iPad
Staff from HC3S now complete all kitchen audits on iPads using the mpro5 software. The division has also taken advantage of the dynamic forms element within mpro5. This feature has further increased the speed at which staff complete audits on iPads since they are only prompted to answer questions based on their responses to previous questions.
For example, ‘Are cleaning materials stores separately, away from food?’
If the user answers ‘No’ then they are presented with the following question – ‘Please state the next action to be taken.’
Due to its success within the division and ease of use, HC3S extended the use of mpro5 to other areas within the business. It now uses the technology to complete new starter and cook supervisor inductions forms on iPad. These mobile forms include questions where users are required to take photos for evidence and inductees are required to sign off with a signature – confirming that they’ve had the appropriate training.
Automated data imports and report generation
As soon as any mobile forms is completed, all of the data synchronises to HC3S’s own mpro5 job scheduling and management website, which is hosted with Windows Azure – Microsoft’s highly reliable and secure cloud platform. Since this whole process is automated, HC3S no longer requires extra administrative support to re-enter the data into the council’s central IT system. The division also has the power to generate reports immediately, without any manual intervention.
Alerts in mpro5 enable HC3S to react quickly to potentially hazardous situations
Email alerts have also been configured within HC3S’s mpro5 solution. Every time an audit is completed, office staff receive an email containing a link from where they can download the PDF job report. This instantaneous reporting notifies HC3S to any failing areas within schools – enabling them to react to potentially hazardous situations quickly. For example if there are broken tiles in the kitchen, paintwork is flaking or kitchen hygiene is not up to standard.
“We have been using mpro5 for over 6 years now and would not consider going back to paper. The technology has more than fulfilled our original requirements, to such an extent that we’ve extended its use into other areas of our business, such as HR and mobilising cook supervisor inductions and appraisals. More so, mpro5 has helped streamline our processes without losing the detail or access to information. This is incredibly important given the efficiency needed in local government today,” said Carol Stebbing.
By implementing mpro5, HC3S is benefitting from:
Increased staff productivity Staff no longer need to travel back and forth to the office to hand over completed paperwork. Double data entry and report creation is a thing of the past and dynamic forms within mpro5 means that staff only concentrate on questions that are relevant to the specific situation and environment they are auditing. This leads to much faster job completion.
Immediate access to real-time data Through HC3S’s mpro5 job scheduling and management website. The division can see vital information in real-time such as: which audits and jobs have been completed, which schools are performing best or worst and
Greener organisation Since bureaucracy has been reduced.
Fewer resources required and reduced costs Since the re-entry of data into internal IT systems and manual creation of reports is no longer required.
Safer staff environments Since potentially hazardous situations are flagged up almost instantaneously and the council is able to react to them much more quickly.
From a council that was drowning in paperwork, Hampshire County Council is now a forward-thinking, innovative place to work, where employees feel empowered and supported to do their work to the best of their ability.