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Reducing costs in higher education by adopting scheduling software
The following business case describes a GMAT tutoring school based in Singapore, China, and India. The Singapore branch employs 3 full-time administrators and more than 12 teachers and has managed 15,000 bookings over the last year with 10to8. Their clients include many graduates applying for US/UK business schools, with thousands of students coming through their doors annually.Key problems The management team identified a number of challenges with their existing arrangements, particularly around appointment management, related to the large numbers of part-time staff, working irregular hours, and the transitory nature of the students, who would often only be clients for a matter of weeks before the GMAT exam. They, therefore, identified these issues:
1. Managing a shared calendarWith many part-time staff, each working irregular hours, and each with different degrees of involvement and access to the system, managing a shared calendar was a big challenge. It was vital to only allow staff with appropriate permissions to have the ability to modify and book appointments. It was also important that, while enforcing access controls, staff should have easy access to their appointments. Each member of staff would also need to keep their irregular hours up-to-date within the system, so that appropriate time slots could be booked by clients and administrators.
2. Projecting a professional imageGiven that their clients are applying for top-level business schools in the US and UK, and given the prestige and costs involved, the management team believed it was vital to project a professional corporate image. This would help them generate new business, retain students and encourage referrals by students to similarly minded friends.
3. Actionable ReportingGiven the number of staff and bookings, the management team wanted clear reports and other tools for monitoring the health and performance of the business. Common questions would be to identify the retention rates of customers, the rate of new customer acquisition, and the hours worked by each member of staff to arrange payroll and taxes.
4. Eliminate no-showsGiven the limited number of rooms, and the cost of staff, maintaining a high rate of occupancy and utilization was vital for the business, and while money was often recouped from no-shows, it was not certain. The management team needed a system to maintain a high level of attendance, through the use of emails and SMS that were appropriate, professional and helpful for their clients.
Impact of 10to8 Availability Management Each teacher is able to manage their own working hours, either on a weekly repeating or irregular basis, depending on their requirements. Many teachers are part-time and manage a calendar with another provider (such as Google Calendar or Apple iCloud). 10to8 allowed them to synchronize the two calendars so that the school can book them at times that are appropriate, without the school seeing all the details of the teachers’ appointments with other employers. This significantly reduced the overheads on the teachers to keep the school informed of their available hours, and improved staff morale.