“Wallchart International’s technical specialist visited us and within the day had translated our requirements into reality. Over the next few days we used the system and identified several more enhancements. One more visit and we had the scheduling system of our dreams. We just can't find fault with it."
– Tracey Gauld, Administration Manager, Sandwell MBC training and development centre
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council provides services to 290,000 inhabitants within the West Midlands. It employs 14,000 staff in a wide range of areas, which include planning, transport, consumer protection, social services and education. To support these staff Sandwell MBC has a dedicated training and development centre located close to the M5. The facility has sixteen training and conference rooms with a range of visual aids and information technology. The centre also provides catering facilities that are tailored to meet the needs of each course. On a busy day, the centre will handle two thousand people.
For Tracey Gauld, Administration Officer and her two booking officers, the growing success of the centre was becoming an administrative problem. Booking rooms, ordering catering and charging council departments was all managed through a very large page per day diary. Making changes, especially to courses that involved repeat booking, entailed heavy use of an eraser. Catering instructions were on separate sheets of paper and not directly visible from the diary. To refer back to an earlier booking usually meant going page by page through previous diaries. End of month back charging involved pulling diary and catering information together and then typing invoices. The caretaker, reception and booking staff all needed to refer to the diary, often at the same time.
Wallchart® enabled all the booking staff to view at a glance; book rooms and modify bookings from their desktop systems. In-house trainers and caretaking and reception staff had view only screens from which they could see the latest schedule. If a booking was cancelled, the room became free yet the record remained; thus ensuring any cancellation fee was invoiced. Repeat bookings were simply a matter of one mouse click. The colour coded booking system enabled staff at a glance to identify who was in what room and what was free.