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Essex County Fire & Rescue Service (ECFRS) is saving £980,000 a year by moving all 52 of its stations to an electronic rota book. This project has recently won one UK SAP Quality Award (Gold) for Medium Implementation and two EMEA SAP Quality Awards: one gold for innovation and the other silver for ‘medium implementation’.

Just a year ago, the service was using an almost entirely paper-based rota system to book shifts for 1,200 operational staff. As a result, data was often inaccurate, qualifications were not recorded, people were in the wrong place, leave information was not correct, and even temporary promotion and ranks information was found to be wrong in some places, which affected the quality of mobilization.

ECFRS then decided to adopt SAP software for various aspects of its administration, including its payroll, training and events management, time management, employee and manager self-service, HR management, and SAP WSO Roster project. A year on, wholetime firefighters are able to arrange their rotas two weeks in advance, local managers are able to organise movement around the service before the shift starts, part-time firefighters are able to book on or off duty with a text, or check on the internet and see availability for the next 24 hours and arrange their plans around that.

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