When your business is caring for people, you tend to depend on a lot of people. Andy Thomas, President of Bullrock Corporation, will tell you all about it. “We currently manage 334 units in our senior living communities,” he said, “and each of our residents has varying needs. It takes a huge staff to provide the level of service we do.”
Bullrock is a construction management and real estate development company, specializing in senior living communities. They care for hundreds of seniors every day, requiring a staff that handles everything from basic housekeeping to critical healthcare needs. “Over 35% of our business is healthcare,” Thomas said, “and training and staffing was a big challenge.” That challenge went to a whole new level when the company doubled the size of one of its facilities.
In 2011, Bullrock embarked on a massive expansion of their facility in Shelburne, Vermont, adding 76 apartments, an indoor pool, and a theater, along with several other amenities. Andy Thomas needed a SharePoint solution to help him manage the project, and found the help he needed in a new startup called Aerie Consulting.
“In the beginning, we hired Aerie to help us with document management, construction tracking, site planning, and generating daily reports. That was SharePoint 101 for me,” Thomas said. “We were so pleased with the work, we asked them to develop a custom solution to help us manage our staff.”
At Bullrock, scheduling personnel is an all consuming 365 day-a-year task. Before working with Aerie Consulting, the company had relied upon employees to update their timesheets in Excel, a cumbersome process where accuracy was hard to measure. “No one could communicate the schedule very well. One person had to manage it, and could never get ahead.” Thomas said. “It was very frustrating.”
“The last thing I wanted was to hire a large development company that comes in and slaps something together that you may not even need. Aerie let us set the pace.”
Solution & Results
Now everyone in the company uses a SharePoint interactive scheduling tool, a custom designed intranet Aerie created for Bullrock. The tool manages 8300 man-hours every two weeks, and scheduling is only part of what it can do. “The tool allows us to run reports on several key-performance-indicators, like overtime, vacation requests, performance markers, and tardiness,” Thomas said. “This not only made our jobs easier, it also made a real impact on the bottom line. When someone shows up late or doesn’t report to work – we know.”
The last stage of the project involved building a resident directory, helping staffers keep track of residents who leave to visit family or travel to warmer climates in the winter.
The directory houses a vast amount of information, managed in a simple dashboard that looks similar to an iPad screen. The interface is easy to use and gives the caregivers quick access to information about the residents. What used to take weeks for new hires to learn now takes minutes or seconds.
What satisfied Thomas the most about working with Aerie Consulting was their flexibility during the project rollout. He wanted the process to be organic, with each stage introduced to the operations team in digestible segments. “The last thing I wanted was to hire a large development company that comes in and slaps something together that you may not even need. Aerie let us set the pace, and we got much more out of it as a result. Thanks to the tools they helped us create, we offer even more personalized service to every resident. In our business, that’s everything.”
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