Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service serves a population of more than 800,000 in the South East of England. The area stretches from the outskirts of London to the South Midlands. It comprises the four districts of Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe) and Milton Keynes.
Before InPhase, what were your key issues and challenges within the organisation?
The provision of a Business Intelligence System that allowed access to all employees giving them the opportunity to view and comment on key performance areas and the ability to source information in a format that could support local initiatives. Coupled with this, was the need to instil a performance culture that enabled individuals to identify the role they played in delivering our service.
As we introduced InPhase there was a noticeable cultural shift as the whole Service became very focused on facts and information.
Describe the process of you working with the team to build InPhase?
As we started to work with InPhase, we were already very self-aware. We knew what we wanted to do. We had our plan; we knew what we wanted to measure and the systems we needed to link into InPhase. From this solid foundation, InPhase has delivered very dynamic and holistic business insights.
The solution has allowed us to provide live information. Yes, you can carry out some basic analysis, but it is more about the business intelligence and having real-time access and therefore not a snapshot at any one time.
Sounds amazing but how does it all work?
InPhase has become a key element within our governance structure. We use the live system to present information to our Performance Management Board and Executive Board. This allows us to address and delve deeper into the system to address the questions presented during these meetings.
Notably, feedback from our senior management team has been very positive.
There is a wealth of information available across the service from InPhase and it is noticeable the positive impact this has had and continues to have on performance and subsequently a positive culture shift. We do some really good work across the organisation, but we were not so good in evidencing this. InPhase gave us the ability to change this and we continue to improve as our people identify the benefits that come from sharing best practice.
We have to say, we love having the flexibility to manage and evolve our implementation ourselves and it is a real strength of the system that we can flex it to meet the changing demands of the Service – but please be aware of your own success! The more we build and develop, so too does the interest and expectations of our Service!
If you could summarise the benefits to you and your organisation what would they be?
We have achieved many significant benefits from using InPhase.
A great example is where one team explored investing in a system we already had to make minor enhancements. These minor changes would deliver information required for managing our assets. Unfortunately the service provider quoted significant cost and time to deliver. Using InPhase, we provided the team with the live information they wanted…and it was more than their original spec! We even added real-time geographic asset tracking. This was all done within a day and saved circa £20k. Every service that has now seen this, has said they want it too!
As we introduced InPhase there was a noticeable cultural shift as the whole Service became very focused on facts and information.Craig Newman - Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue
Another great example is the speed at which our Incident Reports are now completed. Normally it would take us a couple of months at the end of the year to get our reporting completed. Last year, by the second day in April, we had all our reporting in. InPhase has saved us days and weeks of time.
They say “what gets measured gets done” and it’s true! We show turn-out-times (time to the fire) on an internal dashboard that has led to improved performance! It has not been about just actual improvement (i.e. getting quicker), but the fact that they have sight of their data, they naturally spend more time insuring it is right. If there is a problem with a recording of a time, they ensure it is corrected.
As you can see, the visualisation and transparency of information has had a big impact on the way everyone works. Overall, I would say the biggest improvement has been the cultural shift. Previously, performance was seen as a thorny science. People would spend time to try and unpick the information, often mistrusting it. Now, there is belief in the data and information. People understand performance and ask the right questions and it’s a natural part of their day jobs.
We even added real-time geographic asset tracking of the fire pump locations. This was all done within a day and saved circa £20k.Craig Newman - Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue
What would you do, if you were told that InPhase was being taken away?
It would be awful! We couldn’t manage with nothing!
We would struggle to evidence what we have done, what we are doing and what we plan to do (and why!). The time to write reports would be astronomical. Today, most people do not come to us for information - They go to InPhase!
What is like working with InPhase the company?
We love the way InPhase as a company approaches its product. They listen to the customer and are constantly innovating and in doing so, identify sector expectations, whether that is new or revised frameworks or inspection programmes early on with the inevitable templates designed and ready for their customers. InPhase are very customer focused and approachable and take on new customer requirements.