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New Event Schedule Improves Community Engagement for Saginaw Township Schools

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CLIENT: Steve Elliott, Director of Community Services for Saginaw Township Community Schools

GEOGRAPHY: Saginaw County, Michigan

VITALS: 600+ district employees

CHALLENGES: A paper system was causing disorganization, extra hassle and scheduling conflicts.

RESULTS: A clean event schedule has not only improved morale among district employees but has also increased community engagement.

With technology offering a way to improve nearly everything, schools nationwide still relying on paper systems to conduct their operations are realizing there’s a smarter way to work. That’s exactly how Saginaw Township Community Schools found its way to Dude Solutions Event Management software., with the district formerly printing and distributing paper facility use forms as part of their event management process.

Prior to implementing event software, Steve Elliott, Director of Community Services for Saginaw, said their primary scheduling tactic was having event requesters fill out forms, giving reminder calls before big events and relying on school staff to keep an eye on things. From there, they then developed a spreadsheet to begin managing scheduling needs, with the next step in their journey being using a built-in online calendar when they got an updated website.

The calendar was relatively basic, however, and didn’t solve their biggest issue: duplicate scheduling and overlapping events. Being that the calendar was used district-wide as well as for outside vendors like scouts organizations, scheduling quickly became disorganized and conflicts on the day of events arose.

The district was already using Dude Solutions products to handle their maintenance work orders with success, so Steve and his team wondered if a similar solution could take the stress out of their event management as well. After seeing how Event Management worked, he saw that the platform worked similarly to the maintenance one they were already using and liking, so it wouldn’t take much to learn a new one.

Steve and two others went through the implementation process before rolling it out to schools. “It really wasn’t that difficult,” Steve says. “It was like filling in the blanks. The hardest part, and I shouldn’t even say hardest, the somewhat time-consuming part was just getting it all set up...but now that it’s all set up, it’s almost like second nature.”

Once they began using Dude Solutions Event Management throughout the district, they saw results almost immediately. “The stuff that used to float around or sit on someone’s desk or get caught underneath a piece of paper on a clipboard — that all disappeared. The best thing was that we started to avoid the conflicts we had in the past of two groups showing up to use the same facility,” Steve says.

Not only did they improve function with their new calendar, but they also improved the look when they decided on the addition of Dude Solutions event calendar feature. Their previous calendar was drab and looked a bit confusing, but this solution was able to give their calendar a more polished appearance. “The calendar feature with Dude Solutions basically did those things we were looking for: the color coding, the separation of the different events...and being able to only show events for that school, that’s huge,” Steve added.

Now that he’s been using both solutions in conjunction, Steve says the improved look and performance of their calendar has not only had a positive effect on school employees, but it’s also helped the community. Steve concluded, “One of the things schools always worry about is wondering how do we get — not our parents — how do we get to people in the community. So our number-one would be that whole concept of community engagement.”

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