Customers    /    Manchester City Council

Manchester City Council reduces agency costs with optimised schedules using

With the pressure to deliver high quality care to some of the most vulnerable citizens in the community on stretched budgets, the Manchester City Council shows that innovation isn’t just for the private sector. With managers able to invest more of their time outcomes for their citizens and the finance team wielding greater visibility over staff costs, the service is now much better placed to navigate these trying times.

Products used

  • Scheduling
  • Time and Attendance
  • Employee App
  • Shift Replacement
  • Labor Compliance
  • 300+  Staff

    In the city of Manchester, the local council is charged with developing a world class city, with one of its main goals to ensure its residents can meet their full potential. Of all the programs it runs, the Disability Support and Accommodation Service (DSAS) works with some of the most vulnerable citizens, supporting those with disabilities in their own home and at community centres across the city. To achieve their goal, the DSAS has a team of 300 council staff and approximately 150 long and short term agency workers who provide care 7 days a week. Critical services like these around the UK have had increasing pressures on their budgets over the years, with the drive to do more with less felt nowhere more strongly than inside the council.


    In 2018, the service headed by Nicola Thompson reviewed their staffing resources, and found that increasingly shifts were being filled by agency staff. This reliance on agency workers increased costs for the service as well as making it difficult to ensure residents could develop personal bonds with their carers, a key element of delivering outstanding care in the community. Thompson took aim at their staff scheduling system, which frustrated their ability to effectively staff the service.


    Workforce proposed using their cloud-based scheduling tool to replace the excel rosters, saving time for managers and providing greater insights into staff spend inside the organisation. ensures the right staff are in the right place at the right time and can easily factor in things like overtime payments, skills and qualifications and workplace regulations. Once Workforce was selected, the service began phasing out their excel rosters and getting staff committed to using the system became easy once they saw how the system would save them time and how intuitive the platform was.

    “The reports are easy, you can build rotas easily and it’s user friendly. That’s what sold it to our staff”

    - Nicola Thompson, DSAS Head of Service at MCC


    Once Workforce was selected, the service immediately began phasing out their excel rotas, and the Workforce team was invited back to train their managers both on-site as well as online with multiple departments inside the service. Within 90 days, the system was up and running, and managers had begun planning their 6 week rolling rotas for the year. Getting staff committed to using the system became easy once they saw how the system would save them time recalls Thompson.

    Eliminate Admin & Manual Errors

    Simply being able to create a roster without hassles saves MCC time and money. The new system has eliminated data entry into excel, reducing errors in scheduling and saving hours of administration work each week

    Reduce Agency Costs’s cloud-based scheduling tool was implemented to replace the excel rotas and help managers to build high-performing rosters in less time. The software also provides greater insights into the cost of staff inside the organisation while ensuring staff are paid correctly for the shifts they work using a Timeclock app.

    Better Decision Making

    Moving from a system of independent spreadsheets to a centralised, cloud-based system, DSAS teams now had access to’s data in real-time. The service now has greater insight into where money is spent on staffing, helping them plan their finances more effectively accommodating for 3 new council buildings they have built over the past year.

    Improving outcomes

    Moving from a system of independent spreadsheets to a centralized, cloud based system, managers, finance and HR teams now had access to workforce data in real time. Available staff could now be immediately identified and redeployed to cover vacant shifts. Even better, if the service still could not fill the required shifts, Workforce could automatically compile these vacant shifts, speeding up the agency staffing process.

    “We went from taking days to build the rotas, to just minutes. It was very quick to identify shifts that were going out to the agency. That used to take each of our 27 team managers a day. Now we can do that in under 5 minutes”

    - Nicola Thompson, DSAS Head of Service at MCC

    Complying with regulations

    The CQC or Care Quality Commission is the national inspector for health and care services in England. The Commission rates care organisations using a four-tiered rating system rising from “Poor”, “Needs Improvement”, “Good” to “Outstanding”. Providers of care stake their reputation on these ratings, with many services refusing to work with providers with a “Needs Improvement” rating or below. For Thompson, ensuring adequate staffing levels isn’t the only benefit provided by to safeguard their rating, a qualification management feature ensures staff stay trained and compliant with the regulations at all times.

    “Getting alerts when qualifications expire is really useful for us because if staff don’t have the right qualifications, they can’t work. If we cannot show that qualifications are up to date, CQC will mark us down. ”

    - Nicola Thompson, DSAS Head of Service at MCC