- Mitrefinch solution offers real-time management
- A high-tech biometric system to the club
- Simplifies payroll process and employee admin tasks
- Ensures matches go ahead despite unforeseen circumstances
- Plans to roll out across the rest of the club’s operations
Need for change
Blackburn Rovers initially made use of a time and attendance database designed with the express purpose of tracking football stewards. However, with crowds of more than 20,000 people attending home matches at Ewood Park and 500 stewards responsible for their safety, the club had concerns about future user support for the product, plus whether it could grow as their needs expanded.
Searching for a more user-friendly solution led the club to Mitrefinch’s Time Management System (TMS). Offering real-time information, the solution was easier for administrators to access, and also automated and simplified a number of post-game payroll processes.
Mitrefinch advised the club to install a biometric fingerprint clocking terminal to register steward attendance and allow them access to restricted areas – removing the need to carry a barcoded card and reducing potential misuse.
A clear user interface also made it possible for safety officers to quickly verify when stewards have arrived at the stadium and what areas they are responsible for.
With a web-based site list, the club also realised the ease of contacting stewards individually and via a mail merge both in and out of season.
The Mitrefinch TMS system proved its value in December 2010. With bad weather sweeping across England, many clubs were forced to make the decision to cancel matches because of snow and ice on the grass.
However, Blackburn Rovers were able to access the database solution quickly and make contact with additional stewards to deal with the adverse conditions – ensuring an on-time kick-off.
Far reaching benefits
The system is helpful on match day for ensuring stewards are in the correct place at the right time, and it also brings other benefits for the club.
Payroll can be an arduous task, but the use of the TMS means the hours for stewards are automatically recorded and the whole process is simplified. The Safety Office is able to produce a wages report that can be forwarded via email to the accounts department to ensure the stewards are paid efficiently.
It isn’t just wages the Mitrefinch solution can deal with, it ensures training records are up-to-date, so gaps in skills can be easily identified and the appropriate action taken.
Having been impressed by the TMS, the club is keen to transfer other areas of its operations to the new solution, including the catering department.
David Beresford, deputy safety officer at Blackburn Rovers, believes the Mitrefinch solution has brought numerous benefits to the club and he has been impressed with the “very good” support provided by the company.
“We can access the database more quickly and more easily” – deputy safety officer at Blackburn Rovers.
The deputy safety officer is happy to chat more about the benefits of working with Mitrefinch to members of the Football Safety Officers Association or anyone else keen to improve their staffing management.