The University of South Florida (USF) is set on 1,562 acres on the west coast of Tampa Bay, FL with regional campuses in Sarasota and Lakeland. Founded in 1956, this public institution serves over 41,000 students, and is considered a top tier research university, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; only about 2.3% of all universities are distinguished in this category.
In addition to their reputable research programs, USF also received a Gold rating for their environmentally-conscious campus by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. Their newly expanded, state of the art Campus Recreation Center was recently ranked #11 in the Top Campus Recreation Centers in the United States based on its economically friendly and tech savvy facilities.
The recreation center facilitates community wellness by providing diverse programs, services and facilities in aquatics, fitness, group fitness, intramural sports, sport clubs and outdoor recreation. It consists of two gymnasiums, a suspended indoor track, six four-walled racquetball courts and a heated indoor pool. The outdoor facilities include thirteen football and soccer fields, and outdoor pool/lounge area, two softball fields, sixteen tennis courts, and a 1.2-mile shaded fitness trail.
Assistant Director of Facilities, Al Gentilini, manages 6 professional staff members who manage over 130 students, including 40-45 facility student-staff members, 15-20 facility student-supervisors, 30-40 fitness student-staff members, 10-15 sport club student-supervisors and 10-15 lifeguards. In addition, Al monitors the use of equipment, including indoor and outdoor recreational items ranging from basketballs and fitness equipment to canoes and bikes.
Traditionally, each professional staff member ‘did their own thing’ and scheduled staff and students with an Excel spreadsheet. While Excel is easy to use for data entry and reporting, it offers no automated solution for scheduling. On average, Al reported that it took approximately 16 hours to complete a schedule using Excel. This process consisted of 2 people developing a 2-week schedule, waiting for changes and requests, and then finishing the schedule in two days. Many departments developed a semester-long schedule, however due to constant changes in staff schedules it was in constant need of modification.
At the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Conference, Al was introduced to SubItUp’s automated scheduling as an alternative method to manual scheduling systems. Al immediately saw the potential to update the campus recreation center scheduling process and save time.
“Working with the SubItUp team was a great experience,” Al said. Not only does SubItUp offer numerous solutions for managing schedules, Al was also very impressed by the friendly and helpful customer service and support. Al shared, “They are also quick to answer any questions. We suggested customizing a function in SubItUp, and their engineers were on the task right away!”
The implementation of SubItUp allowed for the recreation center to address the needs of employees more efficiently and effectively. Now, if someone needs to make a schedule change, swap a shift, or drop a shift an automatic notification is sent via text or email to students and managers to keep them better informed.
Students are held accountable for managing their schedules and finding coverage for their shifts when they are unable to work. Using SubItUp has helped to drastically lower the number of missed shifts and greatly reduced the amount of time managers spend tracking hours and making schedule modifications. If addition, students and staff can view the distribution of hours for all staff members, creating transparency and fairness in scheduling.
A huge benefit of SubItUp is the ability to schedule students across multiple departments. SubItUp records staffs’ hours so that they may work in multiple areas of the recreation center without being double-booked or exceeding the number of hours they are permitted to work.
“The communication aspect of SubItUp is extremely beneficial to all scheduling managers, students and staff. The schedule is automatically updated and notifies managers when any changes are made,” Al said. “Prior to SubItUp, staff would swap shifts without managers knowing, which created problems with tracking hours accurately and holding staff accountable for missing shifts. SubItUp offers more visibility and accountability,” Al explained.
SubItUp revitalized the campus recreation center’s entire scheduling process. With SubItUp, staff no longer needed to be physically present to make changes, trade shifts or request time off. SubItUp facilitates and tracks any changes, notifies managers in real-time for approval, immediately notifies impacted staff of changes and automatically updates the schedule accordingly.
On average, Al’s management team spent about 16 hours manually scheduling staff before implementing SubItUp. Today, with SubItUp’s assistance, his team spends less than 2 hours scheduling. “SubItUp has truly streamlined our scheduling process, managers focus less on scheduling and more on their primary responsibilities,” Al shared.