University Musical Society (UMS) at Ann Arbor, Michigan is one of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, as well as the University of Michigan’s highly acclaimed School of Music, theater, and dance, plus the Ann Arbor summer festival. UMS is committed to connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. The ticket office at UMS handles all the ticketing activities which range from popular music to world renowned classical orchestras to celebrated international music, theater, and dance performances to student productions. The office operate out of during regular business hours plus they operate night-of ticket offices at up to nine different performance venues. They are staffed with five full time staff members and the rest of the team is composed of 20+ work-study students from the University of Michigan.
With their students’ busy work, class, and activity schedules it was quite challenging for them to properly staff the office that can. At times, they had 150+ performance shifts to cover in a single month on top of staffing for regular business hours. Selling tickets for three different organizations means that there was a lot to keep track of so being able to produce a schedule that is easy to read and access was extremely important for the ticket office. Before switching to ShiftPlanning’s online employee scheduling tool they used spreadsheet software to generate the schedule which was then posted as a hard copy in their offices and shared through email. That meant separately keeping track of time off requests, constantly evolving activity schedules and performance times. Creating the schedule was a very daunting task that could take one person the better part of a work week. Schedule changes were made on the hard copy and not easily shared with the rest of the staff. All in all it was hard for the ticketing office to manage all these varying schedules and it was also time consuming for them.
After closely reviewing ShiftPlanning’s online employee scheduling tool, UMS found out it to be perfect fit for their custom scheduling and staff management needs. Now the tool enables UMS ticketing office’s very diverse student staff to keep track of their crazy schedules and availability from wherever they are. The Future Availability function has made it possible for one-time extra-curricular activities to be added to schedules without having to change the entire availability week to week. The shift trade function and Dashboard messages has made it so much easier to keep track of schedule trades and communications. Students can plan ahead in ways that were not possible before and know when they are expected to be at work all from their smart devices.
Here are some of the benefits observed by UMS after opting ShiftPlanning’s online employee scheduling tool,
1. Customizable account structure of schedules using locations and positions
2. Tracking of hours worked during regular business hours separate from pre-show ticket office hours
3. Color-coded view of positions to differentiate offices and venues
4. Able to view most current version of the schedule
5. Easy trade shifts from mobile, tablet or desktop
6. It saved hours spent scheduling with very complicated schedule done in less than two hours
7. When needed, quick responding support with clear and comprehensive communication.
When asked about favourite thing about ShiftPlanning, Christina Bellows, Ticket Services Coordinator at UMS said,
We have found ShiftPlanning to be an extremely valuable tool for us and would recommend it wholeheartedly, especially those scheduling staff with irregular schedules, working at multiple locations, with varied duties and skill requirements.
ShiftPlanning team is very thankful for this wonderful feedback. The team is happy that UMS found perfect solution in the form of ShiftPlanning to manage their custom requirements.