APPLICATION: Victorian provider Benetas has achieved a 70 per cent cost saving and improved ways of communicating and filling vacant shifts with staff by replacing SMS with secure messaging app Konnective at several of its facilities.
From an Australian company of the same name, Konnective is a secure messaging app for businesses, which is used in a number of other industries throughout Australia including the health, education and mining sectors.
The device-agnostic smartphone app is free to download for staff and enables them to receive messages from their workplace targeted to their role or location.
Benetas information technology and communications manager Arpi Cseh said the key benefit was the significant financial saving to the business.
“The alternative to Konnective is the traditional SMS system and compared to this, we’re saving approximately 70 per cent,” Mr Cseh told Technology Review.
“Any efficiency we can achieve in backend and administrative processes is a plus for us.”
The other main benefit is being able to target messages to key groups, he said.
“It’s a more efficient form of communication and means staff receive the information that is most relevant to them in the timeliest way possible. It also decreases the load on our email server, ensuring our systems operate as efficiently as possible.”
At Gladswood Lodge, which is the smallest of its facilities with 65 staff, former residential manager Paula Gibb said they determined Konnective would save them more than $15,000 per year. However, it led to further savings through reduced staffing costs.
“The computer-based SMS system was costing $44 per day and increasing as we added more staff. But with the introduction of Konnective we also saved $13,000 on average a month in staff agency fees.”
She said the targeted group messaging improved communication, reduced office staff time and effort and enabled staff to respond quickly about vacant shifts.
“If it is a team leader shift that is needed, you use Konnective to only message team leaders. If a kitchen-hand shift is needed, messages are sent only to kitchen hand staff. In the past, staff used to receive irrelevant messages,” Gibb said.
Benetas has rolled out the Konnective app to nine of its 13 residential aged care homes over the last 18 months. Mr Cseh said they were continually assessing its effectiveness and benefit to staff, which would inform if and when it was rolled out to additional sites.
Mr Cseh said the most significant lesson they have learnt from the rollout was that whole of team participation was required.
“As with any innovation, you need to make sure staff are kept fully informed about what’s happening along the way and supported to access the technology. We’ve had very positive feedback from Benetas staff at residential homes and they agree it’s made a big difference.”
Konnective CEO Julie Bray said they started the business nearly four years ago targeting schools to provide a direct and secure link between parents and teachers and were now working across a range of industries including aged care, health and mining.
The app provides a dedicated work communications stream, she said.
“A benefit over SMS is that with the app you can go in and check it anytime. You have the list of messages that have been sent out, whereas SMS gets mingled with all of your personal messages,” Ms Bray told Technology Review.
She said the app has been designed to require minimal set up and operate very lightly in terms of data usage.
There is a yearly subscription fee for organisations to use the app, which is based on the size of the target audience, starting at $10 per employee and going down to $3 an employee.
The subscription includes email support, with response times usually within an hour, Ms Bray said.
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