The SKEMATIKO Approach
Managing timelines for a team of many different professions and functions is never easy. In not-for-profit organizations, the constraints of tight budgets and practically zero affordable, fitting solutions on the market, means that managers often turn to familiar but ill-suited tools like spreadsheet software to do their planning. It works, rather badly, but it works. For big events, you stitch together your Excel tables with adhesive tape, bring out those highlighter pens and get on that cellphone, to start hooking up with the dozens of staffers, volunteers, specialists, to fill the different timeshifts for your event. Excel spreadsheets are fine in their own field, but for managing a large event, really?..
Well, imagine a software tool that would build, along a single thread, from your client’s first sketches of the kind of event they have in mind, let you adjust it, send a credible cost estimate back to them (via e-mail, with PDF), allow you to invite your team, simply and without a single phone call, have them respond at their leisure, announce them in the system so you can build your event calendar, confirm their booking, advise them of how to get to the event, who their colleagues will be, and then let you build a final invoice, adjustable to the last detail, so your client gets billed for the real services and exact staff involvement, as it happened. That’s a lot more than any spreadsheet can do, already.
Well, that software tool exists, and we’ve created it pretty much just for you. It’s called SKEMATIKO. And along with the many above features, it also does a few more things that might interest you. For instance, it allows you to generate a custom report for the city authorities and law enforcement, to make sure everyone knows who is in charge should there be a problem as the various event timeshifts unfold. It also allows you to output the exact hours that your staffers (of whatever profession/function) worked during a given time span, to allow you to pay these fine people their due.
SKEMATIKO's great timesaving skills are available, on an affordable annual subscription basis, in English, French and German. Other languages later, if a demand is felt.
SKEMATIKO was initially crafted with the first-responder environment in mind, but it can actually be used in any sector where outside staff is contacted, to participate in various timeshifts on an event-by-event basis. Emergency staff, doctors, volunteers, concert roadies or stage crews, trainers for special events, etc. If your personnel involves specific time spans, for one day, two days or a month, with each profession paid a set flat fee (or not paid at all), you might save a lot of time using SKEMATIKO. We also provide the possibility of including or not, a given function on a particular report. For instance, your interns don’t need to show up on a customer’s invoice (unless they are paid, of course). And your material handlers don’t need to be listed on a report to the authorities, since they won’t actually be present on-site at the event. Lots of possibilities and a multitude of solutions. SKEMATIKO can even be adapted for some very specific uses, as it is constructed using a totally extensible and bulletproof architecture.
Contact us with any questions you or your planners might have.
Suitable for MY team?
- I organize more than 2-3 events or medical first-responder posts per year
- I have more than 2-3 individuals to book and manage at each event
- My team includes a number of different professions and/or remuneration levels
- Our calendar includes multiple timeshifts for our staff, different times, durations
- My time is precious and telephone or e-mail ping-pong is not my cup of tea.
A logical process... for a logical solution!
How it all started...
The idea itself was relatively simple, even if the engineering to make it all happen is rather clever. But before the architecture was mapped out, there were at least a dozen meetings, of various levels of importance and seriousness.
It was all pretty innocuous, at the beginning. I was talking to a client about rebuilding their website and attempting to find a more inclusive solution that would take into account whatever else they were doing. In this case – the management of first-responder and healthcare teams at fairs, sporting events, outdoor festivals, that sort of thing. Being fairly curious by nature, I asked a few questions, between coffees, along the flavour of “What about the scheduling, managing of all those people, how do you swing it?”
"We print a big spreadsheet."
I raised my eyebrows. "On paper? Really? And what about those lists?"
"Same thing." She paused briefly, then. "To prepare the estimate, or the bill, we cut-and-paste the various chunks into Word."
"Hmm, I see. Block by block?"
"Yes. How else?.."
Well, that sort of good intention (but useless waste of energy) always gets my creative juices flowing. It’s not my nature to accept ineffectiveness in places where it wastes people’s time. My idea of technology is not the replacement of people, but the removal of dumb or unnecessary steps along a process. So those early conversations nibbled at me for months, then, one day, sitting in a café, I began noting down a few things. I then ordered another coffee, and kept going. "There’s no reason for anyone nowadays to be doing things that way," I mumbled to myself. "Keep all the data in one place and scrap the cut-and-paste. It’s just not necessary."
Slowly, the project’s outline began to take shape. I asked a lot more questions and went to many more meetings, mostly about the website, but often, conversations drifted toward the new system I was thinking of assembling for them.
The platform they were using had been written nearly 20 years earlier by an enthusiastic volunteer who tinkered with computer languages in the evening. It was just a hobby and so it followed none of the standard tenets of professional programming language structures. Messy stuff. But from what I heard, he was quite good at his daytime profession, working as a doctor.
I talked about all this with a colleague in need of a holiday, and while we drove around French-speaking Switzerland (so-called "Romandie") in my little Toyota and I showed him Gruyères and the lakes of Geneva and Biel, he took notes, converting ideas and concepts — from my nearly 10 years of discussion with that big organization — into would-be programming language. Every morning, I would meet him at his little BnB in Marly, on the outskirts of Fribourg, and we would work on the central architecture of the project. A clear, logical and solid structure of databases and tables, interconnected in just the right ways, to create an interface that would be not only intuitive but easy to use, stable, secure. Those first hours, paid out of my own pocket, developed into dozens of hours, then a few hundred, spread over 18 months.
Meanwhile, no estimate or offer had ever been negotiated or written down, for any potential client (I am a pretty typical "creative" in this regard). The project was devilishly interesting and for a time, that seemed quite enough. Life is not just about money, right?
That sort of creativity-first spirit behind SKEMATIKO is probably the reason why it is so intuitive to use. Born of holiday time, summer days and quaint drives in picturesque Switzerland, it brings flexibility, originality and elastic extensibility to a tool which likely could not have been created any other way. We hope it will become a great friend to you too, in your quest to manage your events, whatever they be, and organize your staff in the most efficient and fun way possible. DG
Clear, uncluttered design
A user-interface grasped in seconds
SKEMATIKO is fully compatible with your favourite smartphone, but as it displays a fair amount of useful information, we recommend using a computer or a tablet at first.Find out more...
Member list management
Complete, multidimensional, easy-to-maintain listing
Use SKEMATIKO as a central tool to manage your membership lists, along with each person's function, skills, training, certifications, and plan your event crew based on their specific skill-set.Find out more...
Highly granular info, for all your events
Manager, key personnel, contact data
Clients can also get involved (participation builds client fidelity) in the estimation process, by providing a first layer of basic info. You can then polish it up and send them a final version.Find out more...
At the heart of the system
SKEMATIKO timeshift-based planning
Intuitive and easy to use, SKEMATIKO timeshifts allow the management of events and first-responder posts of any size. These core data are then used by the estimate, call-to-action, report, billing systems, and in the future, maybe a good deal more.Find out more...
Dancing already? Like to find out more?
Simply tip-top extraordinary!
F. WattsManager of medical first-responder services, Carouge Samaritans (Geneva)
The system is just super, thanks a million!
N. CoupyPlanner, first-responder services, Carouge Samaritans (Geneva)
Thanks a lot, it's top of the class!!
S. MeierPlanner, first-responder services, Carouge Samaritans (Geneva)
SKEMATIKO is the result of many years of analysis, discussion, planning and collaboration.
Its core architecture follows impeccable, established programming standards, to allow maximum extensibility looking forward. SKEMATIKO focuses on the management of complex timeshift/staff combinations, but its architecture could also extend into more bespoke uses, should the need arise.
User happiness 100%
One thread, from start to finish
A logical path that begins with an estimate, and concludes with an invoice