The Northern Albertan Institute of Technology (NAIT) has improved staff and student experience by saving over 209,551 of wait time

Busy Canadian university eases staff stress levels

Since implementing WaitWell, NAIT has streamlined staff efficiencies by saving 3,492 hours of time across 10 campus locations. Working in a more efficient environment has eased staff stress levels, and has made service exceptional for students.

Overview

Located in Edmonton, Alberta, NAIT’s campus is home to over 40,000 staff and students with different needs. WaitWell is used at NAIT in seven locations, all with different workflow requirements. Over 9,152 students have successfully used WaitWell at NAIT, and has saved these students 3,492 hours of wait time. Students are now able to study, connect with classmates and enjoy their free time instead of standing in a line. Staff are also able to work in a more productive and efficient environment with a digitally organized workflow. Working in a more organized environment has eased staff stress levels after the pandemic.

Photo courtesy of: NAIT

Business Challenge

NAIT understood the reality that having students wait in lines was not an effective use of time, and decreased staff productivity. Lineups and disorganization created a less than ideal work environment for the staff at the Student Services Centre and other departments.

Cyndy Creighton, Business Analyst at NAIT says that it is stressful for staff when they are staring at endless lines and frustrated students for hours.

Doing something to reduce staff stress is also important for students as they are ensured the best service when they reach the front. Generation Z students in particular are used to using their cell phones to access services, so they expect to see that level of convenience on campus as well.

Solution

NAIT reached out to WaitWell in July 2021 to discuss simplifying processes on Campus for when the students returned in September. Initially, WaitWell was used at the Student Services Centre (SSC), a multi-faceted campus hub assisting students with everything from academic advising, career planning and funding, to financial and immigration advising.

Deb Little, the director of enrollment at NAIT explained how WaitWell allows staff to specialize in one service type. For example, certain staff at student services are able to become experts at changing courses, and do not have to be trained to make ID cards. This saves time in training and increases productivity behind the counter. It also reduces wait times, as students are sent to the staff member who is best suited for their needs every time.

“We used to have to train staff on everything to work the front counter. Now we can train them on one type of inquiry to support our students,” Little said.

Results

When students join the virtual queue, they are able to select a service type. Students are then directed to the appropriately trained staff member who can best service their needs.

WaitWell’s analytics have helped NAIT gain a better understanding of the student journey. It has also helped management to identify training needs and to plan staffing appropriately.

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Photo courtesy of: NAIT

Since implementation at the SSC, NAIT rolled out WaitWell to several other areas on campus. For example, students now use it for appointments and parcel pick up at the NAIT bookstore. “Students and parents are impressed with how quickly they receive their curbside orders upon arrival,” says the bookstore manager. “WaitWell’s capacity for SMS texting has been incredibly useful when problems arise, such as providing directions to the curbside location.”

The ticket history at a glance has also helped staff to quickly identify which orders have been processed or picked up, avoiding duplication of efforts, or fruitless searching for orders that have already been collected. Additionally, the appointments feature gives staff advanced notice of when students will arrive to collect their items so employees can have them ready rather than having to search for items while a student waits.

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“We know when a student is going to show up so we can have their order ready, rather than searching for orders when they arrive,” she said.

NAIT has also introduced WaitWell at its vaccine clinic, as well as using it for registering for information sessions during the annual Open House. At their student services office they have 10 different service types for students to choose from. Some of these services include, application information, how to apply and submitting documents for application. WaitWell has quickly become an integral part of life on campus. This is possible because it is a full-featured software solution that can be configured differently to meet the needs of diverse use cases, even within one institution.

“Integrating Waitwell into our business processes was easy and we are able to set up service locations in Waitwell in a very short time,” said Torsten Prues, IT Infrastructure Services Manager at NAIT.  

While colleges and universities typically select WaitWell in an effort to improve the student experience, WaitWell is also a workflow management tool. It is used to increase staff productivity, increases staff engagement and helps reduce overall stress levels. Staff across campus are finding WaitWell easy to use and intuitive. “It is easy to set up and the templates are easy to customize. WaitWell is super easy for our staff to learn. I do think it has helped us provide a better experience,” Little said.

WaitWell is proud to help digitally transform an Alberta institution

WaitWell’s clients are all important, but it is special having one so close to home and to be able to support the school and students in providing the best experience possible. WaitWell hopes it can continue to help NAIT to deliver an exceptional on campus experience to staff and students alike. We are looking forward to digitally transforming NAIT’s service delivery in future years.

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“Waitwell has helped us coordinate the movement of people to adhere to COVID restrictions and helped us decrease wait times for students and providing a better service experience.”

 – Torsten Prues, IT Infrastructure Services Manager at NAIT