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Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the European Cricket Council (ECC) and, until August 2005, the International Cricket Council (ICC). Lord's is widely referred to as the Home of Cricket and is home to the world's oldest sporting museum.
Lord's today is not on its original site, being the third of three grounds that Lord established between 1787 and 1814. His first ground, now referred to as Lord's Old Ground, was where Dorset Square now stands. His second ground, Lord's Middle Ground, was used from 1811 to 1813 before being abandoned to make way for the construction through its outfield of the Regent's Canal.
Jeff Cards is Ground Superintendent for Lord’s Cricket Ground, owned by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Before using 24/7 Software, Lord’s was utilizing outdated tools to communicate and respond to incidents, leading to delays and poor response times to customer needs. Lord’s recognized the need to change to a web-based software solution because their current processes did not meet their new requirements, they wanted all stakeholders to use one software solution, and customer expectations changed.
They needed software that would be accessible by all users, improve their response times to incidents and issues, allow monitoring of life-safety equipment throughout Lord’s Cricket Ground. These requirements led to Lord’s implementing 24/7 Software’s Incident Management System.
After deployment of 24/7 Software’s platform, Lord’s had a web-based software solution for all their stakeholders to use, a tool to learn about their operation’s performance and identify areas for improvement & optimization, and access to first-class customer service. 24/7 Software makes Lord’s feel wanted as a customer and affords its operation the ability to identify weak links, respond to issues and incidents instantly, and reduce callouts due to improved processes.
Lord’s Cricket Ground was looking for a more professional approach to the operational issues The Home of Cricket faced that required urgent response on a match day.
“These are generally related to maintenance issues such as wet spills, but also linked to response to medical issues,” explained Cards.
MCC felt that existing communication methods between key stakeholders were outdated and led to delays in incidents being dealt with in an appropriate response time.
“Initially incidents were dealt with by pen and paper but in time Excel spreadsheets were used,” shared Cards.
“This approach led to delays in providing necessary relevant information to internal stakeholders with expediency,” continued Cards.
The previous solutions used by Lord’s were manually led and relied heavily on staff being available on the other end of phone lines.
“Expectations of spectators attending cricket matches changed, and we had to do something to enhance the customer experience,” said Cards.
According to Cards, “The primary issues were related to cleaning, but we also felt that we needed to provide our visitors with a channel for informing us directly of concerns and issues they faced.”
“We were looking for a web-based SaaS solution rather than a licensed product that we would have to manage,” shared Cards.
Lord’s recognized that going to a SaaS (Software as a Service) product would help them avoid the outdated methods of licensed, downloadable software, which would be a significant burden in terms of cost, and replace it with secure, real-time, on-demand software at their fingertips.
“The web-based software solution that 24/7 Software could provide for Lord’s, we believed would enable us to open the system up to access by multiple internal stakeholders to help us learn about our entire operation and how to improve performance regularly,” explained Cards.
Lord’s wanted a system that was easy-to-use for everyone and was bespoke to suit their specific requirements.
The stakeholders that Lord’s wanted to assist were:
“We were also keen to improve systems in time for the opening of a brand-new state of the art control facility,” said Cards.
This facility – with a pitch facing view – is the hub of the safety and security operation at Lord’s, enabling users to monitor and manage several life-safety systems such as CCTV, fire alarms, public address, and radio communications.
“Outside of MCC staff, the Club works in close liaison with the local licensing authority and blue-light services from within the Control Room,” shared Cards.
“We looked at what other venues in the UK were doing in this area of operations and incident management,” said Cards.
It was clear from an early stage that the type of product Lord’s was looking for was perhaps not available in the UK at the time when they were considering options.
“The only system that we felt could appeal to all of our needs was the one available through 24/7 Software, a US-based software company,” shared Cards.
“We felt wanted by 24/7 Software,” exclaimed Cards.
“We were impressed by their enthusiasm for their suite of products and with their desire to help meet our specific and unique requirements,” continued Cards.
Cards explained these unique requirements related to the need for a product that could fit an operation that often operates over 15 hours a day across an inclusive five-day period.
“The timing could haven’t been more perfect as we were looking for significant enhancements to our matchday Control Room operation as 24/7 Software was introducing itself to the European market,” said Cards.
“I like the can-do attitude of 24/7 Software,” shared Cards.
“They have always looked at ways of how the system can be improved and continue to deliver a first-class customer service experience,” explained Cards.
Cards was particularly impressed by the efforts of Christopher Butler, VP of Product Management for 24/7 Software, for his attention to detail when activating 24/7 Software’s Live-Mapping product for Lord’s – a complex property.
“Christopher’s attention to detail in this area was greatly appreciated,” said Cards.
When asked to share the benefits and results from working with 24/7 Software and implementing its software solution, Cards shared that Lord’s has seen a significant improvement in callout responses to jobs and incidents.
“Our Estates team now provides prompt response to incidents reported form our Control Room. Our dispatch times have improved by over 70%,” revealed Cards.
24/7 Software’s Incident Management System has enabled Lord’s to identify weak links within its operation and help identify ways of improving the service they offer patrons.
“We’ve seen a remarkable 40% increase in maintenance-related incident response times and completions,” shared Cards.
“Our use of the software has enabled us to reduce specific callouts due to improved processes ahead of events by up to 50%,” continued Cards.
Use of the 24/7 Software Incident Management System has undoubtedly led to significant improvements across all of the safety and facility management elements of the Lord’s operation.
The primary enhancements and results have been in the area of cleaning and maintenance, but Lord’s continues to identify improvements to longer-standing issues, which they recognize have long-term cost benefits for MCC.
“An example of this would be the on-going management of fire safety issues that led to a change to the infrastructure of our networked fire alarm. In turn, it has reduced callouts and maintenance costs for us,” explains Cards.
“24/7 Software is not only a software provider but a company that cares about the success of their customers. We continue to feel wanted by 24/7 Software and are confident that won’t change,” continued Cards.