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The Oakland Athletics, often referred to as the A's, are an American professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division. The team plays its home games at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum. They have won nine World Series championships, the third-most of all current MLB teams. The 2017 season was the club's 50th while based in Oakland.
Paul LaVeau is the Senior Director of Stadium Operations, and Jason Silva is the Stadium Operations Systems Manager, for the Oakland Athletics. Prior to using 24/7 Software, the Oakland Athletics were experiencing growth but didn’t have a command center that fulfilled the needs of their evolving operational requirements. The Oakland Athletics realized it was time for evaluation of their current situation. Paul quickly identified the Oakland Athletics needed a better infrastructure in place along with an efficient means for capturing, tracking, and managing essential incidents.
After deployment of 24/7 Software’s platform, the Oakland Athletics had a solution that led to the development of their Incident Tracking Analyst Program and the effective capturing of complete and accurate documentation. 24/7 Software affords the Oakland Athletics the ability to manage incidents in real time while on-scene. Paul, Jason, and the Oakland Athletics have the confidence knowing their documentation is reliable if they ever need to defend their organization amid a lawsuit.
The Oakland Athletics were experiencing a growth period internally that forced them to look at their current state. Paul LaVeau was charged with spearheading the efforts to identify the specific aspects of the organization’s operation that needed swift action and improvement.
“We were facing reality as an organization that our operation was growing so quickly and immensely that the needs in our command post were not being met,” Paul explained.
“We didn’t have a proper database to collect all the incidents that were taking place during our events, and it was becoming overwhelming for our dispatcher to handle all of them simultaneously,” he continued.
The original solution used by the Oakland Athletics was an individual dispatcher in the command post, with an Excel spreadsheet, a notepad, and a set of radios.
“Outside of not accurately recording response times to incidents, the volume of calls began to grow, and the service our command post was providing wasn’t meeting the needs of the operation,” said Paul.
“While this became evident during the growth of our operation in the early 2010s, it really came into full effect once the MLB mandated full metal detector screening at games during the 2014 season.”
Paul, Jason, and their team began the Oakland Athletics’ search for a solution with criteria in mind.
“We were looking for a solution that was widely accepted across our industry and would also be easy to use for the wide range of part-time staff members who operate the system during our events,” LaVeau shared.
Paul revealed that “finding a sort of ‘industry standard’ was ideal because in our marketplace a lot of our part-time staff members work for different teams and properties in the area.”
“We reached out to our colleagues around the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in the industry to see what software they were using,” he continued.
AEG and the Oakland Raiders were already using 24/7 Software, and since the Oakland Athletics are co-tenants on the property, the Oakland Athletics knew 24/7 Software would be a good solution for them too.
Paul and Jason also toured the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers command posts to see how they were using 24/7 Software.
“Chad Ladov also played a key role in our recruitment as he had previously worked for AEG Oakland and understood the needs and challenges revolving around the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex,” shared Paul.
Paul stated the easier and cheaper way to solve their problem would’ve been to add more dispatchers, notepads, and excel sheets to their command post.
However, even though this may have cost them less in the short term, the Oakland Athletics still weren’t solving their need to have a database that holds all the significant incidents in a user-friendly interface during games.
“Our industry and operation were continuing to evolve, and we needed to move in tandem with the times.”
“Outside of our connection to Chad Ladov and the fact that 24/7 Software was the industry standard in the San Francisco Bay Area, we felt the user interface was straightforward and that our part-time staff would be able to adapt to the new system in time,” Paul explained.
“Chad’s familiarity with our property and the challenges that we face daily was very reassuring, as he could specifically convey the advantages that 24/7 Software was able to provide for our operation,” he continued.
When asked about what the Oakland Athletics found most attractive about 24/7 Software and its software, Paul offered two pieces of insight.
“The ease of use within the modules and the company’s overall vision to continue to improve and grow with the inevitable changes that our industry constantly faces were also key elements into our decision to use 24/7 Software.”
After being asked what benefits the Oakland Athletics have realized after their deployment of 24/7 Software for 82+ games per year since 2013, without hesitation, Jason revealed a plethora of notable ones.
“Major improvements to our incident tracking during events include accurate time-stamping on incidents, improved communication with ancillary vendors regarding issues in the facility, and a rise in awareness amongst the management team of operational issues during events.”
“Complete reinvention of our incident writing and documentation of significant incidents, improved customer service to our fans as we decrease the response time for some of our services around the facility, improved communication with our fans through 24/7 Software’s Text Communication, enhanced communication between our ADA Assistance Team and the command post using 30 24/7 Software Communicator apps, and top notch customer support whenever we have a question about the system or want to try and improve an aspect of our usage of the Software,” Jason continued.
There are countless instances where the Oakland Athletics have seen improvements in their operation through the usage of 24/7 Software.
However, according to Jason, the most glaring would be the development of their Incident Tracking Analyst Program they have on a part-time level.
“Our Incident Tracking Analysts use the 24/7 Software TrackPad app to respond to 100% of significant incidents in real time and can start gathering pertinent information immediately,” explained Jason.
“This program is particularly useful for us when it comes to serious medical incidents, fights on the property, and any sort of ejections that take place during our games.”
Jason further explained the value generated from the Analysts by emphasizing the critical problems the Oakland Athletics faced before using 24/7 Software.
“Some of the key problems we faced before developing the Incident Tracking Analyst Program were as follows: 1) Lack of name(s) and contact information for the parties involved, 2) Difficulty in getting thorough incident reports written by our part-time security guards or ushers who were involved with the incident(s), and 3) Ejection and Medical incident procedures were not being properly followed by our contracted security and guest service staff members.”
Since the implementation of the Incident Tracking Analyst Program, the Oakland Athletics have seen a sharp improvement in all three of the previously stated issues.
“We’re getting reports that are written in real time (sometimes even while the incident is still taking place) and we’re ensuring that our ejection and medical incident procedures are being properly executed during games,” shared Jason.
Jason further revealed that 24/7 Software has helped his organization with their regular business process and saving countless hours on administrative tasks.
According to Jason, “the collection of documentation of significant incidents in the software saves countless hours of data entry on the back-end.”
“We no longer need to constantly scan paper into a shared network, as the incidents are housed within the 24/7 Software solution, and are easily accessible for us,” he explained.
Jason stated they don’t have “concrete dollar figures on ‘theoretical dollars saved,” but their incident documentation has significantly improved.
“If we were to be faced with a lawsuit regarding an event that took place in our facility, we’d feel much more confident about the documentation we have at our disposal to defend our organization.”