Successful deployment in DB vaccination centres

Article: Successful deployment in DB vaccination centres

10/2021 - A mammoth project: around 200,000 DB employees were offered a vaccination by the Group. Small Solutions Eventmanager, an in-house development, was deployed to ensure a secure and reliable campaign.

In order to provide employees and their families with the best possible protection against coronavirus, DB set up and operated its own vaccination centres at ten locations from May to the end of August 2021. Around 200,000 employees were given the opportunity to be voluntarily vaccinated. "DB wanted to create an additional offer to supplement the public vaccination centres," says Christine Härtl from DB Fernverkehr, who ran the DB vaccination centre in Munich. 

One thing is certain: a campaign of this magnitude needs planning assistance. The Small Solutions Eventmanager application was used for scheduling appointments and making bookings. It is a standard product from DB Systel that can be used to prepare, hold and follow up on events. "Our tool is very flexible and could therefore be put to very good use for the vaccination centre campaign," explains Louisa Neumann, project manager for Small Solutions Eventmanager. "Ultimately, anyone can customise the tool to suit their own needs."  

Customisable and flexible 

Eventmanager was developed several years ago by the Small Solutions teams within DB Systel. The tool includes various features that standard event software does not offer. Oracle Application Express (Oracle APEX) serves as the basis. Using the Small Solutions Eventmanager, you can create your own event website with all important details in just a few steps. The special feature here is that all texts can be customised. Furthermore, the tool offers participant management with the option of entering your own contingents for fixed numbers of persons and waiting lists. 

Guests can then register directly for a particular workshop. Eventmanager automatically monitors the take-up and displays available capacities. Organizers can use personalised e-mail lists to contact guests at any time – for individuals or for entire groups of guests.  

"Right from the very beginning, we were aware of how important it is to have absolutely reliable booking software when dealing with such a sensitive issue."

Louisa Neumann, DB Systel

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These are exactly the features that were so important in the implementation of the DB vaccination campaign. "We hadn't held an event on this scale before," says Louisa Neumann. "Right from the very beginning, we were aware of how important it is to have absolutely reliable booking software when dealing with such a sensitive issue." When used for the vaccination campaign, the advantage of the application quickly became apparent: being a standard DB Systel product, the tool was quickly ready for use.  

Challenge on the first day of booking 

"We had several hundred users on the site at the same time on the day of the launch," explains Louisa Neumann. And when large numbers of employees are all trying to book an appointment at the same time, any system can be pushed to the limit. "We were well prepared for just such a situation." Individual event pages were created for the ten vaccination centres. A landing page took interested parties to an overview page and from there to the respective registration pages. "By splitting it up in this way, we were able to control access and keep good track of calls." The individual registration pages were also published with a time delay. And it worked: the Small Solutions Eventmanager held up, and there were no disruptions. "We are really glad that we managed to handle the rush. In the end, we were very proud of what we achieved." 

Example of booking an appointment for vaccination at the Munich vaccination centre

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Easy to handle 

Users were able to register for a vaccination appointment in just a few steps: employees received a personal letter with a TAN with which they could register in the Small Solutions Eventmanager for the appropriate vaccination centre and book an appointment. Having registered, individuals received confirmation via e-mail along with a list of documents to bring along to the vaccination appointment.  

"I was pleasantly surprised time and time again by the options the program offers."

Christine Härtl, DB Fernverkehr, head of the DB Vaccination Centre in Munich

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Staff at the vaccination centres also worked with Eventmanager on site. The tool was used to generate a daily list of participants for reception. The date for the second vaccination was assigned upon initial registration, and the vaccine used was entered into the system. Things became interesting when people cancelled their vaccination appointment at short notice. A spontaneous appointment could then be offered to those able to decide on the spur of the moment, provisions having been made in the system to cover such an eventuality. "It was the first time I worked with Eventmanager," says Christine Härtl. "I was pleasantly surprised time and time again by the options the program offers and by the fact that special cases could also be covered at our vaccination centre."  

Success as a result of close cooperation 

"In the end more than 30,000 employees registered spread across the various vaccination centres, with 20,000 of them actually booking an appointment," says Louisa Neumann. A project of this magnitude can only succeed with close, Group-wide cooperation with the various parties involved in very different roles. A view confirmed by Christine Härtl. "Our cooperation with DB Systel worked really well. The pragmatic support we received and the solutions offered always led to positive results."  

True to the motto: succeeding through Strong Teamwork.