It’s not every day that you come into work and get told that you’ve won a free holiday but that’s exactly what happened to Judith Chivers, Aston’s first 'Bright Ideas' big prize winner!
Judith, who works as a Resource Officer in Estates & Facilities, told Aspects that she submitted her idea to the University’s ‘Bright Ideas’ scheme but “never in a million years expected to win!”
Judith’s ‘Bright Idea’ related to Estates telephone lines from BT. Judith identified that for each BT invoice she processed the University was incurring a payment charge of £9. In one day's processing this amounted to £36. Judith “knew there had to be a better way of doing it”, wondering how many invoices across the University from BT were processed this way and how much money could be saved either by negotiating a ‘no fee’ basis to our agreement with them or by changing to a paper-free billing process as advised on invoices. The University would also be doing its bit for the environment by not having paper invoices. In light of this idea, the Finance Department is reviewing the BT contract.
Judith chose a six-night break to Palma in Majorca as her prize (including return flights, transport to and from the airport, and the hotel). “Palma is a great city and whilst being packed full of old buildings and culture, it is also very modern. I was very impressed by the city’s commitment to sustainable issues too – there’s new cycle routes and recycling bins everywhere.
“We had a fantastic break and the six nights meant that we were able to combine sightseeing with discovering more about the history of the city. The tourist attractions in Palma have remarkably inexpensive entrance fees which was a pleasant surprise. The weather in September was wonderfully hot and what is lovely about Palma is that everywhere you go you come across beautiful public gardens which are like oases and are fantastic for escaping the heat.
“I was thrilled and totally shocked to win the prize and was delighted with every aspect of my stay. I’m now racking my brains to think of another bright idea for a chance to win again!”
Every month there are five ‘Bright Ideas’ prizes of Waterstone’s gift vouchers which are randomly selected from all ideas received during the month. Once a term there’s the chance to be entered into a big prize draw to win a break to a European city of your choice, for ideas which have or will be implemented.
Information on how to submit your Bright Ideas.
Words by Louise Russell