Designer Planning Project on Floor

Are Target Operating Models strategic compasses?

The short answer is they usually are, because every organisation needs a road-map of where they are going. Target operating models can be complex documents with illustrative details including project management structures, special tools, implementation procedures and management metrics. They can also be simple statements, as for example Winston Churchill’s promise that “we shall fight them on the beaches, on the landing grounds and in the fields” which gave Britain the strategic direction it needed.

Many initiatives unfortunately fail because managers are ‘too busy’ to bottom on what their target operating model should say, or simply don’t believe in paperwork. As a result, promising initiatives may blunder off course or die a slow death without them really noticing. We cannot manage what we cannot measure, which is where the management metrics fit in. One of my favourite quotes is ‘if you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there’ which is what the Cheshire Cat said to Alice in Wonderland when she got lost.

The author blundered through life without a plan because there was no one else with his particular brand of imagination. The current business climate is different because everybody is trying to ramp up, and investors want to know exactly what is going to happen to their money and by when. Hence a target operating model can be indispensable throughout a change or product cycle.

The benefits of having a measurable operations / technology plan can produce powerfully tangible results if the organisation follows through on it. Built-in metrics with milestones are powerful tool for management, and, when they map through to the company financial plan almost irreplaceable as cash-flow forecasters.

Other benefits may include:

  • Shorter times to market and greater agility when launching new ideas
  • Reduced investor risk through a predictable process that’s readily monitored
  • A stable operating environment where there is consensus on direction
  • Greater likelihood of delivering on time and leading to repeat orders
  • A more cost-effective process, with less risk of loss of quality and money

Although it dates back a few years the Wills UK and Ireland Retail model still provides an excellent benchmark of a target operating plan that worked. The strategic goals were exceptionally clear, and they brought in a proven project manager to help them drive the program forward.

We have delivered advanced business management services to many of our clients, and believe you will find our personalised approach time-efficient and effective too.

Field Service Management or FSM - software products from Denizon

The Types of Industries That Can Benefit from Field Service Software

Initially, field service software was designed with field techs and their managers in mind. However, in the recent past, other industries have taken this path to better the performance of their businesses. Any industry that deploys skilled laborers and assets to off-site locations benefits from field service software. It’s all about resource allocation and data centralization for efficient management and running of the business’ activities. With field service software, you got all your business’ functions logged in one place.

So, who needs field service management software? Professionals like electricians, plumbers, IT technicians, construction workers, and carpenters all find it useful. Moreover, there’s a wide range of application in many different types of industries.

Here are some industries that benefit from field service management software.

  • Fire and Life Safety

In a fire and life safety industry, equipment and safety systems should be kept running at peak efficiency. Therefore, it’s necessary to provide appropriate services that will ensure the smooth running of processes. On top of complying with government codes, fire and security systems installed should offer reliable services. Since service is at the core of this industry’s operation, most people in fire and security industries are turning to field service software to automate operations of their service delivery. With the field service software tools, the industry can easily monitor security technologies, quickly respond to customers, and manage compliance, inspections, and procedures effectively.

  • Medical Device Enterprises

For medical device companies seeking to improve their services, sales, and compliance, field service software becomes very essential for the smooth running and operations of their functions. The medical device enterprises that greatly benefit from this software include those offering installations, repair, and maintenance of medical equipment. With the comprehensive field service tools, service delivery and performance is greatly improved.

Moreover, with the field service software, these industries find better ways of tracking critical records needed for regulatory compliance since the medical industry is one of the most regulated industries in the globe. For the companies doing the manufacturing of medical equipment, they can integrate field service software in their accounting systems to streamline their invoice processes and shorten their billing cycles.

  • IT and Communications Services Companies

With the remarkable technological advancements in the recent past, Internet service providers, cable companies, and communications organizations are looking for better ways of service delivery to keep up with the pace of the growing technology. Connections are becoming more complex day by day propelled by an explosion in new data sources, and the use of the devices. To keep up with the increased demand for instant services by customers, the IT and communication service companies, are turning to field service software to make their service delivery more effective.

A combination of the robust, advanced scheduling system and rich functionality makes this software very useful to the communication service companies. They can use the software to design and install complex internet infrastructure. Moreover, field service software can be used by these companies to set up recurring maintenance plans to maintain the installed internet systems.

  • Oil and Gas Enterprises

Most oil and gas industries are faced by complexities which need special handling for better business performance. Since the running of projects is at the cornerstone of their businesses, they’re always looking for better ways to ensure a smooth running of their project activities. For this reason, most of the oil and gas enterprises that have discovered the benefits of field service software are integrating the main activities of their projects in this software.

With the project-based software tools, there’s an efficient flow of information and transparency throughout the enterprise ensuring excellent project management. With the checklist feature included in most field service software, inspections, compliance, site surveys, and maintenance of procedures is made easier in oil and gas companies.

  • Facilities Management Industry

Given that this is a service industry, high-level of efficiency is paramount. To meet customer expectations and battle against cost, most facility management industries are turning to field service software. With the comprehensive tools included in the field service software, supervisors can assign tasks to their reports, monitor their progress, and receive alerts on critical issues while in a remote place or at the comfort of their office.

Maintenance and emergency repairs in the facility management industry are greatly supported by this software ensuring increased productivity and efficiency. Additionally, with field service software the industries benefit from a streamlined workflow and improved communication that greatly reduces administration time and cost.

  • Industrial Equipment Enterprises

Industrial equipment companies aim at maximizing their overall productivity and preventing equipment downtime. There’s a wide range of activities that take place in industrial equipment companies which require field service software for higher levels of efficiency.

From load testing, installation projects, and load testing to emergency repairs, this software, enables the managers to design work orders, and get them ready for scheduling, and distribute them in a moment. With the equipment and asset tracking software, the supervisors can gain instant visibility into the equipment and assets in the field to ensure their regular maintenance. The scheduling and resourcing tools ensure the supervisors are in full control over the dispatching of their workforce, their schedules, and the route taken by each for maximum work output. Additionally, with the field service software, industrial equipment companies can meet their customer expectations.

  • Construction Industry

Since construction work involve both site work and office work, building industries find field service software very useful in integrating their field and office activities. Field service software is designed to establish effective communication between the office staff and the field operators. With inclusive software tools, the supervisors can easily manage daily inspections and receive feedback from the field workers without leaving the office. Moreover, documentation is simplified, and everything is documented in a central place so that it’s easier to retrieve important information at any time. With field service software, building industries can manage their construction efficiently while minimizing cost, and saving on time.

Filed service software is gaining popularity in the industrial world as most enterprises seek to improve their business’ performance, and keep up with the competition. Moreover, more companies are expected to come on board as the field service software companies work extra hard to add more tools to suit a wide range of functions.

One single app brings together your back office, mobile workers & customers in perfect harmony.

Get in touch

Manage your Mobile Workforce effectively

  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 (UK)
  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 (IRL)
Intelligent Energy, Environmental & Workforce Management - Denizon

How AI Helps Improve Field Service

Its seems that with the current rate of technological innovation that these is something new every single day.  Therefore, you’re always looking forward to a new technological innovation that’s going to help you make your business operations more efficient and automated.

One of the most fascinating milestones in the field of technology is the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business. In one way or the other, AI gives a glimpse of machine supremacy that allows computers to perform tasks that were initially performed by humans. 

Are machines going to completely replace people in the workplace?

Of course, not.  Technologies like AI and Machine Learning are designed and meant to support employees in doing their tasks too boost their productivity.

AI is predominantly used to eliminate jobs and tasks that humans find boring, demotivating or monotonous. In some cases AI is also used to do jobs that are considered dangerous for humans to preform.

Previously the most common implementations for AI were all about gaming, entertainment, and advanced science,  now it’s spreading into a number of industries including the field service industry.

FieldElite – Field Service Software , can help you optimise the day-to-day operations of your business.

AI in field service management will enhance you business capabilities with:

  • Information Sharing
  • Real Time Updates
  • Automated Workflows
  • Digital Form Data Collection
  • Data Analysis

Improved Customer Service

For Service Based companies, customer retention is vital. Primarily because It can be 5-25 times more costly to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing ones.

Therefore customer retention should be a primary focus.  The good news is that by making use of AI you can implement services It can be 5-25 times more costly to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.

Staying on top of and ensuring you satisfactorily address and meet you customer demands and expectations can be a daunting task.  It can also be an expensive one,  especially for small field service based businesses like :

  • Heating & Plumbing Engineers
  • Electrical Contractors
  • Fire Safety Inspectors
  • HVAC Engineers
  • Facility Management
  • Building, Construction & Trade

Implementing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to automate mundane and repetitive customer administration tasks will enable your staff to be free to provide additional value added tasks for your customers. Making your customers happier.

 Think about the active Chatbots. You can always get complaints directly from customers and address them right away.  

If at any point the customer is unhappy with your services, they can always raise the issue via the Chatbots. Since the bots contain necessary customer information, you can always get back to them and fix the issue at hand. 

With AI in field service, you can solve problems before they arise, or what is otherwise known as predictive maintenance,  In that way, you’ll have better customer relations because you’ll be able to address your customer concerns before they even become aware of them.

Improved Productivity

Scheduling tasks and managing the workforce isn’t a walk in the park. It goes beyond assigning tasks to your team members in the field and giving them deadlines to meet. Whether it’s a small firm or a big organisation, it’s quite difficult to organise the workforce. 

However, adopting Artificial Intelligence can iron out the difficulties most field organisations face in scheduling and managing tasks. Some years back, most firms relied on human intelligence to dispatch jobs to the right people based on given conditions. This was quite difficult, especially that it wasn’t always successful. But thanks to AI. With field service apps like FieldElite scheduling tasks and managing workforce is only a few clicks away. 

What’s more? There’s no room for error. Therefore, you’ll always match the right people for the job. Again, your team will always get tasks on time. That means, the job completion rate will go up, and hence the workforce becomes more productive. 

Predictive Maintenance

Usually, most business operations are based on “solve the problem as it occurs”, which is just OK. However, it’s not always safe to wait until a problem occurs so that you solve it. Prevention is better than cure, and that’s why Artificial Intelligence comes handy in Field Service.

Using FieldElite Workforce Management Software , you don’t have to wait until something breaks.  Utilizing AI in field service enables you to proactively address field service needs and prevent unforeseen failures and interruptions. 

The ability to predict field service needs through field service apps like FieldElite enables you to make more accurate forecasts. In this way, resource planning is made easier, and as such, you’ll have smoothly running workflows. Again, by taking care of unforeseen circumstances in advance, you’re flexible enough to take care of the unexpected. And that means the overall productivity of your business will go up.

Job Management

Most field service jobs involve multiple stages that can take several days to complete. In addition to this, more often than not, you have to coordinate lots of equipment and contractors at the same time. All these can’t be achieved solely by human efforts. For more successful outcomes, it’s important to incorporate Artificial Intelligence in your field service operations. 

FieldElite is the field service solution that can help you manage sophisticated tasks. The app is packed with field service management tools that enable you to assign complicated tasks and keep track of your field techs. For long-cycle jobs, FieldElite app enables you to follow up on the activities going on the field to ensure they’re completed. 

With AI, there’s no room for error even when the jobs become more sophisticated.

Data Analysis

 

Field service industry involves lots of data. Some years back, organisations depended on human intelligence to analyse big data. Well, things still worked out, but as a human is to err, the outcome wasn’t always perfect. However, with Artificial Intelligence data analysis, 100% accuracy in data analysis is achievable. Field service solutions like FieldElite provide sophisticated data analytic tools that enable you to crack massive data and offer accurate solutions. 

FieldElite data analytics capabilities give you an insight into what’s not working and what needs to be improved. In that way, you can always address matters arising and take care of the loopholes. 

It’s time to go paperless with field management software like FieldElite if you’d like to make your business more profitable. Apart from improving the productivity of your workforce, incorporating AI in your business increases profitability. If you’re still doing your usual field rounds with a clipboard, it’s time to simplify your task with FieldElite app. 

One single app brings together your back office, mobile workers & customers in perfect harmony.

Get in touch

Manage your Mobile Workforce effectively

  • (+44)(0)20-7193-9751 (UK)
  • (+353)(0)1-443-3807 (IRL)

Finding the Best Structure for Your Enterprise Development Team

An enterprise development team is a small group of dedicated specialists. They may focus on a new business project such as an IoT solution. Members of microteams cooperate with ideas while functioning semi-independently. These self-managing specialists are scarce in the job market. Thus, they are a relatively expensive resource and we must optimise their role.

Organization Size and Enterprise Development Team Structure

Organization structure depends on the size of the business and the industry in which it functions. An enterprise development team for a micro business may be a few freelancers burning candles at both ends. While a large corporate may have a herd of full-timers with their own building. Most IoT solutions are born out of the efforts of microteams.

In this regard, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg blazed the trail with Microsoft and Facebook. They were both college students at the time, and both abandoned their business studies to follow their dreams. There is a strong case for liberating developers from top-down structures, and keeping management and initiative at arm’s length.

The Case for Separating Microteams from the Organization

Microsoft Corporation went on to become a massive corporate, with 114,000 employees, and its founder Bill Gates arguably one of the richest people in the world. Yet even it admits there are limitations to size. In Chapter 2 of its Visual Studio 6.0 program it says,

“Today’s component-based enterprise applications are different from traditional business applications in many ways. To build them successfully, you need not only new programming tools and architectures, but also new development and project management strategies.”

Microsoft goes on to confirm that traditional, top-down structures are inappropriate for component-based systems such as IoT solutions. We have moved on from “monolithic, self-contained, standalone systems,” it says, “where these worked relatively well.”

Microsoft’s model for enterprise development teams envisages individual members dedicated to one or more specific roles as follows:

  • Product Manager – owns the vision statement and communicates progress
  • Program Manager – owns the application specification and coordinates
  • Developer – delivers a functional, fully-complying solution to specification
  • Quality Assurer – verifies that the design complies with the specification
  • User Educator – develops and publishes online and printed documentation
  • Logistics Planner – ensures smooth rollout and deployment of the solution

Three Broad Structures for Microteams working on IoT Solutions

The organization structure of an enterprise development team should also mirror the size of the business, and the industry in which it functions. While a large one may manage small microteams of employee specialists successfully, it will have to ring-fence them to preserve them from bureaucratic influence. A medium-size organization may call in a ‘big six’ consultancy on a project basis. However, an independently sourced micro-team is the solution for a small business with say up to 100 employees.

The Case for Freelancing Individuals versus Functional Microteams

While it may be doable to source a virtual enterprise development team on a contracting portal, a fair amount of management input may be necessary before they weld into a well-oiled team. Remember, members of a micro-team must cooperate with ideas while functioning semi-independently. The spirit of cooperation takes time to incubate, and then grow.

This is the argument, briefly, for outsourcing your IoT project, and bringing in a professional, fully integrated micro-team to do the job quickly, and effectively. We can lay on whatever combination you require of project managers, program managers, developers, quality assurers, user educators, and logistic planners. We will manage the micro-team, the process, and the success of the project on your behalf while you get on running your business, which is what you do best.

Are Master Data Management and Hadoop a Good Match?

Master Data is the critical electronic information about the company we cannot afford to lose. Accordingly, we should sanitise it, look after it, and store it safely in several separate places that are independent of each other. The advent of Big Data introduced the current era of huge repositories ‘in the clouds’. They are not, of course but at least they are remote. This short article includes a discussion about Hadoop, and whether this is a good platform to back up your Master Data.

About Hadoop

Hadoop is an open-source Apache software framework built on the assumption that hardware failure is so common that backups are unavoidable. It comprises a storage area and a management part that distributes the data to smaller nodes where it processes faster and more efficiently. Prominent users include Yahoo! and Facebook. In fact more than half Fortune 50 companies were using Hadoop in 2013.

Hadoop – initially launched in December 2011 – has survived its baptism of fire and became a respected, reliable option. But is this something the average business owner can tackle on their own? Bear in mind that open source software generally comes with little implementation support from the vendor.

The Hadoop Strong Suite

  • Free to download, use and contribute to
  • Everything you need ‘in the box’ to get started
  • Distributed across multiple firewalled computers
  • Fast processing of data held in efficient cluster nodes
  • Massive scaleable storage you are unlikely to run out of

Practical Constraints

There is more to Hadoop than writing to WordPress. The most straightforward solutions are uploading using Java commands, obtaining an interface mechanism, or using third party vendor connectors such as ACCESS or SAS. The system does not replace the need for IT support, although it is cheap and exceptionally powerful.

The Not-Free Safer Option

Smaller companies without in-depth in-house support are wise to engage with a technical intermediary. There are companies providing commercial implementations followed by support. Microsoft, Amazon and Google among others all have commercial versions in their catalogues, and support teams at the end of the line.

Speak to Denizon Next

It is unwise to rely on a backup you either do not trust or do not fully understand. We have business continuity consultants with a breadth of experience that’s worth considering. Following a risk assessment we’ll provide you with cost effective solutions, that take the worry out of backup so you always feel secure.

A Definitive List of the Business Benefits of Cloud Computing – Part 4

Lowers cost of analytics

Big data and business intelligence (BI) have become the bywords in the current global economy. As consumers today browse, buy, communicate, use their gadgets, and interact on social networks, they leave in their trail a whole lot of data that can serve as a goldmine of information organizations can glean from. With such information at the disposal of or easily obtainable by businesses, you can expect that big data solutions will be at the forefront of these organizations’ efforts to create value for the customer and gain advantage over competitors.

Research firm Gartner’s latest survey of CIOs which included 2,300 respondents from 44 countries revealed that the three top priority investments for 2012 to 2015 as rated by the CIOs surveyed are Analytics and Business Intelligence, Mobile Technologies, and Cloud Computing. In addition, Gartner predicts that about $232 million in IT spending until 2016 will be driven by big data. This is a clear indication that the intelligent use of data is going to be a defining factor in most organizations.

Yet while big data offers a lot of growth opportunities for enterprises, there remains a big question on the capability of businesses to leverage on the available data. Do they have the means to deploy the required storage, computing resources, and analytical software needed to capture value from the rapidly increasing torrent of data?

Without the appropriate analytics and BI tools, raw data will remain as it is – a potential source of valuable information but always unutilized. Only when they can take the time, complexity and expense out of processing huge datasets obtained from customers, employees, consumers in general, and sensor-embedded products can businesses hope to fully harness the power of information.

So where does the cloud fit into all these?

Access to analytics and BI solutions have all too often been limited to large corporations, and within these organizations, a few business analysts and key executives. But that could quickly become a thing of the past because the cloud can now provide exactly what big data analytics requires – the ability to draw on large amounts of data and massive computing power – at a fraction of the cost and complexity these resources once entailed.

At their end, cloud service providers already deal with the storage, hardware, software, networking and security requirements needed for BI, with the resources available on an on-demand, pay-as-you-go approach. In doing so, they make analytics and access to relevant information simplified, and therefore more ubiquitous in the long run.

As the amount of data continues to grow exponentially on a daily basis, sophisticated analytics will be a priority IT technology across all industries, with organizations scrambling to find impactful insights from big data. Cloud-based services ensure that both small and large companies can benefit from the significantly reduced costs of BI solutions as well as the quick delivery of information, allowing for precise and insightful analytics as close to real time as possible.

If you have any Cloud Computing questions or concerns: contact us.