Energy efficiency demystified

Energy bills are all about Energy efficiency but energy efficiency management is not all about bills. Energy efficiency means reducing carbon emissions, lowering energy costs and improving the quality of life. Energy efficiency is therefore about conservation of energy in a broader perspective; in fact energy efficiency is almost becoming a moral obligation.

Through adoption of appropriate energy efficiency measures, companies can significantly bring down the overhead costs making hundreds of dollars in savings. Energy efficiency is also synonymous with a better quality of life. Taking appropriate measures to ensure proper insulation protects your premises against extreme weather conditions leading to more productivity and an improvement in the bottom line.

Improved energy efficiency means a smaller amount of carbon emissions, less pollution and a better environment.

It is now easier than ever to visually identify where your facility is wasting energy, how much energy is being wasted while tracking the progress made in reducing energy consumption by turning that detailed, raw energy-consumption data into useful charts and figures.

Having visibility of your Energy usage gives you knowledge of what power you are consuming. This helps you change energy usage behaviours and this can have significant savings and reduction in your electricity bills. Real-time electricity consumption tracking is enough prodding for you to be on the lookout for inefficient energy consumption unit’s e.g.? Heating and cooling equipment, ducts insulation of your premises or a failure of one of these components to perform as intended. Pin-pointing the problem areas is not a walk in the park but fixing it can make your building more energy-efficient and comfortable.

A wide range of solutions are now available for charting and analysing energy consumption that helps energy managers, facilities managers, energy consultants and building-services engineers. These will not only offer advice but will enable you provide tailor made solutions for your organisation by assisting you in developing a sustainable energy strategy. Our energy monitoring software is one example.?

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What is work force management?

For organisations to ensure they provide the right service.  In order to do they need to assign the right employees with the right skills to the right job at the right time to meet demand.

Workforce Management Background

Workforce management (WFM) is a strategy used by companies to increase their efficiency and performance. It entails all activities aimed at maintaining a steady output, such as human resource management, forecasting, field service management, budgeting, scheduling, performance and training management, analytics, recruitment and data collection.

Workforce management utilizes a unique set of performance enhancing tools and software to bolster corporate management, workers, and other categories of managers and supervisors in the manufacturing team, distribution, transportation, and retail operators. This is sometimes called HRM systems, or part of ERP systems, or workforce asset management.

Unlike the conventional outlay that only needed staff scheduling to improve time management, workforce management is now all-inclusive and demand-oriented to optimize staff scheduling. Apart from focusing on demand-orientation and optimization, workforce management also incorporates:

  • Estimating the workload and resource utilisation
  • Job scheduling
  • Management of working times and accounts
  • Monitoring the process of workforce management

Each task should be clearly defined and performed efficiently based on set engineering standards and methods of optimizing each task as much as possible. Out of this framework and demand based forecasts, workers are scheduled and given tasks, performance measured, give feedback, and incentives computed and paid.

Workforce management is an entire scheme aimed at building the capacity of workers, increase productivity and client relations, and where possible reduce labour costs.

What is Mobile Workforce Management (MWM)

Mobile workforce management (MWM) is a software-based service used to oversee employees outside of the institution?s premises; MWM sometimes refers to the field teams. Mobile workforce management encompasses all activities done to monitor and schedule the field workforce.

The entire process includes procurement, management and using mobile devices, applications and computer software. Related support services like tracking, logging, dispatch, productivity management, and other types of communication are also to make it efficient.

Companies do not have the same needs and MWM firms need to fine-tune their software and devices to sufficiently bridge this gap. Some providers are suited only to a specific type of company because of specialization, like managing the electric grid. This experience makes the MWM company suited to provide applications that are relevant to the company for them to continue operating smoothly and efficiently.

With the increase in mobile devices, applications, secured wireless networks and virtual desktop, there comes a stream of opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) and other ventures. Nevertheless, a mobile workforce needs better controls, security and support, as well as a functioning mobile workforce management strategy.

MMS (managed mobility services) is often used interchangeably with MWM, but they should not be confused. MWM is related to software and applications used by mobile and computer devices to manage on-field work while MMS focuses on enterprises, and is like a way of keeping in touch with the company, other employees, and linking the mobile while at work to servers and the database.

Benefits of Mobile Workforce Management

MWM allows the utilization of technology to drive productivity. Here are the top five advantages of MWM..

  1. Customer focused. The customer is the backbone of any business. The team needs to keep in touch with up-to-date information about every interaction. In the end, better client relation makes sure that the customer is always happy.
  2. Information has the power to build or destroy. A cloud-based system is easier to manage and can help with collection of data which is used to make business decisions. This can help cut costs, increase the workforce support, and identify areas where polishing needs to be done.
  3. Improved efficiency. Mobile workforce management is majorly used in taskforce allocation. If the company adopts a cloud-based work force management system, allocation is done automatically saving a lot of time.
  4. Increased revenue. Each business seeks to maximize the profit. With cloud-based mobile workforce management some operations like task management, data analysis, customer communication, reporting, and performance monitoring can be automated. This reduces the costs incurred for multiple applications and saves time.
  5. Ease of communication. Communication is vital. Constant communication with customers drives sales rates and everyone loves that. Quick communication will help customers solve their problems faster and get instant feedback.

Additional WFM benefits

 Other WFM benefits are:

  • Operations are made efficient as all complex processes are automated.
  • Employers learn more about worker engagement, productivity and attendance, allowing them to modify training, coaching and processes aimed at streamlining performance.
  • Automation and easy manipulation of data to improve HR, productivity and slash administrative costs.
  • It increases employee productivity by reducing absenteeism and late arrivals.
  • Boosts the morale of employees by encouraging transparency and facilitating manager-employee communication.
  • WFM analyzes market and schedule requirements to pick the right employee with the best set of skills for a certain task.

Companies which embrace workforce management and mobile workforce management have a higher operational efficiency. They have lower operational costs and limit manual work as much as possible

Data Leakage Prevention – Protecting Sensitive Information

When DuPont lost $400 million in intellectual property, it wasn’t because a hacker from the other side of the world infiltrated their system. The information was simply stolen by a former employee. Alarmingly, data loss incidents are not always caused by deliberate actions.

A file containing personal information accidentally attached to an email and sent to multiple recipients; financial data stored in a USB pen drive, accidentally left in a restaurant; or bank account data of colleagues, inadvertently posted on a company website – these are also some of the everyday causes of data loss.

A report done by research company Infowatch regarding global data leaks in 2010 showed that there were actually more accidental data leaks in that year compared to intentional ones. Accidental leaks comprised 53%, while intentional leaks comprised 42% (the rest were unidentified).

But even if they ?only? happened accidentally, breach incidents like these can still be very costly. The tens of thousands of dollars that you could sometimes end up paying in civil penalties (as in the case when you lose other people?s personal information) can just be the beginning. More costly than this is the loss of customer and investor confidence. Once you lose those, you could consequently lose a considerable portion of your business.

Confidential information that may already be leaking out right under your nose

With all the data you collect, process, exchange, and store electronically every day, your IT system has surely now become a storehouse of sensitive information. Some of them, you may be even taking for granted.

But imagine what would happen if any of the following trade secrets fell into the wrong hands: marketing plans, confidential customer information, pricing data, product development strategies, business plans, supplier information, source codes, and employee salaries.

These are not the only kind of data that you should be worried about. You could also get into trouble if your sloppy IT security fails to protect employee or client personal information such as their names; social security numbers; drivers license numbers; or bank account numbers and credit/debit card numbers along with their corresponding PINs.

In some countries, you could face onerous data breach notification requirements and heavy fines when these kind of data are involved.

There are now more holes to plug

It’s not just the different varieties of sensitive electronic information that you have to worry about. Because these data can take on different forms, i.e. data-at-rest, data-in-motion, and data-at-the-endpoints, you also need to take aim at different areas in your IT system.

Sensitive information can be found ?at rest? in each of your employees? hard disks, in your servers, storage disks, and in off-site backup disks. They can also be found ?in motion? in email, instant messaging, social networking messaging, P2P file sharing, ftp, http, and so on.

That’s not all. Your highly mobile workforce may have already introduced yet another high-risk area into your system: data-at-the-endpoints. This includes USB flash-disks, laptops, portable hard disks, CDs, and even smartphones.

The main challenge of data leak prevention

Having been made aware of the various aspects of data leakage, have you already come to grips with the extent of the task at hand?

There are two major things you need to do here to prevent data leakage.

One, you need to identify what data you have that can be considered as sensitive/confidential information. Of course you have financial information and employee salaries in your files. But do you also store personally identifiable information? Do you have trade secrets that are stored in electronic form?

Two, you need to pinpoint their locations. Are they only on your hard disks and laptops? Or have they made their way to flash drives, CDs/DVDs, or portable HDDs? Are they being transmitted through email or any other file transfer media?

The reason why you need to know what your sensitive data are as well as where they are is because you would like all efforts of securing them to be as efficient and unobtrusive as possible.

Let’s say, as a way of protecting your data, you decide to implement encryption. Since encryption can consume a lot of storage space and significantly reduce performance, it may be impractical to encrypt your entire database or all your files. For the same reason, you wouldn’t want to encrypt every single email that you send.

Thus, the best way would be to encrypt only the data that really need encryption. But again, you need to know what data needs to be encrypted and where those data can be found. That alone is no simple task.

Not only will you need to deal with the data you already have, you will also have to worry about the data that will go through your systems during the course of your day-to-day transactions.

Identifying sensitive data as it enters or leaves your system, goes through your network, or gets stored in your file system or database, and then applying the necessary security actions should be done automatically and intelligently. Otherwise, you could end up spending on a lot of man-hours or, worse, wasting them on a lot of false positives and negatives.

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Strategy and Portfolio Management

 

A well planned strategy is the necessary bridge between brilliant leadership and excellent execution. Without it, your entire organisation cannot hope to respond quickly and effectively to challenges and changes within the landscape on which it operates.

Strategic planning involves identifying objectives, understanding what resources are needed to attain them, and then allocating the resources to the appropriate units to ensure they are used optimally towards the achievement of desired objectives. Among the end results which can be reflected by your team members are:

  1. Deeper understanding of the competitive environment;
  2. Snappy execution of plans;
  3. Faster, more aligned actions; and
  4. More intelligent and apt responses against strategic moves of the competition.

We understand the need to institute strategic management in such a way that your organisation can easily adapt to unforeseen developments. As such, all our solutions are formulated to make your organisation not only well-guided but also as dynamic as possible.

Strategy Formulation

Before you can proceed to map out any strategy for your company, you’ll have to study your company’s current environment. This will help you determine what courses of action should be taken to be able to navigate through such environment on your way to the end goal.

If you’re not a full time strategist, such a task can either be very daunting or deceivingly easy… the former can prevent your team from getting started, while the latter can lead your team astray.

Ideally, strategy formulation should be carried out as quickly and as efficiently as possible so you can move on to implementation before the competition can react. Our methods can enable your leaders to hit the ground running each time they set out on a strategic plan.

How?

  • We can assist in accurately applying strategic tools like SWOT and Gap analysis, then help integrate the results into an effective strategic plan.
  • We’ll train your team how to carry out effective research techniques so that the information they gather will really be what we need. This is because the tools mentioned earlier can only work effectively if the inputs were picked intelligently. Of course, if you want the entire process expedited, we can also conduct the research ourselves.
  • We’ll establish best practices for top-down, bottom-up, and collaborative strategic management processes. We’ll even show you how to organise and hold meetings where team members are constantly engaged and in-sync, so action plans can be developed and relayed fast.
  • We’ll see to it that strategies for all functional departments (such as IT management, supply-chain, HR, marketing, and legal) are in line with your business strategies, which should in, turn be aligned with your overall corporate strategy.

Strategy Evaluation

Your strategies have to be periodically assessed if you want to determine whether they are attuned to variations affecting your organisation. These changes may include new technologies, emerging competitors, new opportunities, as well as unexpected developments in the economic environment and political climate.

While no time limit is imposed for the build-up of resources vital to the attainment of a specific objective, the window of opportunity can shut on you before you can start amassing such resources. Given this possibility, it is important for your strategies to undergo evaluation processes that will determine whether you should pursue them or not.

Using only the most reliable evaluation techniques, we’ll help you establish whether:

  • Your strategies will place your company in a position that will give it competitive advantage or will erode whatever advantage the competition already has;
  • Your strategies are consistent with the landscape on which your company currently traverses;
  • They are realistic enough in relation to the resources you have on hand;
  • The associated risks have all been identified and the appropriate control measures have already been put in place;
  • The time frames for their full realisation are both realistic and acceptable.

Portfolio Management

In today’s highly competitive market, many of the more successful enterprises are driven by project-based systems.

Now, there’s always a tendency for project managers to become overenthusiastic and to come up with a number of projects that can’t be sustained by available resources. If your project-based company frequently runs out of resources, then either you just have too many projects running or too much is being allocated to a select few.

In both instances, the problem does not necessarily lie on the individual project managers themselves. Rather, what is needed is the ability to have full control over existing projects and investments.

Your leadership should be able to rank projects in terms of their impact to your organisation’s growth, positioning, and profitability. This will give you sufficient information when deciding which projects to pursue, prioritise, or shut down. These are the benefits you’ll gain from our services:

  • A vivid presentation of the big picture. Only when you can step back from all the detail and see the interplay of investments and resources will you be able to make wise decisions regarding how and where to position them.
  • The ability to distinguish between projects with the highest potentials and those that are outdated.
  • Access to expertise that will help you distribute your present IT infrastructure, human resources, financial resources, and facilities across running projects to obtain the biggest benefits for all stakeholders.

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