ESOS What is the Truth?

When the UK administration introduced its ESOS Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme reactions from business people followed a familiar theme.

  • Do nothing it will go away
  • The next Westminster will drop this
  • Another stealth tax. I don’t have time for this
  • Give the problem to admin and tell them to fix it

ecovaro decided to share three facts with you. These are

(1) ESOS is not a government money spinner

(2) all major political parties support it, and

(3) it is a cost-effective way to put money back in your pocket while feeling better about what business pumps into the environment.

Four More ESOS Facts

1. You Cannot Give the Problem to Admin ? Energy is technical. The lead belongs with your operations staff because they understand how your systems work. Some things are best outsourced though. ecovaro is here to help.

2. ESOS is Not Going to Go Away ? A company inside the regulation net must submit its first report by 6 December 2015. Non-compliance risks the following penalties:

  • ?5,000 for not maintaining adequate records
  • ?50,000 for not completing the assessment
  • ?50,000 for making a false or misleading statement

3. The Employee Count is the Annual Average – The employment criteria (unlike balance sheet and turnover) is the monthly average of full and part-time employees taken across the full financial year. The fact you have <250 employees in December 2015 when the first report is due does not necessarily let you off the hook.

4. The 6 December 2014 Report is No Big Deal ? When you think about it the administration is hardly likely to spend years wading through 9,000 detailed company energy plans. It has no authority to comment in any case. All that is required is for a senior director to confirm reading the document, and a lead assessor to agree it complies with the law.

Does this mean that ESOS is a damp squib? We do not think so, although some firms may take the low road. ecovaro believes the financial benefits will carry the process forward, and that the imperative to make the world a better place will do the rest.

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Saving Energy Step 4 – Breathing Life into the Project

Today we consider the fourth step on the road to energy saving, when we introduce key contributors who will pull it all together. We have been on quite a journey. We started by developing a management system and then followed up with practical improvements, while challenging the assumptions behind the energy bills we may have paid unchallenged in the past.

After we knock off the big-ticket savings, managing energy becomes a process of improvement characterised by smaller increments. Kaizen is the classic model and it includes everybody in the organization from the janitor to the CEO. I inverted the pyramid deliberately, because ideas deserve considering no matter where the originator parks in the company yard.

People ? our people ?are truly central to the process. Energy adds extra leverage to their efforts, keeps them warm in winter, cool in summer and powers up the ovens in the company canteen. They are brimming over with ideas because that is the nature of being human. The best managers are those who release this potential and participate in its flowering,

It is important not to threaten job security. So many savings-driven initiatives have ended in job losses that people on the shop floor automatically suspect another round. Shrinking carbon footprints is about making the world a better place for everyone. We become more effective when we turn ?increasing profit? into making the enterprise sustainable in itself.

Engaging employees is more than office circulars and speeches at the Christmas Party. Organizations are organic places where trust grows slowly but conflict can flare in a moment. Before involving your people in your energy ?kaizan? make sure your words and intentions overlap perfectly. You will be amazed at the power you unlock in your people.

The best way I know of doing this is through your health and safety structure, which then becomes your environment, health and safety structure EHS. As you explore this idea at safety committees you find these things overlap, in the sense of creating people-centric environments at work and home.

That said, there is no magic formula for achieving employee engagement. The fact that people universally want a cleaner planet is the power to tap into. One way to form a team is to create one artificially and give it a task. The other is to work together towards a shared objective. Which one do you prefer?

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The Connection between Big Data and MDM

Master Data is information that is critical to your business. This could include contracts, proprietary information, intellectual capital and a whole lot more besides. Because this often reposes in a variety of different places, you need a master data management / MDM policy to control it. That way, you can link it all together in a single, secure, backed up file.

This Sounds Like Big Data

Not necessarily: big data refers to extremely large data sets that are best stored and analysed on a cloud using big technology, in order to uncover trends, patterns and associations often relating to human behaviour. Of course, if you run a niche restaurant your critical master data might be limited to a few recipes and the books you do not care to show your accountant.

The distinction is largely a question of size: think of your master data as the subset of big data that you already have your mind around. According to John Case of IBM this is probably already in a structured format and available to share. He goes on to present a cogent case for using this as a peg point around which to systematise the rest. This is because the average organisation already has master data recording customers? and prospects? behaviour.

Do I Still Need My Master Data?

Yes you do, because real people created it with the benefit of human insight. Retain it as a separate set. Then compare it with the results of big data processing for even richer insights. Two heads are better that one and that goes for data processing too.

Trends in CRM Big Data

Adding data via location-aware devices like smartphones and tablets is adding a new dimension to customer information. We now know where they were when they made the enquiry or punched in the information. Use this geo-location data to hone the way you interact with customers and service their accounts. Do not phone a customer who makes decisions at work when they are at home.

Does My Master Data Belong on a Cloud?

There are a number of ?ifs? to consider. How comfortable are you with your service provider. What would happen if someone hacked their server? There are many advantages to cloud technology. Denizon knows of solutions you can rely on, and makes sure its clients have contingency plans to protect them at all times.

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Job & Staff Scheduling with FieldElite Mobile Service Management Software

Field Service Management (FSM) software systems are designed to enable you to manage your mobile workforce from a central point- and do away with the paperwork involved with the process. They connect your technicians on the ground (via app on their phones), to the staff at the head office- who have an interactive dashboard accessed through their browsers. The office team will have access to all the jobs that are to be handled by the company, simplifying the management process and taking away the risks that come with manual data entry. Here, we will walk you through a quick process of scheduling a job for your personnel with FieldElite.

Say you are a HVAC contractor, licensed, bonded and insured. You’ve made quite a name for yourself in the industry, and have a wide range of clients- in both residential and commercial establishments. Consequently, you also have a large workforce to attend to the different situations- from installing to repair and maintenance. One of your clients- let’s call them ABC Computer Supplies, has an issue with their HVAC unit- perhaps a pipe is leaking. It needs to be fixed, and ABC have booked an appointment.? Your goal here is to get one of your personnel to handle the task as soon as possible, and this field service scheduling software comes in handy.

There are two approaches that you can take:

1. Job Scheduling

From your Dashboard, on the left-hand side you will see the menu option. Clicking on Jobs, will take you to all jobs carried out by your company.

FieldElite

The filters will allow you to view different categories of jobs:

  • Complaint– This means that there was an issue with on ground during the task delivery, and the client lodged a complaint.
  • On hold– Here, different aspects can cause a job to be paused- like when spare parts or equipment required for repair jobs have been ordered, and one needs to wait for them to be shipped in from a different location.
  • Pending– This is basically your in-tray, a list of jobs that are to be carried out.
  • In Progress– The technicians are on the ground, attending to the client’s needs, and you’re getting routine updates from them.
  • Incomplete– Though the job had been assigned to the required technician, it was not completed in the set amount of time, thus requiring an additional visit to the site. Given that the FSM solution increases the first-time fix rate, cases of ?incomplete tasks? are reduced.
  • Complete– The task is successfully done and the customer has appended their e-signature, and now it can be invoiced.
  • Cancelled Invoice– The head office determines that a particular invoice shouldn’t be paid, and thus cancels it.

Our focus here is the pending tasks, so use this filter. ABC’s HVAC job will be among these. Clicking on its Job ID will open up the details of the task, with such an Update Job window:

FieldElite Job

This section contains all the information of the job- both past and present, which you can update in real-time. Any changes will be recorded by the system and can be viewed on the “Audit” tab.

As you can see here, the HVAC repair job is both “pending” and “urgent”. No one really likes sitting in an office that feels like an oven. Being the headquarters, it’s likely handles lots of foot traffic, and the damaged HVAC unit will make the working conditions really difficult. It’s best not to keep the client waiting, right?

So, head on over to the Supervisor and Workers section (on the same “Details” tab), and select the personnel suited for the task.

FieldElite Job Details

Set the time that the task will take for your technician, and once satisfied with the details of the job, click on Update. Voila! You’re done.

FieldElite Job Update

Immediately this happens, the worker received a notification on their app, telling them that they have been assigned the job.

From the app, the technician will be able to view the specifics of the HVAC job, including notes and attachments that you can add directly from your own dashboard, such as schematics of the building and reports from other technicians who installed the air conditioning system for the facility. You also get to add products that will be required for the task- like the pipe and panel mounted socket shown here. As the system also includes an inventory of the products used, their quantity and costs, you will be able to keep an accurate record of the supplies as they as are used.

As such, the field workers will not have to keep coming back to the central office to get documents and reports of new tasks, or walk around with bulky files. When they are carrying out the job, they will also be able to keep the staff at the office updated about its progress, through the chat feature on the mobile app, taking photos and adding notes as required.

2. Staff Scheduling

With this approach, the perspective is basically: ?So I have a couple of jobs- which of my employees has time to handle them?? The FSM allows you to optimise your productivity- by ensuring that you get the most out of the staff work hours, and avoid cases of jobs going into overtime.

Follow these steps:

  1. Select ?Scheduler? from the left-hand side of the window. You will have a view of the workers of your company and how their day is planned out, and a summary of the unassigned jobs.

Here, you can tell whose busy, and who can have a new task assigned to them at the click of a button- which is far more effective than keeping on jotting down points in your diary or going through files of documents.

If the job has yet to be added to the system- like for the cases of new clients, simply click on the ?Add Job? button and key in its details.

2. Scroll down, you will see a list of unassigned jobs.

unassigned jobs

3. Next, click on the edit button under ?Actions?. This will take you to the same ?Update Job? window described in the first approach, in order to assign the preferred worker to the role.

This real-time dispatching avoids cases of your desk getting cluttered with paper sheets, and prevents duplicate entries as each job has its own ID and task details- from the scheduling to the invoicing. In this case, your HVAC technician will have access to the information needed right at the palm of their hand, to ensure that the task at ABC?s head office goes seamlessly. The optimised schedule will enable the task to be carried out faster- restoring normalcy to your client’s facility.? In case the client’s location is on the route that one of your technicians takes while heading home, you can take advantage of this by giving them the task towards the end of their working day- thus clearing more of your backlog, sorting out your client, and easing your technician?s worries about getting home late.

As you can see, the field service scheduling software enables you to easily and efficiently handle your workflow, avoid the mess that is associated with manual documentation and cases of your employees getting conflicting schedules and overlaps- which would strain them and dampen their morale. Streamlining your workflow and standardising operations ultimately results in increased customer satisfaction.

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