How Westin Melbourne Hotel Trimmed its Footprint

Becoming sustainable is a three-pronged process. You must save money and push the buttons the government is pressing you to. But there?s a deeper, more urgent issue. If your customers mark you down for not being green enough you are heading for trouble. Let’s see how well this hotel is doing.

The Melbourne flagship of the Westin hotel chain boasts 262 spacious rooms with views of Melbourne Square and surrounding theatres, designer boutiques, galleries and national landmarks. The architects included conference facilities, a wellness centre and sundry bars and restaurants. After climate change arrived to stay, hotel management discovered they had inherited a water and energy-greedy monster. Their solution was to measure what was going through their systems, and then progressively cap the building?s greedy appetite.

The Melbourne Westin Hotel could not have achieved results without these metrics. They began by determining key indicators and measuring them. This provided them with criteria to set achievable, cost effective targets in the following key areas of their business:

  1. Water Management ? Demand-based linen and towel recycling, installation of back-washable water filters, water-saving shower heads, dual-flush toilets.
  2. Waste Management ? Conversion to green products, recycling kitchen oil, moving towards a paperless office, recycling everything possible.
  3. Energy Management ? Energy-efficient light bulbs, standby settings for lights, computers, televisions and air conditioners
  4. Stakeholder Communication ? Staff green-team training, guest education, ongoing employee briefings
  5. Strategic Positioning ? Visible, top-down commitment, optimised carbon offsets from clean, renewable energy sources, clearly stated position in the market

Westin?s Melbourne landmark has made good progress towards becoming the green hotel for others to follow. It has adjusted its environmental policies, increased water and energy awareness and implemented tight waste management.

Consumers are already shopping to make their carbon footsteps lighter. Food stores are on the bandwagon although apparel is lagging. Perhaps it’s time you found out just how your company is shaping up. It’s no longer a matter of ?if carbon taxes?. It’s a matter of ?when it does?.

ecoVaro is a software system-in-the-cloud that lets you enter your water and energy consumption and process it online so you can monitor and manage your usage. In no time at all you could be saving money like Westin Melbourne did. Does that sound like something worth investigating?

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Excel Spreadsheet Conversion to SQL Reports

Spreadsheets are flexible, inexpensive and easy to use. They are especially handy when it comes to beating report submission deadlines or making impromptu data computations.

Unfortunately, organisations heavy reliance on spreadsheets have made these User Developed Applications (UDA) into high-risk office tools. Simple spreadsheet errors like leaving out a negative sign or a cut-and-paste mistake have already caused million-dollar discrepancies. Also, when a fraudulent employee enters into the picture, the risks become unimaginable.
Think TransAlta’s spreadsheet cut-and-paste glitch (the company later called this a ‘simple clerical error’) which caused the energy firm a whopping $24 million loss or Fidelity’s overstatement of its earnings owing to the omission of the minus sign on the spreadsheet of a $1.3 billion net capital loss.

Denizon can convert your Excel Spreadsheets to a web based SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). It does not import Excel data, rather it allows the creation and deployment of reports in a more efficient manner by querying the data.

So what is the problem with Spreadsheets?

  • Plagued with risk issues and vulnerable to fraud
  • Lacking in control features especially when copied, edited and emailed between many users
  • A burden to regulation compliance e.g. SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley)
Moreover:
  • Accidental copy-paste/Omission of a negative sign/Erroneous range selection
  • Incorrect data input or unintentional deletion of a character, cell, range, column, or row
  • Possibility of the user working on the wrong version
  • Prone to inconsistent company-wide reporting
  • Often ‘defenceless’ against unauthorised access

See Top 10 Disadvantages of Spreadsheets

What makes SQL Server Reporting Services better than Spreadsheets?

  • Free from spreadsheet risks & equipped with built-in controls that substantially reduce risks to data
  • Less prone to fraud
  • More suitable for regulatory compliance e.g. SOX
  • Designed for an agile business environment

Automatic consolidation eliminates errors and wasted time caused by tedious copy-pasting of data and linking of cells
Better collaboration capabilities allows team members to bring their heads together for planning, budgeting, and reporting even while on the go
Mobility support enables users to input data or retrieve information through their wireless mobile device

Superior sharing features ensures that everyone is exactly on the same page and viewing real-time information
Dashboards provide insightful information at-a-glance through KPIs, graphs, and various metrics
Drill-downs enable users to investigate unusual figures and gain a better understanding of the details that contribute to the big picture
Easy to learn interfaces allow your organisation to cope with fast personnel turnaround or Mergers & Acquisitions

Don’t know how to shift from Spreadsheets to SQL Server Reporting Services?

We’ve got the knowledge and expertise to assist you in:

  • Making a smooth and cost-efficient transition from risky spreadsheets to reliable reports
  • Designing and implementing SOX-compliant report-generating methods and procedures
  • Putting exposure to high-risk reporting methods a thing of the past
2015 ESOS Guidelines Chapter 3 ? The ESOS Assessment

ESOS operates in tandem with the ISO 50001 (Energy Management) system that encourages continual improvement in the efficient use of energy. Any UK enterprise qualifying for ESOS that has current ISO 50001 certification on the compliance date by an approved body (and that covers the entire UK corporate group) may present this as evidence of having completed its ESOS assessment. It does however still require board-level certification, following which it must notify the Environment Agency accordingly.

The Alternate ESOS Route

In the absence of an ISO 50001 energy management certificate addressing comprehensive energy use, a qualifying UK enterprise must:

  1. Measure Total Energy Consumption in either kWh or energy spend in pounds sterling, and across the entire operation including buildings, industrial processes and transport.
  2. Identify Areas of Significant Energy Consumption that account for at least 90% of the total. The balance falls into a de minimis group that is officially too trivial to merit consideration.
  3. Consider Available Routes to Compliance. These could include ISO 500001 part-certification, display energy certificates, green deal assessments, ESOS compliant energy audits, self-audits and independent assessments
  4. Do an Internal Review to make sure that you have covered every area of significant consumption. This is an important strategic step to avoid the possibility of failing to comply completely.
  5. Appoint an Approved Lead Assessor who may be internal or external to your enterprise, but must have ESOS approval. This person confirms you have met all ESOS requirements (unless you have no de minimis exceptions).
  6. Obtain Internal Certification by one of more board-level directors. They must certify they are satisfied with the veracity of the reports. They must also confirm that the enterprise is compliant with the scheme.
  7. Notify the Environment Agency of Compliance within the deadline using the online notification system at snapsurveys.com as soon as the enterprise believes is fully compliant.
  8. Assemble your ESOS Evidential Pack and back it up in a safe place. Remember, it is your responsibility to provide proof of the above. Unearthing evidence a year later it not something to look forward to.

The ESOS assessment process is largely self-regulatory, although there are checks and balances in place including lead assessor and board-level certifications. As you work through what may seem to be a nuisance remember the primary objectives. These are saving money and reducing carbon emissions. Contact Ecovaro if we can assist in any way.

Field service and improved visibility

A manager is someone who has control over a company. They are given the responsibility of overseeing what the company does and making important decisions. The manager is the most important person in the empire and needs to be in the know at all times. Not what happened a day ago but in real-time and from any place.

Information is necessary for this to happen. It needs to be concise, brief and straightforward. Ideally, access to job status, location information, customer information, notifications and location information should be on the palms of their hands.

To sum it all up, there should be fluid communication among personnel in the field. Information should be accessed easily from one place as it flows to another to maintain steady two-way communication. This is possible with automation meaning that no amount of data will be left unseen or unused because of paperwork that was never handed over or looked into, reducing the chance of misinformation or missing information to a minimum.

Ways improved visibility will help your business through Field Service

Organisations using field services will agree that improved visibility has more business benefits and the real question is what aspect needs improving rather than discussing the benefits.

Real-time visibility

Managers need to be in the know from anywhere at any time. The manager needs information about the company. The need not to be physically present to have an idea of what’s going on. They should know everything at all times, from what was planned for the day to real-time events.

All this information should be easily accessed from one central point and should contain everything about the company and other relevant information.

Extending the back office into the field

This two-way communication is virtually irreplaceable. At any time, the information should flow among technicians in the field and those in the back office. This will help to have a better idea of how to manage the workload and come up with solutions to some work-related issues.

Everyone in the team should be informed and be up to speed about real-time events. Keeping everyone updated improves visibility because they can make updates and decisions based on the kind of information they get.

No more lost paperwork

Managing paper trail can be quite a hassle for organisations. With tons of workload, there can be many delays meaning that some information might be missed or forgotten. People might also choose not to turn up for work for days on end and can affect how much info is processed. Some work can be left undone, and work not invoiced.

When organisations use field service management services, information is fed only once and everything else is done automatically. Say goodbye to lags or relying on last month?s data. Work will move faster because people will have more time to focus on important things rather than chasing an endless paper trail.

Business intelligence

Field service management technology will let you know what is being done in the field and with such an abundance of data, will make sound decisions for the business.

Every decision is hinged on cold facts. Information needs to be easily accessed and filtered into the right categories so that sound business decisions are made from the collected data.

Growing revenue

The abundance of real-time information and improved visibility can determine whether a business will grow or not. Each piece of information can show trends that are critical for any business to improve. Trends show how each sector is doing and sheds more light into specific areas that need a total overhaul. This may include improving customer service, products on retail or hiring more technicians.

Without information, a company is one step closer to going out of business. Every action should be geared to increase the revenue and this starts by making the right choices.

Visibility when working offline

Working offline is an issue that can affect visibility. Sometimes agents will need to work in areas that have little network coverage or are deep down working in tunnels or are around heavy machines and turbines. Field service solutions are built for the mobile environment and for workers who may find themselves in non-connected areas so that they can still use their device while offline. This makes sure that there is no loss of information while working in-field

Time-saving

Certainly, business is constrained to its environments and if the demand changes it should prove to be flexible enough to adjust to changes as they happen. Field service solutions operations like schedule need to update instantly. Once activities start rolling, nothing should create lags in the schedule so that operations flow seamlessly at all time.

Field workers can then make updates and document changes easily on the job site directly on their device by using responsive site menus, drastically saving time while feeding data and complete orders.

Improved customer service

It is not a clich? to say that the customer is always right. With real-time information, both field service and back-office technicians can improve customer relations and satisfaction. With a unified system of sharing information like the ERPs and CRMs, the field officer can know more about specific clients, their history and other data to know more about what should be done in current and future orders. This means that better decisions will be made for each customer.

How improved visibility benefits different parts of the organisation

Improved visibility in all areas of the business makes information more accessible. Here are some of the benefits that various sects of a business can get from improved visibility.

? The business owner
The manager owns the company and can access all information with just a single tap. A lot of data can be used to analyse the health of the venture. This includes revenue, inventory, customer surveys, employee hours, invoices and customer data.
Profitability is increased by putting more emphasis on customer satisfaction and improving the quality of end products and services.

? The service manager
The service manager can see what is going on in the field in real-time, and look into measures that can improve the productivity of staff members in various departments.
And with workflow automation, time-saving is at the maximum because there is less paperwork consequently improving scheduling and job completion rates.

? Service administrator/ dispatcher
For the team in the office, they can assign tasks faster. Scheduling is automatically done and updated in real-time. It eliminates the need for paperwork and leaves more time to be productive on other errands.

? The field technician
Improved visibility for a field worker means that they can do their best in any task. They can share or get critical information about orders and customers. This drastically improves job completion rates and customer satisfaction.

? HR
Live information can be used to track certain orders, the time it takes to complete orders, and the number of staff required in the organisation. Such data can be used in HR to reduce payroll errors and erroneous overtime costs.

? Finance
Field service management software can also benefit the finance team by automation of invoices. A work order can be tracked from start to the end and invoiced immediately to retain faster payments. Relevant data can be used to track revenue and expenditures, and costs.

Real-time visibility gives a company many solutions to manage the workload. In the end, visibility is also useful in increasing revenue and a smooth transition of information for the company.

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