Telemetry and the Survival of the Human Species

Without moisture, plants die. Without fodder, the animal food chain collapses. This is why climate change is the greatest threat humankind faces. Crop management needs timely information regarding ambient conditions, and also in the soil itself. In dry areas, online knowledge of trends in rainfall, sunlight, wind speed, leaf moisture, air temperature, relative humidity and solar radiation are indicators of soil stress that can be deadly for plants, and everything that relies on them.

As climate change bites, the need to find solutions accelerates. Drones swoop across to monitor ambient conditions, while probes sunk into plants and the earth in which they grow transmit information to big data repositories for feedback to administrators. In Australia, a remarkable cattle farmer is applying the same approach to his herds.

Nuffield scholar Rob Cook has always been on the edgy side of things. He lost his mobility in a helicopter crash in 2008 patrolling farmland but that has not deterred him. If anything, it has freed his mind to explore the potential that telemetry offers farmers in Australia. He shared this potential with the young beef producers in Roma Australia recently, and here is a summary what he said.

Being wheelchair bound he had to shift from herding with cattle dogs to a more scientific approach. He bought a farm 230 miles / 370 kilometres inland from Brisbane in a warm, temperate climate with significant rainfall even in the driest months. He uses observant software that reports on critical issues like water levels indicating animal consumption, and supplementary water flows from a central irrigation channel.

He also monitors fodder sources for dryer months, and moisture levels in food stocks. Rob is committed to making every blade of grass count. ?We even have the ability to take a photo of the cattle when they are taking a drink of water,? he explains, and that provides valuable information regarding tick and fly infestation and overall condition.

None of this would be possible for Rob Cook without telemetry, which is the process of collecting data at remote points and transmitting it to receiving equipment for analysis. Independent farmers do not have equipment to fund these analytic resources on their own, and use big data resources in a cloud to obtain reports. ecoVaro is on top of current trends. Please speak to us when you need independent advice.

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UK Hauliers Pull Together on ESOS

ESOS is what UK business needed, to encourage it to become more responsible for the environmental consequences of making money. Government has met with industry leaders to hammer out the finer details. Now there are heartening signs of intra-industry collaboration, for the example the FTA approach we discuss here.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is one of the UK?s biggest trade associations, and exists to represent the interests of companies moving goods by air, rail, sea and road. It is their representative at national, European and local level that advises them on legal compliance. In February 2015, it announced plans to help the industry comply with ESOS too.

The association has been active since the announcement of the UK?s Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme. It has engaged with government and membership through the portal of its Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS). The Environment Agency has singled this out as a benchmark other industries could follow.

FTA general manager for consultancy and tendering Karen Packham recently said, ?With our highly experienced and fully qualified team of transport auditors ?the FTA is best placed to offer practical advice and is able to provide specialist audits to ensure members are fully compliant ? and will gain all the benefits that the scheme has to offer.?

These co-audits with Environment Agency specialists advising, will focus on the full range of operational and supporting activities, and ensure that all haulage companies with over 250 employees do the following:

  • Assess energy use across their full spread of buildings, transport media and industrial activity
  • Examine energy-intensive pressure points and identify savings opportunities that provide financial benefit
  • Nominate an ESOS person to conduct future audits, or oversee and approve them independently
  • Report to the Environment Agency as scheme administrator per statutory intervals

Ecovaro has energy management software that turns metrics into high-level information that busy people understand. Give us a call if you are puzzling how best to present your data. We believe two heads can achieve so much more together.

Enhance and Streamline IT Processes

You can’t be assured of a competitive advantage by just buying the latest technology. Your top competitor can easily match that feat by simply spending as much on the same tools. To be always at least a step ahead, you’ll need to perform tweaks on your IT processes aligned with the strengths of your organisation.

IT solutions are like a pair of sneakers. If they fit perfectly, they’ll help you run the extra mile. If they don’t, you can develop blisters faster than you can reach a single mile.

In all our efforts to enhance and streamline your IT processes, we’ll start by looking at all your logistical advantages, limitations, and objectives to determine which technologies suit you best. Once we’ve obtained them, we’ll perform the appropriate customisation to make them perform optimally under the conditions unique to your organisation.

Below are just some of the enhancements we can apply to your organisation:

  • Put up application and systems monitoring to identify bottlenecks and underutilised resources in your IT infrastructure.
  • Propose areas where you can plough back the generated savings to further improve your ROI.
  • Take scalability into consideration when pushing for certain IT investments to ensure that the IT solution will work for your organisation not only today but even as your organisation grows.
  • Introduce mobile-capable enterprise-class IT solutions that allow seamless collaboration between team members working at different locations on the globe so that pressing matters can be resolved and decisions can be arrived at as quickly as possible.
  • Integrate Business Intelligence into your IT system so that massive collections of data can be processed into insightful information which managers can draw on to make intuitive decisions.
  • Introduce avant-garde solutions, like virtualisation and infrastructure sharing, which may require large scale changes but can also significantly reduce operational costs.

Find out how we can increase your efficiency even more:

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Implementing Matrix Management

Matrix management is a culture change. More than the hierarchical structures, lines of responsibilities, modes of communication and channels of decision-making, it is a concept that needs to be planned ahead and managed appropriately over time.

Implementing matrix management to any organization can be confusing. It is essential to ensure that it fits right to your business strategies, skills and competencies. With this, realizing matrix management should not be taken lightly. Careful stages should be considered, instead.

Here are the steps to proper implementation of matrix management:

Consider Your Business Context

You need to evaluate your organisation to analyse what are your development needs with regards to skills, products, services and market environment. This will help you decide on what type of matrix structure you will apply in your organisation. Consider the following questions in building up your context:

  • What is our strategy?
  • Where are the demands in our business?
  • What are the structures that our competitors currently employ?
  • What are the talents that my people possess?
  • What are other business organizations doing?

Set Your Implementation Scope

Next, you need to define the parameter and set the scope of your implementation. What area in your business do you think matrix management will successfully work? There are several things that you need to consider in setting your scope. You have to make sure that it works well with your overall business strategies, that it can be excellently communicated and easily understood. Also, you must ensure that you acquire the necessary talents and skills in the business to deliver the new system of responsibilities.

Implement the New Structure

When you have already decided what structure type you will implement, you are ready to give it a go. You will need to establish new communication channels so you can monitor the progress and receive feedback effectively.

Here?s how to apply the matrix structure:

  • Highlight your development needs
  • Define roles based on outputs and not inputs
  • Line up procedures and systems to support the structure and the behaviour that comes with it.
  • Invest in training and development
  • Support the key people in the structure by coaching them to better adapt in changes
  • Communicate regularly
  • Monitor progress and make necessary adjustments

Review the Matrix Structure, Roles and Responsibilities

Organisations that successfully implement matrix management adapt to the changes in their environment. With this, they do regular evaluations to highlight the need for changes and revisions. The review can either focus on the structure only or to the entire process as a whole. The results can alter the structure, the roles involved and the responsibilities taken.

The process of implementing matrix management follows a step-by step method. Each stage is equally important with the rest. Hence, if you plan to exploit it in your organisation, you have to recognise the purpose of each step and follow it appropriately. Balance is the key. And when you achieve stability in matrix management, amidst the complex changes in the world of business, then your organisational success is just around the corner.

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