Uncover hidden opportunities with energy data analytics
What springs to mind when you hear the words energy data analytics? To me, I feel like energy data analytics is not my thing. Energy data analytics, however, is of great importance to any organisation or business that wants to run more efficiently, reduce costs, and increase productivity. Energy efficiency is one of the best ways to accomplish these goals.
Energy efficiency is not about investment in expensive equipment and internal reorganization. Enormous energy saving opportunities is hidden in already existing energy data. Given that nowadays, energy data can be recorded from almost any device, a lot of data is captured regularly and therefore a lot of data is readily available.
Organisations can use this data to convert their buildings’ operations from being a cost centre to a revenue centre through reduction of energy-related spending which has a significant impact on the profitability of many businesses. All this is possible through analysis and interpretation of data to predict future events with greater accuracy. Energy data analytics therefore is about using very detailed data for further analysis, and is as a consequence, a crucial aspect of any data-driven energy management plan.
The application of Data and IT could drive significant cost savings in company-owned buildings and vehicle fleets. Virtual energy audits can be performed by combining energy meter data with other basic data about a building e.g. location, to analyse and identify potential energy savings opportunities. Investment in energy dashboards can further enable companies to have an ongoing look at where energy is being consumed in their buildings, and thus predict ways to reduce usage, not to mention that energy data analytics unlock savings opportunities and help companies to understand their everyday practices and operating requirements in a much more comprehensive manner.
Using energy data analytics can enable an organisation to: determine discrepancies between baseline and actual energy data; benchmark and compare previous performance with actual energy usage. Energy data analytics also help businesses and organisations determine whether or not their Building Management System (BMS) is operating efficiently and hitting the targeted energy usage goals. They can then use this data to investigate areas for improvement or energy efficient upgrades. When energy data analytics are closely monitored, companies tend to operate more efficiently and with better control over relevant BMS data.
Sometimes, driving your people to work harder is not enough for your organisation to withstand the pressures laying siege to it. With uncertain economic conditions, unpredictable fresh competition, and looming threats from the environment or even pandemic-grade diseases, empowering your people to not only ‘think’ but also to ‘step’ out of the box is currently the name of the game.
However, such initiatives typically require sweeping changes throughout your entire organisation … and to think even the slightest change is often met with hard resistance.
Whether you’re about to undergo an M&A, relocate due to a major catastrophe, scale down to a skeletal workforce, or implement a brand-new company-wide strategy, our systematic approach to large-scale complex business change can help you make the transition as seamless as possible.
We understand the importance of the human aspect in change management. That is why we’ll focus on making your people appreciate the benefits of having to learn new skills, perform new tasks, employ modern technologies, and go through new processes in order to tone down the resistance level.
Our entire process spans from top to bottom, wherein we’ll start with your sponsors, down to your managers, and then to other stakeholders in making them appreciative of the needed changes and in order to achieve alignment with your organisation’s goals. Our top to bottom approach is also aimed at casting a positive “shadow of the leader” on people down the line, enabling them with an optimistic view despite the gruelling tasks before them.
We invite you to have a look at the steps we take in implementing large-scale complex business change to win over a strong and lasting commitment to it.
Evaluating the Required Change
Large-scale complex business change initiatives can be implemented expeditiously and economically if you’ve clearly defined the scope of the change as well as the forces that shape your organisation. You’ll want to know which areas yield easily and which are hard to change to determine where and how you’re going to focus more of your efforts on.
To arrive at a sound and systematic plan, we first gather as much information as needed and analyse them. We determine whether your departments have the required capabilities and how we can arrive at a clear organisational alignment. That way, we don’t waste time, effort and resources when the moment comes to carry out the plan.
These are some of the diagnostic procedures we perform in evaluating the required change.
Change complexity analysis. We’ll assess the contribution of people and task factors to the overall complexity of the change project. This will help us determine how to approach the problem efficiently.
Causal analysis. By establishing cause and effect relationships, we can identify root or circular causes. This will allow us to pinpoint problem areas and prevent a repetition of past mistakes.
Structural analysis. Any company is propped up by a number of structures: organisational, process, motivational, social, and physical, among others. Understanding the structures that drive, motivate, hamper, connect, and influence your people’s behaviours can provide insights as to how or where structural change can best be executed.
Context analysis. We’ll look into market forces as well as political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors enveloping your business. We’ll also analyse your driving objectives, organisational alignment, and organizational capabilities. By analysing the internal and external environment in which your business currently operates, we can formulate a customised strategic and effective plan of action.
Change initiatives won’t prosper without total commitment from all stakeholders. Stakeholders refer to people in your organisation who either have interests in the change project or can be affected by it.
We deal with your stakeholders starting from the top because if we can’t gain full commitment from those already in the best position to spur the diverse entities in your company into active cooperation, striving to secure commitment from other areas will be futile.
That is, if you don’t have the full support of your key and principal sponsors, i.e. the people who have the biggest say and have greatest control over resources in your organisation, you can’t hope to sustain the change endeavour, let alone provide the much needed spark to get it started.
Here’s how we carry out our stakeholder management actions.
Conduct research to identify all stakeholders: the sponsors, your internal and external partners, the main targets of the change, and all interested parties. That way you can “switch on” implementors of each change action in the proper sequence.
Not everyone will offer resistance to your change endeavours. We’ll help you identify those stakeholders and sponsors who are willing to offer support, evaluate the level of support they are willing to give, harness all available supports and utilise them extensively to benefit the change.
Gain a deeper understanding as to why certain stakeholders are willing to lend support. In doing so, we can implement the right strategies that will encourage them to continue supporting you.
Assemble a leadership team that will champion your change initiatives. We’ll facilitate effective collaboration among its team members, transforming them into a cohesive force designed to carry out plans and motivate everyone else down the line.
Upon realisation of the change project, we’ll see to it that all stakeholders get a taste of the carrot at the end of the stick. This will encourage them to continue active cooperation in future change initiatives.
Planning for the Change
Anyone who has experienced having their car stuck in the mud knows that stepping on the accelerator will only get the vehicle trapped even deeper. Without the aid of a towing truck, getting the car out will require careful planning since different combinations of pulling, pushing, lifting, rocking to-and-fro, and stepping on the accelerator may be needed.
Of course, some combinations are just better than others. The same principle holds when effecting change.
Our approach to change management typically varies depending upon the information we obtain from the different analyses performed earlier. For instance, since not all organisations are suitable for a collaborative approach, we will employ either collaborative, consultative, directive, or coercive change management strategies wherever applicable.
A well-planned change will result in a smoother, less costly, and less disruptive transition. Here’s how we’ll help you plan your change initiatives.
When put in a predicament similar to the car-in-the-mud, the basic strategy entails identifying the current resisting forces and predicting what other resisting forces may be encountered along the way. After researching and pointing out your organisation’s resistance forces, we’ll lay out the most appropriate facilitation, education, and negotiation techniques.
To bring down wastage to the lowest possible levels, we’ll engineer a change delivery plan that involves the most cost-effective sequence of driver, process, technology, organisational, and people alignment.
To win and maintain a high level of trust, confidence and commitment from all sponsors and stakeholders, we’ll present a clear road map of the change process as well as landmarks that will prove how far we will have gone. These landmarks will then be brought to each sponsor’s and stakeholder’s attention each time they are arrived at in order to build up assurance and continued commitment.
We’ll design measurement tools and schedule reporting deadlines so that you’ll know what to look forward to and when to expect them.
Managing the Change
Your company will hold a better chance of maintaining a sizeable lead over the rest of the pack if you constantly establish a rally point and instil in your stakeholders the drive to rally to that point from the get-go. To make this happen, your company must undertake the unfreezing, transition, and refreezing phases of change skilfully in order to bring all stakeholders into the right mindset.
Our specialists’ systematic and efficient methods for each of these phases are designed to simplify the management of each phase as well as provide a seamless shift from one phase to the next. This is what we’ll do:
Set up a change project management office to ensure that everything associated with the change initiative is given the needed attention and resources even while all the other usual processes in your organisation run concurrently.
To unfreeze your people and get them started on the road of change, we’ll employ unfreezing techniques wherever they are most appropriate. We’ll resort to different kinds of methods ranging from presenting persuasive evidence justifying the need for change to showing a motivational vision for inspiring your people to embark on the change process.
Since it is during the transition phase when your people can find themselves groping in the dark, we’ll offer executive coaches for your senior managers; facilitators to provide guidance during team meetings and other change activities; coaches to educate and inspire them to meet the change with the right attitude; trainers to teach new systems, procedures, and technologies; as well as employ a variety of other techniques in order to make the transition phase as seamless as possible.
Although your people should always be ready to undertake the next major change after a previous one, there should be points in between where they can taste the spirit of success, establish a temporary base to rejuvenate, and immediately gain a deeper understanding of the nearby terrain so as to envision the next rally point. We’ll see to it that this vital phase of change is carried out completely.
A mobile workforce management software is key to managing an efficient field workforce.? Managing a staff of people can be tricky in any industry. Try keeping track of employees on shifting jobsites, many whom are paid hourly or temporary workers. The added pressure of ensuring the right workers get to the right sites at the right times, but they also need to track hours, parts used, vehicles and equipment assets.
In a previous post, we defined what is an operational review and why they play a key process in the continual evolution of successful businesses.?
Operational reviews allow the organization members to evaluate their performance, according to the procedures, resources properly, timescales and budgets.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how to implement an operational review and the steps typically undertaken to help you and your organisation to implement an operational review.
What the steps in a Operational Review Process
There are typically six steps in an operational review that range from preparatory work conducting interviews and collecting documents to the presentation of the final written report.
An audit should be customized to meet a organisatons specific needs, so standard steps can and should only serve as a guideline.? Management and internal and external auditors should adjust the process to address the company’s particular goals and objectives.
Initial Management Meeting
Understanding the problem is the first crucial step of an operational review. This is one of major areas of discussions when the audit team meets with the management, and department heads will be asked to identify any specific areas of concern. Once the problem is identified, it would be easier to come up with workable solutions.
The next step in the evaluation is carried out with experienced teams doing interviews and keeping close observation. Each team essentially watches how employees carry out their responsibilities. This is considered a key part of the process.
When doing the interview, it is also vital that the observing team gains the employees? trust and confidence. Likewise, the staff must be assured that whatever transpires between the team and the employee will be kept confidential. Management must therefore guarantee anonymity to anyone who offers critical information, lest employees withhold vital information and render the data gathered inaccurate.
Employees and management practices will be reviewed by the assessing team according to the standard policies and guidelines of the company. The effectiveness of the controls in place as well as their appropriateness to the current operating conditions will also be evaluated.
A documentation of the data gathered and the assessment of the evaluating team, will be submitted to the management after the review process. Flow charts and written narratives of departmental activities are usually part of this report. This is also where observations and recommendations of the team will be presented to the department heads concerned.
While the operational review is being conducted, it is important to take into account the vital factors that affect the company: the people, processes, procedures, and strategies. These four factors can determine the company?s progress in the future.
Key Areas of focus in operation reviews
At a minimum an operational review should include the following key ares of assessment
Responsibilities, authority, and the scope in which an employee has the freedom to act must be clearly defined and documented. A complete and specific job description for instance, would give the employee a clear perspective on how he acts and functions within the company.
Boundaries should be set not only to benefit the employer but more so the employee as well.
Moral and Ethical Guidelines
Moral and ethical guidelines are just as important to ensure for a smoother employer?employee relationship. Otherwise, personal issues such as work ethics, work attitude and personal values may post problems in the long run if such guidelines are not drawn properly before relationships are established.
Processes and procedures
Evaluating processes is only beneficial if the company itself updates its processes and procedural manuals regularly, or at least when needed. Such protocols may need revision and some steps may be obsolete already. Improving a company?s processes and procedures doesn’t always entail cost. In fact, improvised procedures may even be cost-effective and could make the processes more manageable.
Communication and reporting standards
Gaps in communication could result in serious lapses in internal controls, putting the company and/or its assets at risk. This is where the importance of timely and clear communication comes in. Likewise, reports must be useful, and the flow of information and how it is processed must keep pace with the company?s growth.
Information technology (IT) and security controls can also be included under the communication clause. Proper IT security policies must be in place, state-of-the-art protection techniques employed, and everything be documented, periodically updated, and continually monitored.
Strategic planning and tactics
No company can ever be complete without its strategies. It would unwise for any organization to proceed without first knowing where it stands and what direction it wants to take. Strategic planning draws such a map. It must be aligned to the mission and vision of the company, and should also coincide with the organizational goals set. Strategic planning deals with these three key questions:
What do we do now
Whom do we do it for?
How can we overcome competition
Without clear strategic direction, expectations would likely differ between ownership and management.
Contingency planning, testing and recovery
Contingency plans must be up-to-date, and are essential to the organization. If one course of action fails, the company should have plan B, C and so on. In addition, an organization should be prepared to respond to interference’s.
This includes establishing a formal process to review transactions processing during both disruption and recovery.
Presentation of Report
Based on your objectives and our findings, we will develop detailed recommendations to improve your company?s performance and productivity. Our written report will include a list of both short-term and long-term projected improvements and courses of action, to be mutually agreed upon by both parties.
To ensure the achievement of the improvements we outlined, our team will also assist in the implementation of these modifications.
The plan has three levels of recommendations: one for executives, another for management, and a third one for staff.
The executive summary concentrates on your company?s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to its entirety. It includes recommendations for any needed changes in policy or governance.
The management plan is based on employee feedback and includes areas of immediate improvement as well as identification of potential problem areas. Concerns from the bottom level management can now be forwarded to the top level management in formal writing. Better working relationships may evolve from this, thereby setting the work environment for a higher productivity ratio.
Lastly, the staff report deals with topics like charting the hierarchy of the organization, and discussing in detail specific control objectives that are critical to the company?s mission. Part of our goal is to encourage personnel to pay close attentions to such changes, if any, as these efforts are essential if they want to bring about both organizational and personal success.
If you would like to further discuss how our operational review services can benefit your company, please feel free to contact us at your convenience to schedule an initial consultation. We?ll be more than happy to assist you.
Carbon emission is one of the hottest issues in the world of energy and environment today. While it is supposedly an essential component of the ecosystem, it has already become a large contributing factor to climate change. Carbon emission might be good but abuse of this natural process has made it harmful to people across the globe.
This series of articles aims to help people understand the intricacies of carbon emission and what society can do to efficiently manage this natural occurrence.
Natural Carbon Cycle
Two important elements in the carbon cycle are carbon, which is present in every living thing all over the world; and oxygen, which is found in the air that people breathe. When these two bond together, they create a colourless and odourless greenhouse gas known as carbon dioxide, which is then crucial to trapping infrared radiation heat in the atmosphere and also for weathering rocks.
Carbon is not only found in the atmosphere of the earth. It is also an element found in oceans, plants, coal deposits, oil and natural gas from deep down the earth?s core. Through the carbon cycle, carbon moves naturally from one portion of the earth to another. Looking at this scenario, one can see that the natural carbon cycle is a healthy way to release carbon dioxide into the air in order to be absorbed again by trees and plants.
Altered Carbon Cycle
The natural circulation of carbon among the atmosphere is vital to humankind. However, studies show that humans misuse this natural cycle and abuse it instead. Whenever people burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, they produce carbon dioxide ? which is an excess addition to the natural flow of carbon in the environment. The problem is that the release of carbon dioxide is much more than what plants and trees can re-absorb. People are not only adding CO2 to the atmosphere, they are also influencing the ability of natural sinks, such as forests, to remove it from the atmosphere. Humans alter the carbon cycle by contributing doubled or tripled greenhouse gas to the atmosphere, faster than nature can ever eliminate. Worst, nature?s balance is destroyed.
Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gas and other gases. Although these gasses contribute to climate change, carbon dioxide is the largest greenhouse gas that humans emit. The reason why people talk about carbon emissions most, is because we produce more carbon dioxide than any other greenhouse gas.
The increasing amount of carbon emissions cause global warming to become more evident. All the extra carbon dioxide causes the earth?s overall temperature to rise as well. As the temperature increases, climate also changes unpredictably. Flood, droughts, heat waves and hurricanes are now widely experienced even in places where these phenomenon never used to happen.
To be able to reduce the risk of more severe weather conditions means burning less fossil fuels and shifting more to renewable sources. This is never easy. But, definitely, it’s worth a try.