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The Connected Workforce

Wednesday 15 November 2017 Data Insight & Analytics

Jane Dalton's picture
By Jane Dalton
Earlier this year, I was talking with a director of an inspection company who shared my thoughts about where – and why – inspection services are moving. In this age of digital and social media where information is unbound and institutions are more visibly under the spotlight, there’s an increasing public expectation of accountability and quality, of putting the customer (or service-user) experience first. Against this background, the role of inspection services is increasingly important.
 
But while the public demands regular, thorough and well-documented inspections, it doesn’t necessarily want to pay for them. While ‘austerity’ has resulted in cuts across the board, regulators have found themselves particularly hard hit. The squeeze on resources – on people, money and time – means inspection organisations are being forced to work smarter. And this invariably means that legacy IT is not fit for purpose.
 
At a time when many government departments already have a gaping hole in staff provision, regulators have no choice but to maximise efficiencies and logistics around staffing by improving rostering, planning and sharing of information.

Joined-up thinking

 
Technologies such as Resource Planning and Mobile Working can dramatically increase inspection service workforces’ productivity and performance. The main benefits lie in joining everyone up so that improvements can be realised across the different team roles:
 
Chief Inspectors have to wear many hats – delivering taxpayer value in the face of public scrutiny, being able to adapt to regulatory change with agility and accuracy, and above all supporting the strategic direction of the business. To do this transparently and speedily he or she needs instant access to reliable, joined-up information.
 
Inspectors are usually travelling and as a result are time-poor. Efficiency isn’t a nice-to-have for them, it’s a life-saver. Having one single, accurate, up-to-date version of the truth enables them to process results on demand and access schedules and other critical information in the field.
 
Schedulers have the dual role of scheduling their workforce in advance and monitoring live jobs. The right technology enables them to plan resources more effectively, ensuring the right person is allocated to the right job and responding to last-minute changes like staff sickness.
 
Operations officers are the managers of the logistics and resourcing aspects of inspections. The right technology can ensure jobs are completed on time and on budget through leveraging team access to accurate and up-to-date information. Efficiencies are especially important for companies that do “deep dive” inspections where a large team will descend for an intensive few days at a site.
 
All of them are essentially part of the same ecosystem and value chain. Weaknesses in one part mean vulnerabilities in another. Joining up vital processes, people and places is key to smarter working.
 

Accelerating efficiency

 
New technology solutions have to be scalable, quick to implement, secure and have the ability to drive efficiency improvements throughout the workflow on an ongoing basis. Partnering with the right provider – one that understands the pitfalls and has insight based on experience of success with other clients – is critical to overcoming such challenges and bringing innovation to life.
 
At CACI we believe in a connected workforce. By equipping the workforce with better information, autonomy and a renewed sense of control, the organisation will act with more confidence and create a sense of trust within the sector, further driving efficiencies in a way that doesn’t destroy the human aspect of the services. Cygnum is our leading enterprise resource planning software solution that’s tailored around the exact needs of inspection services providers.
 

Changing how we work, changing how we think

 
This is the first of three blogs in which I’m looking at how new thinking – underpinned by new technology– is changing the world of inspections. My next 2 blogs will explore specific real-world examples of how data-analytics technologies are being used now and the potential of future technology innovations such as AI and IoT.
 
I’d love to get your feedback - What do you think will be the biggest issue impacting on inspection services in 2018? Leave your comments below.
 

How is technology and efficiency playing a role in changing inspection services today?

The Connected Workforce

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