Managing dispersed staff and assets

Tracking Dispersed Staff
Knowing where your people are at any one time may be a mandatory health and safety requirement, or a convenient operational advantage. Either way, management best-practice dictates that knowing where remote staff are, and that they are safe and contactable is important.
Depending on where they are going, what they are doing, and their risk profile, you are likely to need a communications and tracking solution to help manage their health and safety requirements. And you are just as likely to have operational necessities that depend on very much the same capabilities.

For either scenario, there are several options that could be considered:

  • SMS
  • Email
  • Telephone
  • Satellite communication
  • Personal safety devices
  • Automated alerts
  • GPS tracking

These options allow for a range of assurances from direct communication and updates of their current status, to alerting of any situations that might arise in real-time, and finally gaining an insight into the regions and the relative risks they may be currently operating in.

Tracking Dispersed Assets
Tracking dispersed assets is also important from a management and operational best practice perspective, particularly as they are generally mobile, and frequently move from site to site. They represent considerable capital value, and at times are critical to operations. So, losing access to them, either through theft or because the asset’s location can’t be ascertained, can be costly from a productivity and operational focus.

Reacting to Significant Events / Disasters
Central to the management of your staff and assets is your ability to react during significant events or disasters. Within New Zealand earthquakes are a regular occurrence, and in Australia, it’s the bushfire and flood seasons that are major considerations. On both sides of the Tasman, there are pressing requirements to ensure organisations are able to effectively and quickly locate and manage dispersed people and assets during times of major disruption.
When these events strike, ask yourself how you are going to quickly locate specific assets such as trailers, diggers, generators and containers to meet critical timelines on high-value projects. And how you are going to ensure the safety of your people.

Ensuring work is undertaken

For a large contracting organisation reporting on ‘proof of activity’ helps to ensure that contracted services are undertaken at the right time and in the right place, and using the capability of geofences is one of the most effective ways to support this. Two examples of geofences being used in such a way are where a mower is required to maintain a particular area regularly, or ensuring that a sprayer actively avoids spraying in a particular protected area (such as where there is organic farming).
Additionally, knowing the time a staff member arrived or left a client site by vehicle may assist with queries around billing, and provide evidence of whether or not contractual commitments are being met.

Having quality, accessible information also puts you in a position to implement improvements and add value to your relationship with the client.

  • Are all trips necessary and timely?
  • Could visits to multiple locations be undertaken in a more efficient order to minimise travel time and distances?
  • Does the time on a client site truly reflect the service undertaken and the accompanying charge for that service?
  • Are service calls trending up or down, shorter or longer, and what does that mean to operating costs?

Everything in one interface
Organisations now have access to a single management platform that provides real-time visibility and tracking across multiple operational factors:

  • Your people, including ways to contact them
  • Vehicles and fleet (cars, trucks, utes, tractors, and diggers)
  • Non-powered assets (trailers, generators, and caravans)
  • Speciality assets (gators, mowers, and sprayers)

Further enhancing this value are reporting functions that mesh favourable outcomes in health and safety with the operational considerations of organisations. By centralising all this data within a single platform, you aren’t limited to focusing on just health and safety or the productivity aspects when reporting. Instead, you’re able to cross-functionally track and measure productivity and safety across your entire organisation, including all fleet assets and lone workers in a comprehensive solution.

Tracking and managing your dispersed staff and assets don’t need to be a difficult task. With the appropriate technology implemented to support you in visualising and reporting on the operation and condition of your staff and assets, you’ll have a better understanding of their productivity, and be able to identify new opportunities to make changes and improvements.

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