Improving Workforce Management Through IoT

At TBS, we provide a workforce management solution built using a platform that is adaptable and scalable to a business’ needs. It focuses on improving all aspects of a worker’s role through mobile working, IoT and scheduling. IoT is an exciting area that is providing transformational ways of working, but how exactly does it improve workforce management? In this blog, we’ll take a detailed look at both IoT and workforce management, before exploring how their connectedness can benefit the workforce.

 

What is IoT?

According to IoT for All: “the Internet of Things, or “IoT” for short, is about extending the power of the internet beyond computers and smartphones to a whole range of other things, processes and environments. Those “connected” things are used to gather information, send information back, or both.”

But in its simplest form it is, “the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet.” (Forbes)

IoT offers a unique opportunity to strategically utilise the internet to improve our lives, you may already have connected appliances at home that trigger certain actions, such as turning the thermostat up or down once it reaches a certain level. Applying this logic to the workforce is the next step. IoT utilises sensors to monitor a wide range of events, absorbing data like temperature, movement and moisture, to name a few possibilities. Organisations can use this data to ensure that their workforce are doing the tasks that need to be completed when they need to be done.

 

What is Workforce Management?

Mobile working describes those who are largely based in the field, their work could be anything from cleaning, to housing repairs or a community nurse. They find themselves dealing with multiple jobs or visits throughout the day and each contains a lot of information and administration to be completed and uploaded. This is often a manual process, resulting in physical paper records that have to be taken to and from the office, and hand written notes that can result in human error.

However, workforce management presents a digital solution that allows employees to access and input information, collaborate on projects, and stay in contact with colleagues, all via one mobile device, wherever they may be. Utilising a mobile application to access information about their daily schedule and record information improves compliance and consistency, allowing them to focus on the task at hand rather than filling out paperwork or having to return to the office to re-type notes.

 

What is the Value of Connectedness?

How can workforce management be enhanced to provide a more connected service for both employees and the customer? The answer is IoT, by utilising a platform that connects with sensors to detect and monitor events and translate the data into valuable insights and required actions, the workforce gains greater visibility. Take for example a cleaning scenario for a facilities management company based within an office block, with Wi-Fi enabled sensors placed on each floor, specific meeting rooms and bathrooms, they monitor footfall so that when one of the meeting rooms is in use, it triggers a job to be created for someone to clean and service the room.

Within the bathroom, sensors within the bin can detect when it is too full, or a sensor can detect when too much moisture is in the air, indicating a possible leak. These sensors can ensure that workforce time is used effectively, that their time is spent doing tasks that actually need to be completed. The data gathered can be used to make informed business decisions, how many staff are needed in particular areas, ensuring efficient deployment of staff and increasing capacity for all.

Together, IoT and workforce management provides the opportunity for a level of visibility that connects data and people together to ensure effective deployment of staff and improved service delivery for all.

Every business is unique, with its own challenges but IoT offers the flexibility to develop a solution that resolves your specific requirements. IoT will continue to grow and transform how we work; now is the time to implement an IoT strategy alongside workforce management. Chat to our team today to kickstart your digital transformation.

TBS Announce Partnership with CogniPoint™ by PointGrab

TBS, the digital transformation and workforce management experts, has announced it is an official channel partner of CogniPointTM, the sensing technology created by Israel-based PointGrab.

CogniPointTM is a sensor which provides, in real time, building footfall, occupancy and dwell time, driving actionable insights around occupant behaviour and how and when workspace is being used.

This in turn can be used in building/asset management and helps implement efficiencies and optimise the use of space. By using CogniPointTM and Technology developed by Pointgrab, customers can save up to 30% of their workspace and rent expenses.

CogniPoint is easily installed and can be operated and managed through TaskMaster, TBS’s adaptive workforce management platform providing actionable insight the data gathered by the sensors, including presence, people count and locations, is sent data back into TaskMaster, allowing users to monitor and control space. 

PointGrab’s technology makes it easy for workers to share and find workspace and colleagues, fostering greater collaboration and productivity. CogniPointTM also allows users to optimize allocation of physical resources such as workstations, meeting rooms, lighting, HVAC and more, leading to significant cost-savings and improved efficiency.

Each sensor can cover up to 48 sqm, and can also monitor and report on individual spaces within its overall designed area, such as where hotdesking is used. Multiple sensors can also stitch together data to cover wider areas.

Steve Reynolds, TBS Managing Director, said: “The integration of CogniPointTM into our TaskMaster platform is a perfect and complimentary fit with our strategic direction in providing our customers access to business insights on how workplaces, shops public buildings etc. are being utilised.  We are delighted to be an official channel partner for PointGrab.”

“We are excited to partner with TBS and offer together an advanced solution to their extensive customer base in the UK. The joint offering will enable a solution to current pressing Real Estate issues such as poor space utilization, to bring a more productive work environments. The need for such workspace management tools has never been so urgent,” said, Doron Shachar, CEO of PointGrab Ltd. 

About TBS

Formed in 1994, Technological Business Solutions Ltd (TBS) specialise in the delivery of digital workforce management solutions built using its own TaskMaster Platform.

With over 24 years’ experience in developing software, TBS has become the world class partner of choice for many businesses embarking on their enterprise wide digital workforce management strategy.

About PointGrab Inc.Ltd.

Leveraging its ground-breaking sensing technology, PointGrab is pioneering the next generation of office workspace optimization solutions. Its flagship product, CogniPointTM, is a highly advanced facility management sensing solution which provides insight into occupant behaviour and space utilization, while ensuring individual privacy. PointGrab is taking the lead in this space and collaborates with many partners in the facility management and building ecosystems to deliver flexible and efficient solutions that improve commercial real estate business performance. PointGrab’s headquarters is located outside Tel-Aviv, Israel. More information is available at http://www.pointgrab.com; follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

SmarTalk – September 2018

Welcome to the September 2018 edition of TBS SmarTalk. In this edition we explore how voice-driven technology is driving business through the latest frontier, we talk about how we teamed up with Shell UK to create a solution to digitise its existing platform inspection regime, and read the latest news on our ground breaking soil moisture testing solution.


Download SmarTalk September 2018

FM focus: Technology is the saviour of post-Brexit Britain

TBS Managing Director Steve Reynolds says companies must embrace the new digital landscape…

It’s been a decade since the global recession and those that survived came out of it leaner and sharper. Yet we are again plunged into a time of uncertainty, a time where businesses are reporting a large increase in people costs.

Facility Management companies are being challenged by shorter contracts, tighter margins and an increasing cost base driven by Brexit, living wage increases, pension reform, the apprentice levy and future foreign labour restrictions.

At the same time they must improve process compliance, productivity and efficiency of the workforce, whilst reducing operational costs and providing transparency to customers who want the confidence that that services are being delivered to the highest standard; helping to differentiate on the quality of the service rather than lowest cost.

Challenges

When looking at how to meet those challenges, simply changing their processes is no more effective than re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. For Carillion is was too late, but it need not be for everyone.

FM companies must though embrace technology and take advantage of the huge advances that can help them save money and improve efficiencies.

At a business I visited recently, they were still operating the same people-centred system as they were 20 years ago. With their sector in financial crisis, they are facing huge challenges, but this is where technology can be an enabler.

The Carillion collapse has served as a wake-up call to businesses which understand that simplytweaking their processes won’t work, and thatsomething more radical and innovative is needed.

‘Business as usual’ to ‘Innovation as usual’

We at TBS are constantly assessing enabling technologies, exploring the positive impact they can have on our customers, and assembling these component parts in a unique way, while focussing on the workforce needs and delivering transformational change that adds real value andcost savings to businesses; thus turning ‘business asusual’ into ‘innovation as usual’.

SmarTalk – June 2018

Welcome to the June 2018 edition of TBS SmarTalk. In This Edition:

  • Facilities Management – we focus on how companies must react  to Brexit and the changes that are coming to the industry
  • Case study – TBS teams up with Mitie and Samsung to deliver FM solutions
  • Our new 3-step  Advice Line
  • TBS rolls out in the Middle East


Download SmarTalk June 2018

May Newsletter – What’s New with TBS?

In the latest newsletter from TBS, we concentrate on productivity in the workplace.

Featuring our article inspired by the Stoddart Review, we look at TM Locate, that provides visibility of your workforce and what they are doing, and look at the latest technology from Samsung, the DeX docking station.

We also welcome Paul McGreggor, our new Customer Service Manager.

To view our Newsletter for May please click here.

To sign up to receive future newsletters, please email Rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com

Transform the Workplace

TBS are pleased to have supported industry partner Vodafone at their recent thought leadership event, Transform the Workplace. Hosted at The Brewery in London, the event brought together industry experts who examined the role technology plays in achieving workplace transformation; delivering invaluable insight into the ways businesses could harness technology within their workplace to improve efficiencies.

Steve Reynolds MD of TBS discussed how Wearables, IoT (the Internet of Things) and Voice Recognition Technology (Conversation as a Service) could be used in the workplace to:

o Increase productivity and efficiency of the workforce
o Engage and empower employees
o Generate a competitive edge
o Retain and attract new talent
o Enhance operational efficiencies.

Following on from recent research in The Stoddart Review, which highlighted the importance of the workplace on workforce productivity, it was fitting to have leading FM provider Mitie speak about their innovation journey with TBS. Providing delegates with a vision into their future workplace, Mitie explained by deploying IoT within their clients’ workplaces has automated what have been traditional people centric processes, thus introducing new ways of working and workplace transformation; ultimately improving operational efficiencies and empowering their workforce.

Keynotes were delivered by Vodafone and Samsung, with a clear message supported throughout the day that Mobile, Cloud and IoT are the keystones to a digital transformation strategy, and these will differentiate you from your competitors.

Considering the above, TBS will be hosting Innovation Workshops with businesses keen to understand and identify areas of their business that could benefit from the deployment of IoT, Wearable and Voice Recognition Technology.

If you would like to find out more information on our Innovation Workshops, please email rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com

To view TBS’s commentary on the Stoddart Review and to learn more on the role of IoT technology in the workplace, please click here, or to see TBS in action at the Transform the Workplace Event, please click here.

Improving Workplace Efficiency

The Stoddart Review published in December 2016, raises awareness among business leaders of the importance of the workplace and the effect it has – both positive and negative – on the performance of the workforce. The Review aims to encourage executive leadership teams to investigate how well their workplaces are contributing to the success of their organisations; looking at ways to improve workplace efficiency.

Raising productivity levels is an essential part of delivering stronger economic growth. Improving the use of any workspace could give a modest, but significant boost in productivity.

The research in the Stoddart Review has uncovered an explicit link between how well a workplace supports the activities that employees undertake in their role and the employees’ perception of how much their workplaces help them to work productively.

The influence of the workplace on performance has been hidden, yet small rises in productivity are significant and worth pursuing.

Within the report, Duncan Weldon, BBC Newsnight economics correspondent, gives his view of how a increasing productivity by 1% would benefit us all.  He writes that it would:

• Add £20 billion to our national output
• Reduce the annual government deficit by around £8 billion
• Add £250 a year to the average wage packet
• Increase annual profits across the country by almost £3.5 billion

Modern businesses need to be agile to survive and the workplace needs to keep pace with this. The clear message is that the right investment in technology and workforce will make a difference to improve workplace efficiency.

IoT technology and its role in the workplace.

Clearly over the last decade technology has played a significant role in creating an effective workforce. The use of desktop computers and Smartphones now play an intrinsic role in the way we generate and distribute information.

However, we are only just starting to come to terms with the impact the workplace has on our overall productivity.  Until recently this has not been something that could be analysed because the data simply did not exist. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) low cost wireless sensors it is now possible to using data analytics and visualisation tools to measure and assess their impact of the workplace on the workforce.

Using movement sensors and iBeacons with location algorithms it is now possible to capture information on how staff inside the building interact with each other and utilise everything – hot desks, energy use, coffee machine use, washroom use and more. Using this business insight, internal changes can be implemented to improve the workplace environment to make it a more effective place to work, provide the appropriate facilities and ultimately reduce costs whist increasing productivity.

Adding conversation as a service or voice recognition to the mix has the potential to transform the way we request help and services. Simply asking for a coffee machine to be replenished while stood next to the coffee machine will be automatically recognised and a service request generated to a member of the team to replenish the machine, is just one example of what could be achieved.

Act now

IoT is seen as the next big thing and has the potential to completely disrupt the traditional people based processes, from triggering a workforce service request to empty a bin that has become full, to collecting urgent mail from a sensor enabled tray. These new data points can be analysed to improve performance, provide valuable insight and derive new ways of working as part of a continuous improvement programme.

Our approach is to explore the impact these technologies will have on organisations, together with their key business stakeholders. Starting small and quickly deploying a proof of concept, the focus is on specific business benefits.  This can create a sense of urgency to concentrate on digital innovation and to practically demonstrate how technology can underpin this.

When the investigation stage is complete, there will be enough data to make an informed decision on whether to proceed with the innovation or to revisit the requirements.

Improve Workplace Efficiency

If you are looking to improve workplace efficiency within your organisation or are looking to gain a greater understanding of the impact of these enabling technologies, and want to find out how TBS can assist you with your mobile strategy, please email rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com

To view the Stoddart Review in full, please click here.

A New Kind of Change for the Financial Industry

Gartner highlighted 2016 as a year that would deliver transformational change for the financial industry; driven by digital technologies and new business models. As an industry that have historically been reluctant to change, the idea of digital technologies may at first seem daunting. But as we edge towards the close of 2016, the opportunity technology presents for the financial industry far outweighs the threat.

TBS understand that digital business is forcing many organisations to reconsider how they source and deploy technology and were pleased to explore how revolutionary technology could be utilised by financial businesses, in a secure and cost-effective way, at the recent Financial Customer Advisory Board Event.

Hosted by Samsung at the impressive Banking Hall, London, TBS demonstrated how key technologies could be embraced by the financial industry to address prevalent industry challenges. Showcasing the latest in Wearable, Mobile and IoT (Internet of Things) technology, delegates were provided with an insight into their future workplace and how their business could thrive and survive through the deployment of technology.

With a focus on the customer outcome and the need to bring the high-street banking journey in line with the online experience, TBS demonstrated how technology could enhance efficiencies for this industry by:

  • Augmenting the customer’s high-street journey and improving the relevance with their customers;
  • Empowering the workforce with customer insight and the ability to upsell; and
  • Adding a leading edge.

According to Gartner, CEOs within the financial services should encourage innovation by implementing a bimodal organisational structure and operating model that incorporates a defined innovation framework. TBS have already developed an agile process that underpins a bimodal deployment strategy to assist the financial industry with their digital business where:

  • Mode 1: explores the impact these technologies will have on business, together with key business stakeholders, starting small and quickly deploying a proof of concept with a focus on specific business benefits;
  • Mode 2 concentrates on digital innovation to practically demonstrate how technology can underpin this.

To find out more on how TBS can assist you with your innovation journey, please email rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com