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.

2017 Digital Predictions

As in previous years, we have examined some of the technology trends of 2016 and made some predictions on how key enabling and emerging technologies will be used by innovative businesses in 2017.

There have been some significant triggers here in the UK that will drive the adoption of technology in 2017.  These have recently been amplified by a report from Gartner, highlighting that the strategic challenges faced by UK plc are:

1) Developing better relationship with their customers
2) Reducing costs
3) Increasing revenue through better operations
4) Further empowering and engaging employees

Therefore, this year, we have focused our predictions on the digital technologies we believe will provide transformational change in 2017.

I hope you find our predictions interesting, and if you would like us to undertake a Digital Transformation Workshop for you, please contact rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com

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

 

 

 

On Board with Innovation at Go Ahead’s IT Day

Last week at the Public Transport Providers IT Day, TBS helped deliver Go Ahead’s vision of ‘a world where every journey is taken care of’.

Held at the London Transport Museum, in conjunction with key partner Vodafone, TBS inspired change for the transportation industry, identifying how this industry will be driven to achieve enhanced efficiencies through the deployment of key technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Wearables, Mobile and Cloud.

With an impressive showcase area for delegates to get hands-on with the innovation from TBS, insight was provided on how this industry will generate great outcomes with the adoption of technology. From train turnarounds to security checks, passenger assistance to asset management, TBS identified how this revolutionary technology will drive key imperatives in the transport industry to:

  • Generate more revenue from better operations;
  • Reduce operational costs; and
  • Engage and empower employees.

According to a recent piece of research from Gartner, the transportation industry is leading the way in digital technology, with 55% of transportation CIOs increasing their IT budgets in 2016. In light of this finding, TBS were excited to reveal how the transportation industry could embark on their innovation journey in a cost effective way.

If you would like more information on your mobile strategy or are keen to get on board with TBS, please email rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com

IoT in the Enterprise: A Pragmatic Approach

At the recent Empowering People with Technology Event hosted in conjunction with Samsung and Mitie, TBS brought together a line-up of elite industry experts who examined how consumer technology could be harnessed as part of a business’s mobile strategy.

Rob Bamforth, Principal Analyst at Quocirca, delivered an informative session on ‘The Industrialisation of IoT and Wearable Devices’, explaining how the emergence of new technologies such as IoT and wearables could be used holistically to take businesses to new levels of efficiency.

As an output from the event Rob has created the following blog, providing an insight into the value being created through deployment of such ubiquitous technology.

IoT in the Enterprise: A Pragmatic Approach

There is a degree of hype surrounding the internet of things (IoT) with many wild ideas reminiscent of ideas for internet businesses during the dot com boom. Despite this, the combination of exuberant innovation and pragmatism is already paying off with some practical and tangible business benefits. However, it is important for businesses not to solely focus on the shiny nature of ‘things’ but to take a broader view with their digital connected strategy.

A recent event, hosted by Mitie, in conjunction with Samsung and TBS Mobility, brought together many important aspects that underpin how IoT technology and wearable devices could have a significant impact on businesses.

WIRED magazine gave presentation of current innovation in this area, which explored the potential for dramatic impact, especially for consumers. Only a couple of years ago many of the ideas would have seemed fanciful and far-fetched. All were based on current concepts ranging from working prototypes to customer ready products.

From ‘consumerisation’ to industrialisation

Consumerisation is important as it lays the groundwork for increased acceptance of technology in both the home and workplace. Recent Quocirca rsearch of UK company attitudes to IoT and wearable devices (“The many guises of IoT” report) has noted a growing appetite for the use of these technologies, especially if both line of business and IT are working together.

This is something that Mitie has addressed with the application of IoT and wearable devices to aid facilities management tasks. Many of the activities involved in managing, securing and cleaning workplaces and facilities may seem straightforward. They may not appear to be obvious contenders for the use of novel technology, but there are opportunities to streamline processes.

The simple repetitive task of cleaning toilet facilities is one area being addressed and has already provided interesting results. Most people will be familiar with the signed sheets outside on the wall indicating when a facility was last cleaned, usually once per hour. But this routine approach to maintenance ignores actual usage of facilities and consequent requirements.

By use of a simple sensor monitoring ‘traffic’ levels, Mitie has gained an understanding of usage patterns. In the past this sort of checking might have been conducted periodically and analysed after the event to establish new working routines. Now the data can be acted upon immediately and dynamically; if the facilities have not been used, then no work is required, but if usage suddenly rises (perhaps a large meeting or event), a message is sent directly to an operative to act.

The combination of IoT with the use of devices worn by the operatives – in this case Samsung smartwatches – means that the messaging technology does not get in the way or encumber the worker. Added to this the organisation does not have to provide what would once have been much more expensive IT to its workforce. The process has been streamlined, but service levels are also improved.

Incremental investment

The idea does not need to stop there. With some external data sources and analytics, a more predictive approach could be taken. Additional sensors could be added to check the use of soap from soap dispensers and toilet paper so that intelligent replenishment schemes could be put in place. It might seem unimportant to those not directly involved, but like other areas where processes can be semi-automated, real efficiency savings can be made. In low margin services where much of the cost is people, such as facilities management, efficiency makes a big difference.

The investment cost has not been significantly high either and this indicates a great way to apply innovative technology to improve a business process:

  • First, identify a business problem that could benefit from incremental improvement by gathering more data or applying some level of automation.
  • Next, look to technologies that are becoming commoditised by consumerisation so that employee acceptance can be readily achieved and propositions can be tested quickly and deployed relatively cheaply.
  • Finally, measure and analyse the return to plot next steps. It might require more investment or enhancement, or even for the current concept approach to just be made more robust. However, if the returns are already demonstrable and the decisions about the next level of investment are based on valid experimentation, then the next small leap is not in the dark.

With current levels of innovation, it is clear that there will be many new IoT technologies and concepts over the coming years, but businesses do not need wait. There are plenty of smart devices and sensors available to use today, and costs have already been driven down to levels that make enterprise applications worthwhile. It doesn’t require special IoT magic or even a CIoTO (Chief IoT Officer), just a bit of business led thought combined with smart IT application of what’s already available.

For more information, please contact rebecca.evans@tbsmobility.com

TBS encourage inspirational change at the Empowering People with Technology Symposium

TBS encouraged inspirational change last week at the Empowering People with Technology Symposium 2016.

In conjunction with key partners Mitie and Samsung, TBS brought together a line-up of elite industry experts who examined the opportunities that mobile, wearable, IoT and cloud based technologies posed to business.

Held at the Kings Place in London, the packed auditorium were provided with a glimpse into the pioneering journey that Mitie has embarked upon with TBS and Samsung.

With an impressive exhibition zone for attendees to get hands on with the innovation from the joint hosts, informative keynotes from Quocirca and Wired Magazine, real life working examples from Mitie and a thought-provoking panellist session, attendees gained insights into a wide range of topics including the effect consumerisation of technology is having on business, how new wave data and mobile technology is encouraging new ways of working and how technology will influence the business of the future.

The half day symposium presented a refreshing approach for businesses to adopt new technology in an agile and cost effective way whilst staying one step ahead of the game.

If you would like more guidance or information on your mobile strategy or are keen to find out more on how TBS are inspiring change, you can download the White Paper here

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Dixons Carphone, Samsung and TBS shortlisted for Retail Week Awards

Europe’s leading specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer has been shortlisted for the Retail Week Technology Awards.

Dixons Carphone with Samsung and TBS, are finalists in the Retail Week Technology Awards, Innovation of the Year category, for their Colleague Smart Watch.

With a core retail business as the largest multi-channel specialist electrical and telecommunications retailer in Europe, Dixons Carphone consistently showcase the latest products and technology. Now, with TBS and Samsung Gear wearable devices, the customer experience is powerfully improved using the hottest tech available.

TechEcomm_2016_FINALIST (002)This innovation has been recognised by the retail industry.

With over 40,000 Dixons Carphone employees in nine countries, and millions of customer enquiries on a daily basis, using the Samsung Gear and TBS’s TaskMaster solution will benefit customer and retailer in equal measure.

Seamlessly, floor colleagues can act on the initial customer enquiry, check stock levels of any item, detail up-to-date offers and care plans, inform the warehouse of the order and deliver to the nearest till for purchase.

Sebastian James, Group Chief Executive states that Dixons Carphone are “We will not only help customers to access the technology and the connectivity that is right for them, but also find the expertise and services that bring them to life – the first and best company to offer this complete end-to-end proposition.”

Steve Reynolds, Managing Director of TBS, added “Dixons Carphone has taken steps to differentiate itself, adopting wearable devices to enhance the customer journey. This has placed them at the forefront of the retail industry, yet again. We are delighted to see Dixons Carphone, Samsung and TBS running for this prestigious award.”

 

The winners will be decided by a distinguished judging panel of retail experts and announced at the ceremony on 14th September 2016 at Intercontinental 02, London. For more information on the awards go to https://techecommawards.retail-week.com/.

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Managed Mobility Demystified

Leading mobility solutions provider, TBS have launched their new website to better explain TBS’s TaskMaster Platform and the world of managed mobility solutions.

“A new website to deliver a clearer understanding of the functionally rich and sector specific solutions created using the TaskMaster Managed Mobility Platform” is the message from David Dean, TBS Director. TBS have specialised in the mobility solutions market since the early nineties with solutions provided for multiple sectors including logistics, facilities management and utilities. WebsiteThey have recognised that a clearer message was needed to help demystify the world of managed mobility and what the TaskMaster platform is doing to rapidly provide functionally rich and tailored solutions to meet the specific needs of its customers across all sectors.

Jon Poynton, Commercial Director adds “… a new website allows us to easily reflect the more recent advances within market that the TaskMaster Platform has exploited, including wearable technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) integration. This has helped deliver solutions for the Retail sector and significantly enhance the offerings across all others”.