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

TBS rolls out in UAE and Qatar

We have successfully delivered our first solution for Interserve International into the Middle East. The rollout of the TaskMaster solution has so far been in the UAE and Qatar, both new markets for TBS. 

It allows over 125 Interserve technicians to perform planned and reactive maintenance for their Alshaya contract. Alshaya franchise nearly 90 of the world’s best known retail brands, including Debenhams, Boots and Starbucks, and have 700 stores in UAE and 300 stores in Qatar. 

TBS has integrated with the FSI Concept Evolution CAFM solution to deliver the full mobile solution for Interserve International. The solution allows for the following:

  • Interserve staff training on TaskMaster
    Interserve staff training on TaskMaster

    Jobs generated in Concept Evolution and assigned to technicians which are then are received onto the technicians TaskMaster application, with status updates and data collected being fed into Concept Evolution as the job is progressed.

  • The technician can go through their tasks, add parts used on the job, add assets and record further work required.
  • The customer can view a summary of the work completed and add their comments and service rating before signing off the work.
  • Planners can view their technicians real time locations using the Management Console web applications.

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

The Future of Transport

The transport industry is under great pressure to deliver a quality, cost effective service in what are difficult times. Not only this, there is an expectation for businesses to do more to encourage growth and deliver results.

Passenger journeys in 2015/16 grew to:

  • 238 million journeys in the aviation sector
  • 252 million journeys on light rail
  • 1.6 billion journeys on British railways

According to Gartner, transportation CIOs are stepping up to take the lead in innovation. With an internal focus on digital transformation, their top three objectives are:

  • More revenue from better operations
  • Cost reduction
  • Engaging and empowering employees

Does Digital Transformation hold the key?

By using key enabling technologies as a foundation for change, businesses are able to develop disruptive and sustainable strategies.

To see more on how Cloud, Mobile, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence are transforming the transport industry, and improving customer journeys, please click here.

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

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”.