Three areas to consider to optimise your business in the Kingdom
The most successful businesses continuously assess their performance and evaluate and introduce ways to optimise operations, whilst retaining a high standard of service excellence.
Optimisation is the word on everyone’s lips this year; whether it is to save costs or improve efficiency, businesses should look at these three areas – workforce, asset management and data.
The pandemic has tightened the purse strings of many businesses throughout the world and whilst an automatic reaction might be to use cheaper suppliers or restructure and cut jobs, for true business optimisation a company should look at what they already have and how they can improve and utilise their people, data and assets more effectively.
Investing in People
Firstly, although training and development budgets can often be one of the first things to go when businesses look at cost savings – investment in people should be a top priority. Ensuring that your people have development plans in place with associated training activities will enhance their commitment and improve their capabilities and ensure their skills are up to date and relevant. This will also perhaps reduce the need for multiple staff to perform multiple duties.
It’s important not to have a narrow view on training, for example, on one of Serco’s projects we are training all our asset management staff on customer service.
Why? Although their job is technical, they will be working in a live event environment and so it is important that customer experience is front of mind because they will be dealing with people.
Right people in the right place at the right time
The management of people is the next key aspect of optimisation. Utilisation of the knowledge, capabilities and skillsets that you have to hand in an effective way is essential in order to provide a cost-effective yet high quality service. Workforce management technology has paved the way for businesses to achieve this in a way that is measured, taking into account non-productive time, planned and unplanned leave as well as for annual training requirements. Using workforce management systems for rostering and scheduling ensures that you have the right number of people in the right place at the right time performing the right duty, whilst balancing their welfare with fair and reasonable days off and factoring in a risk percentage for unplanned absence such as sickness.
For example, Serco operates a contract to provide fire and rescue services on a major dual-runway international airport in the Kingdom. With a team of over 100 operational and support staff, four operational fire stations and 20 specialised fire vehicles and the combined emergency nature of the contract, workforce management is key to getting the right personnel in the right place at the right time.
Getting the most value from your data
Data management is also a key area to look at for business optimisation. We have a wide range of data available at our fingertips, and if we don’t have the data we need, it is more affordable than ever to start tracking and collecting that data, whether that is via IoT enabled devices or collection through a smartphone app, and storage on a cloud-based system. Understanding what to do with that data is where businesses can truly leverage and maximise its usefulness. Through Serco’s partnership with AI and Cloud Computing Company G42, we are providing customers with data-driven insights to make better business decisions, streamline efficiencies, foster innovation, and drive value.
At a basic level, data can be used to identify trends and perform detailed root cause analysis of any recurring issues at any level of your business’s operations. Optimisation, by definition, is the removal of inefficiencies and data is where you can find, identify and design solutions to those inefficiencies.
The sharing of data is also invaluable in the goal of business optimisation. Often, businesses that share the same parent company or who are part of the same group do not maximise the potential of the data that they have collected to benefit each other.
Optimisation of assets ties together the accurate usage of data and the maximisation of the development of your people. It’s no secret that procuring, operating and maintaining assets requires considerable cost throughout people, tools and consumables. Through digital asset management you will have greater transparency and accuracy on future CAPEX and OPEX decision making in a way that truly reflects the condition of your facilities and reduce the likelihood of unexpected costs incurred due to asset failure or unnecessary replacement.
KSA is currently going through a Kingdom-wide asset and facilities management transformation programme and having standards for asset and facilities management and consistency is key for alignment across the Kingdom.
Serco has developed a new assets and facilities management national standard in partnership with the Mashroat programme and has produced the national manual for assets and facilities management, the criteria for a national asset register and unified standards for a multi-sector computerised maintenance management system, with an implementation plan for the rollout.
County Director – Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mona Althagafi
Mona is responsible for driving growth in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which includes the operational delivery of our core offering of data, asset and workforce management. She plays an integral role in establishing and growing the Citizen Services business in the Kingdom, to support Vision 2030 with a commitment to service excellence and customer experience, strengthened through Serco Middle East's ExperienceLab.
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