While many businesses and premises across the globe remain shut, essential facilities like grocery stores, hospitals and transport hubs continue to operate with the additional challenge of keeping employees and patrons safe while social distancing. Managing critical operations such as cleaning, security and maintenance during a global pandemic is a delicate balance of trying to maintain business continuity and business objectives whilst also keeping staff and customers safe by complying with health & safety regulations. In this blog we will outline how to deploy the ‘just-in-time’ operations tactic across your venue to maximise your output with limited resources.
What does ‘just-in-time’ operations mean?
‘Just-in-time’ operations is exactly as it sounds, only using resources at the exact time they are needed. ‘Just-in-time’ operations help public venues to effectively operate with limited resources, using technology to help inform decisions means that venues only deploy resources or personnel when they are absolutely needed. As social distancing continues to be the most effective method of keeping employees safe, a just-in-time operational approach allows venue managers to use smart technology and data collection to keep employee contact with the public (and each other) at a minimum and allocate resources sparingly.
Maximising a Skeleton Crew
Managing a public venue during a lockdown means that the scheduled workforce on any given day is going to be leaner than ever, as management try to keep as many staff in the safety of their homes. With limited personnel on the frontline, technology can be utilised to achieve operational goals within a specific window. NFC sensors are an effective and simple way to show proof of presence for security or cleaning staff. By utilising a frontline workforce management app you can be smart about assigning and scheduling tasks so that employees are only at a specific location exactly when a task is due to be completed For example, if a security guard needs to check-in at a certain location that has the potential to be more congested than other areas of your venue, you can minimise the amount of times the worker needs to be at that location to meet requirements, and then utilise task scheduling to send the worker to that location only when it is typically at its quietest.
Assigning an unexpected incident
When it comes to managing a public venue, unexpected incidents are, ironically, expected. If a member of the public has a slip, trip or fall and becomes injured, a quick response is needed. Rather than having a loud speaker announcement asking all available first-aid trained staff to head to the location, you can use a frontline workforce management app to assign the incident to a specific staff member, send an urgent alert to their phone, and deploy them to the location immediately. Using smartphone technology to take a just-in-time operations approach to incident management means that you can limit the amount of staff being deployed to a location, while also adequately assisting the injured patron.
Smart Sensors lead to Smart Decisions
Some of the simplest sensors can deliver the most important data when it comes to deploying resources. A simple door sensor can provide you with accurate real-time data insight of how often an area has been populated in a given window of time. With just-in-time operations, data is key, and knowing if a particular door has had heavy usage allows you to make educated guesses on which areas of the venue require the most attention from cleaning and hygiene staff. If your venue has a number of public bathrooms, but only one particular bathroom has had heavy usage, then you can deploy your cleaning crew with refreshed supplies just to that bathroom only and spare them having to check every other location that has been largely untouched.
As the world recovers from this pandemic a new normal will emerge where resources and frontline workers will be utilised more thoughtfully and intelligently. A just-in-time operations approach to facility management is likely to become more widespread after the Covid-19 crisis, and with smart technology it’s easier than ever to intelligently predict and deploy resources and staff at the exact moment they’re needed to get the #JobDone.
For more information on how Over-C can help you to deploy smart technology throughout your venue read our case study here: https://over-c.com/case-studies/automating-retail-maintenance-management