17 Apr The best and worst practices in remote workforce logistics
There are many ways to handle the internal practices of an organization, some more effective than others. Sometimes it is rather hard to measure the efficiency of an organization’s business processes and identify what concrete elements are missing to achieve a higher level of efficiency and produce tangible results. Let’s dive in some of the worst and best practices in the remote workforce logistics.
Bad practice: Use short-term solutions to problems
It is said that sometimes in business, we just do not know how to recover from or correct poor business processes. Often, we employ a Band-Aid fix on top of the previous Band-Aid. Most often more money or extra people resources are poured into outdated technology or big departments.
This is quite a common situation with Resources Companies that have grown too quickly or may be “married” to legacy big box technology. Next steps, a visionary leader usually directs Travel & Camp Logistics to find a better way, usually after an emergency, like no mustering, or just costs out of control.
Change starts with leadership and a vision of what “best or better” may look like. But we must also be able to define what the worst looks like. Usually that is too many manual processes that are ripe for errors. The infamous spreadsheet may not be the best solution for 300-500 or 1,000 remote workers.
Good practice: Automate your workforce logistics processes
Manual processes, redundant data entry and lack of system integration may be a good signal that you are not up to date. One report for the Air Charters, another for the Camp and so on it goes. Until the boss asks for a report on all travel/camp costs or wants the breakdown by cost code between departments.
The theme is managing the process versus being a part of it so the FTE (full-time equivalent) count should be greatly reduced. Greater satisfaction will be achieved by higher efficiency and effectiveness by company travel planners. This will support a higher quality of travel satisfaction by rotators and contractors.
Here are a few examples of automated processes that can increase efficiency:
- Automated scheduling, to book the needed workforce in advance using predefined rules.
- Automated check-in/out, that uses mobile devices for easy access and flag no-show passengers, informing you on the status quo
- Automated accommodation assignment, that complies with your policies and avoids mistakes such as double assignments for a room or oversights.
Therefore, manual processes should be negligible as the system should operate on its own. Plus, integration with other external solutions is a must especially for Accounting to ERP. This will reduce workloads and increase timely information sharing and reporting.
Bad practice: Underestimate the importance of workers’ satisfaction with the commuting program
Poor management of the remote workforce can have negative impacts on the mental health of the workers and harm the overall efficiency of the organization. In the mining industry, miners experience various sources of stress related to their job; a badly managed schedule can add stress and dissatisfaction. Worker Travel Dissatisfaction can also be measured by the high turnover, poor production, increased sick time or even general malaise. Companies cannot afford the high costs of disturbed business continuity (when workers quit). And we know that recruitment is tough with trades in high demand.
Good practice: Exercise diligence when selecting a provider and outsourcing your data
Information Security is critical to preserve the integrity of your data – especially with sensitive personal information and travel data that may directly impact the security of your people. With the growing threat of cyber-attacks, utmost care should be taken when evaluating providers in your supply chain and their security infrastructure and practices. Some tips are to ask where the cloud infrastructure is located or where the development work is being conducted. Lastly, of course all IT Suppliers must have achieved an IT accreditation; SOC 2, SSAE or ISO 27001 are some examples of trusted security standards.
In conclusion, remote workforce logistics is an essential element to take into account; especially with the on-going pandemic that challenged various industries to innovate and look for solutions to keep their workforce safe. Instead of finding short-term solutions, there is an opportunity to innovate and reach more optimized and efficient practices. Have a look at the checklist here under to make your own self-assessment for your company.