Overview – Emergency Services

Ensuring business continuity for emergency services has always been unpredictable. However, COVID-19 and the “great work-from-home experiment” have shifted employees’ expectations towards more flexible working arrangements that have completely upended the IT work model. Immediately following these workplace changes, the world experienced global political tensions that impacted the price of raw materials, causing global supply chain shortages, rising inflation, and an overall cost of living crisis.

As a result, staff turnover is at an all-time high as people transition to higher-paying, more flexible, or more fulfilling roles (or all of the above). In addition, the increased hiring competition has led to skyrocketing salaries, further fuelling staff turnover. This constant change has threatened business continuity planning across all sectors, notwithstanding the emergency services. However, public-funded organisations, in particular, tend to move at a slower pace and operate under more rigid budgetary constraints than the open market. These factors put organisations like emergency services at even more risk of meeting staffing demands and retaining existing staff than other organisations.

So, how can emergency service organisations adapt to this ever-changing work environment and ensure business continuity? This post explores how Responsiv Cloud Automation Platform (RCAP) fills the gaps left by the UK’s volatile hiring market and enhances your organisation’s ability to ensure effective business continuity.

Re-imagine Business Continuity with Responsiv Cloud Automation Platform (RCAP)

Business continuity is about preparing for emergencies or disasters, keeping your systems up and running, and restoring critical operations promptly when something goes wrong – the emergency services of the business world. It’s also about sharing technical knowledge across your organisation and supporting people working under pressure during a crisis. RCAP provides the emergency services industry with robust process automation and connectivity features that enable best-in-class business continuity planning. Here are the benefits that RCAP delivers:

[1] Ensures process continuity through process mapping

When staff leave, important institutional knowledge often goes with them. Capturing and documenting this knowledge ahead of time (whether it’s technical know-how, current processes, or documentation) is a foundational step in business continuity planning. Process mapping is vital for capturing your organisation’s as-is processes and showing the relationships between human tasks, workflow, and technology. RCAP uses an industry-best tool called IBM Blueworks Live. The resulting blueprint of this process-mapping activity allows for faster employee training, provides a bird’s eye view of processes, and forms the foundational understanding of how various tasks relate to the business’s big picture.

[2] Formalise business processes

A process-driven organisation builds on a detailed understanding of its own processes. Adopting a structured method for completing every task reduces human errors, reduces time spent on jobs, and provides a clear, easy-to-follow plan that is easy to share in a volatile staffing landscape. RCAP helps you standardise and formalise your processes. This consistent approach helps eliminate costly misunderstandings and deviations from best practices. It also improves the effectiveness of your training of employees and prevents process silos from emerging within your organization.

[3] Create automated workflows

Automation is only possible when you have formalised, clearly documented processes. Smart workflows then provide the glue driving digital transformation in business continuity planning. These workflows help you improve customer experiences, achieve faster outcomes, and manage risks to the bottom by stringing together your various business tasks with logic, triggers, and automation.

In RCAP, you can create smart workflows to perform specific tasks or coordinate structured activities across all areas of your organisation, from supply chains and finance to logistics and operations. Workflow applications coordinate structured work between people and automated tasks performed by systems. You can even create routing logic to account for staff being out of the office or at a different timezone and redirect specific tasks to ensure timely completion.

As a result, workflows improve the consistency of outcomes, maximize efficiency, and keep you operating “business as usual.” These systems also police the process, making it easy to highlight staff deviating from standardized procedures and ensuring tasks are not assigned until they are actionable.

[4] Reduce waiting by identifying process bottlenecks

Delays in any process—regardless of the cause—result in lost value. RCAP workflows automatically assign tasks to the appropriate parties and send reminders until completion. You can also add re-route logic to notify the next person in line if a task remains incomplete for a specified amount of time.

In addition, reporting in the application allows managers to identify bottlenecks, remediate them, and further streamline the process. These features help reduce waiting, free up time for other tasks, and support team members to stay on track with their responsibilities.

[5] Reduce non-value-add activities

Business continuity is often not about fixing major issues. Rather, it’s about optimising processes and eliminating non-value-adding activities that cause wasted time and effort. Often, these types of activities go unnoticed because they are small and do not add immediate complexity to the organisation. However, once you map out and formalise your processes in RCAP, you can report on them, quantify the cumulative cost of these actions, and more easily justify their removal.

[6] Enhance your organisational decision-making process

Reporting in a non-automated world takes time. In RCAP, it’s as simple as a click of a button. In addition, the level of detail provided by the built-in analytics is high-quality and immediately actionable, allowing you to identify, isolate, and resolve issues quickly. This reporting allows for faster and higher-quality decision-making.

[7] Track unstructured work

Many other process automation solutions miss a critical aspect of any business continuity planning—unstructured actions. These activities could involve manual human interventions (discovery or investigation, for example), data activities, or a thousand other things. RCAP has built-in case functionality to track and streamline these unstructured tasks, further simplifying and standardising your processes.

[8] Integrate systems and connect your data

Multiple systems of record and legacy IT infrastructure are common in most businesses, especially in emergency services. The problem these systems pose is that there is no single source of truth. This environment requires that your systems talk to each other and establish a common understanding of which data takes precedence. To solve this, RCAP includes a fully specified service bus that allows you to connect to your data wherever it is (SaaS, Xero, Salesforce, Zoho, MS-Dynamics, MAIT, CFRMIS, Resource Link, ERAS, and many more). A service bus also reduces the number of point-to-point integrations between systems by standardising API endpoints in the service bus.

[9] Automate HR processes

RCAP optimizes your HR processes and makes onboarding and training new staff a breeze. With all of your institutional knowledge standardised, you can easily make this knowledge available to new hires without loading current staff with the responsibility. This automation keeps your existing IT staff focused on their current projects and mitigates much of the costly administrative load inherent in onboarding new staff.

[10] Free up staff for higher-value tasks

Ultimately, RCAP drives your organisation to document, standardise, and automate your business so that staff can focus on higher-value tasks and projects. It also gives them the technology they need to do their jobs effectively. For example, IT staff can use RCAP to immediately see the state of each system in real-time and deliver accurate reporting on various aspects of each system. By freeing up your IT team in these ways, you ultimately create a more fulfilling work experience that can increase staff retention and reduce on-the-job stress. In addition, it allows you to be proactive and think ahead.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that business continuity planning is more than just systems. It is a holistic approach that encompasses the human aspect as well. It also needs to account for challenges facing organisations. RCAP is about enabling you to meet these demands, deliver on your organisational promises, and continue delivering best-in-the-world emergency services. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us to find out how RCAP can help you successfully navigate today’s challenges and prepare for the future.

 

Speak to our Senior Account Manager, Mike Axcell on
01344 266980 for more information, or email us here.

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    Mike Axcell

    Mike Axcell