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Proactive Operations: How to Use Strategy, Infrastructure & Technology

March 08, 2016

Businessman standing in front of the concrete wall.pngWe’ve just concluded our Annual Focus Group and are excited to share the wealth of knowledge and insights that this event generates.

The ISS 24/7 Annual Focus Group is where industry experts come together to conduct deep dives on the ISS 24/7 software, discuss power tips for both operations and technology, and talk about emerging industry technology.

We get enormous feedback from this event and this year may have provided us the most yet. We learned a great deal about what’s needed and wanted.

It’s exciting and overwhelming at the same time.

So much information was exchanged over the two days and the ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry have surfaced.

We admit that we’re obsessed in our pursuit to understand what’s truly involved in achieving success in each type of industry.

From airport operations to stadium operations, how can we contribute to the overall success of each operation?

What’s fundamental to each industry? What’s important to the experts? What are the common strengths and weaknesses that they all share?   

Then, we had an epiphany. A BIG one.

So big that we believe it will jumpstart participation and contribution amongst all industry verticals with this one common foundation – operations!

‘Operations’ is the one aspect that is vital to every industry.  ‘Operations’ is a common language spoken by all.

There’s more to it, though.

You want to be proactive, right? Or, at least, you’ve thought about the idea of being fully proactive and imagined how amazing that would be…haven’t you?

We’re here to tell you, you need to be proactive.

You need to deliver ‘Proactive Operations’ at your property.

Keep reading, we’ll explain why and how.

Understanding ‘Proactive Operations’

Alone, proactive and operations are two common words you probably hear often.

Proactive means controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.

Operation, the singular of operations, means the condition of functioning or being active.

When you combine the two, something powerful happens.

A new way of thinking, understanding, and executing is created that defines what every property, in every industry, must strive for…

Proactive Operations.

A new term we’ve coined to identify those operations that have taken, or plan to take, their operation to the highest level of performance ability.

Proactive Operations is where property operations utilize strategy, infrastructure, and technology to achieve maximum performance.

Once in place, strategy, infrastructure, and technology work as a whole to produce a well-oiled machine.

You must understand that applying ‘Proactive Operations’ in your property operations means making a long-term commitment to professionalism.

Make your commitment to being proactive, rather than reactive.

Then, start implementing your strategy.

The ACDA Principle Enhances Strategy

For quite some time, we’ve had the first part of this puzzle figured out.

It’s not to boast or toot our own horn at all. We’ve had the privilege of working with industry experts for almost a decade now.

So, over the years, we’ve really listened – closely.

Listening led us to the first part of ‘Proactive Operations’, which is being a professional operation.

To become proactive, you must first become professional. The key development here is your strategy, it’s your utilization of the ACDA Principle™.

The ACDA Principle™ is the first step on your ascent to ‘Proactive Operations’ as a professional operation. Click here to learn more about the ACDA Principle™.

The Principle includes the understanding, application, and continuous improvement of:

  • Awareness
  • Communication
  • Documentation
  • Analysis

If you embrace all of the areas of the Principle for your operation, you’re on track to being proactive.

Begin using the ACDA Principle™ to ask the hard, important questions. Dig in deep to find your current strengths and weaknesses.

Not only will you learn a lot about your current state, you’ll know how to best execute your strategy from this day forward.

Being proactive starts here.

The questions below will help you get started.

  • What currently occurs in your operation?
  • Does your staff always/ever know what’s occurring?
  • Is your staff proactive in any way?
  • How does your resource allocation stack up?
  • Are you able to efficiently manage departmental teams?
  • How does your staff communicate (i.e. radios)?
  • Does your team effectively execute operational tasks?
  • How far back can you easily retrieve incident details?
  • Is liability defense something your operation struggles with?
  • If a guest loses something, how quickly can you find it and return it?
  • Can you track accountability?
  • Do you know whether your staff is executing the correct protocols-to-handle?
  • What tools do you use to continuously improve your operation’s performance?

You need to design and build your operation’s infrastructure as the next step to securing a proactive operation.

An Infrastructure Enables Proactivity

Your infrastructure will vary depending on your specific industry or operational needs. Simply put, you must have one.

Generally, your infrastructure will need to include representatives from each department where issues or incidents could affect performance and customer experience.

To give you a large-scale perspective on the purpose of putting an organized infrastructure in place, we’ll use a stadium setting.

Here’s how you could set up your infrastructure.

Create a Command Center for Front-Of-House Personnel

This is where you would manage the operation.

You and your front-of-house staff will operate in a single location. In a stadium setting, you’d want a location that’ll provide your team a visual of the entire stadium bowl.

If you’re not a stadium property, having full awareness is still vital to your success. So, pick a place that helps you achieve this.

Front-of-house department representatives will include:

  1. Front-of-House Dispatcher
  2. Police
  3. Fire Rescue
  4. Event Security
  5. Guest Services
  6. Parking Operations

It’s important that the front-of-house dispatcher monitors a single radio channel for incoming communications.

This method reduces radio traffic, allowing for all representatives in the command center to receive any calls-for-service and incident details via a central source.

Every department representative needs to have the ability to view and manage their own department’s information.

Or, in the case of Guest Services, they’ll need to be able to track non-incident related questions and concerns such as lost and found items or guest requests.

Create a Command Center for Back-of-House Personnel

The back-of-house command center is set up in a separate location to mitigate confusion for departments, which enhances communication.

With a similar setup, your back-of-house command center will include its own central dispatcher as well. They’ll monitor a single radio channel for all back of house incoming communications.

The back of house department representatives will include:

  1. Back-of-House Dispatcher
  2. Information Technology (IT)
  3. Engineering/Maintenance
  4. Housekeeping
  5. Concessions

Having two command centers gives you the ability to create issue or incident records for back-of-house and front-of-house departmental incidents.

You do this so nothing slips through the cracks.

Once you separate these dispatch channels, you remove all communication barriers that will affect your ability to be proactive.

Operations Management Technology Skyrockets Performance

You’ve defined your strategy. Check.

You’ve put your infrastructure in place. Check.

Now, implement the best technology in the marketplace to experience what it’s like to have a proactive operation.

First, we recommend you read more about the ACDA Principle™ in the blog article we mention above.

We wrote a whole piece about it, which breaks down each individual aspect and how it correlates to technology.

The first pillar of the Principle is Awareness, so we’ll use that to explain our point in this article.

Consider what increased awareness could actually do for your operation.

  • How would increasing awareness improve your operation?
  • How does not having awareness impact your operation?

Having increased awareness helps you be proactive.

When you’re more aware, you’re able to respond to incidents quicker. You’re able to respond to one more in less time.

How do you increase your awareness? How do you ensure your operation is ready to be proactive?

You develop an infrastructure that cultivates the awareness you need.

Case in point, we note above that you must define a command center that gives you the ability to see the stadium bowl.

That’s a major part of initiating your strategy, which focuses on awareness.

But, you can take this even further!

You can maximize your awareness.

Implement solutions that maximize your strategy, infrastructure, and skyrocket your performance, which drastically increases awareness.

You’ll have the ultimate ability to ensure nothing ever slips through the cracks again.

This is ‘Proactive Operations’ at its core.

This is one you can do.

Your property has guests, visitors, patrons or fans, right?

You can drastically increase your awareness with their help.

How?

By using text communication software. It’s one solution to add to your operation that supplements your proactive efforts.

When you add this technology to the initiative, you eliminate the need for your staff to handle everything.

You save time by affording your guests to take the reins. They’ll have the ability to instantly and discreetly report issues, incidents or simply ask questions, using their cellphones.

They can “speak” directly to your command center.

Everyone can be on the lookout – staff and guests included. You’re saving valuable time while increasing your awareness.

That’s being proactive. That’s peace of mind.

Over to You

It feels refreshing when everyone’s hard work and efforts come together to improve how things are done. We believe that ‘Proactive Operations’ is going to redefine the future of property operations.

Today’s not going to be the last time you hear about ‘Proactive Operations’ in your industry. The right question is, are you going to be the first to share it?

So, what do you think about ‘Proactive Operations’ as being the way to lead a common initiative amongst all industry types?

Learn how to employ Proactive Operations using strategy, infrastructure & technology.

Topics: Proactive Operations

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Learn how to employ Proactive Operations using strategy, infrastructure & technology.

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