Most business actions flow without interruption until something goes wrong! However, often the issues are foreseeable and avoidable. Conversely many businesses spend a lot of time and cost looking for potential issues that do not exist.
In this increasingly compliance driven environment you are expected to be on top of compliance and other business rules. Dedicated staff are required to monitor and track many criteria – until they are ill, leave or just get too busy and then ‘warning systems’ just fall apart.
The ideal is that appropriate staff members receive alerts AUTOMATICALLY only when these warning conditions occur. And desirably before the issue happens so it is avoided.
Inefficient use of time is costly. Spending time running reports to make sure all is going ok still takes time and is a cost to the business. Not doing any preventative checking can generate further loss of time and more costs as well as potential compliance fines in the worst case. Some systems may have some warnings built for some tasks such as super has not been paid – but not for all of YOUR specific needs.
There may also be many multi and cross purpose activities happening concurrently. Take COVID-19 as an example. While your business may be lost in the ‘is it legal to enforce an employee to have COVID-19 vaccinations’ – you potentially have customers who are demanding that your staff who attend their workplaces (hospitals, airports etc.) must be vaccinated. This means you should be collecting employee COVID-19 vaccination data now so you can make sure they are compliant with your customers’ needs – not only now but on an ongoing basis.
Save time with automated reports and exception alerts – get notified only for things you need to see instead of wading through reports looking for problems.
In Infoware this can be handled by:
- Using Infoware’s i4 Doclink document management tool. Create a ‘COVID-19’ vaccination document which also defines the document date and an expiry for vaccination/booster follow-up. Link a copy of the employee’s vaccination certificate
with the expected date for the next booster or expiry/review date (either by data entry or OCR).
- With Infoware’s Event Scheduler alerts you can generate an alert ONLY if an employee fails to notify you that they have not received the next expected vaccination. Plus, you have defined your own data list of accumulating employees who are “COVID-19 compliant” for customers that require these employees.
The scheduler options are comprehensive and allow you to create schedules as simple or as complex as required.
There are many opportunities in Infoware to save time by creating either scheduled reporting
Your business may have an internal policy that annual leave is not to accrue above 152 hours per employee. How do you manage this? Create an i4Query listing employees with more than 152 hours annual leave accrued and then create an event schedule to automatically run every week or month or day or whenever – it’s your call. Only when there is an exception will the staff list be generated. You are not required to run a leave report every pay period to check manually. Infoware does this for you saving you admin time.
There are many compliance alerts that could be activated:
- Overseas worker visas about to expire
- Any other employee certificates and licences e.g., drivers’ licence that is approaching expiry.
- Subcontractor workers comp. and public liability insurance about to expire.
- Generate list of job or customer contracts scheduled for review in next 6 weeks
- Your Company policy says no casual employees rostered to work on permanent jobs. What happens if you need casuals in the short term for a large job you have just won? How do you remember to employ a permanent/part time in future – or offer the casual the option to become permanent? Answer: Generate an alert!
Besides advising certain staff when alert exceptions are found, if required you can advise certain staff if the alert hasn’t found any anomalies (so admin staff know it has run but found nothing). This behaviour is up to you.
Infoware’s Event Schedule / alert manager allows you:
- Define you own i4Query to run as often as you like and email results to who you want
- Run existing Infoware functions as often as required. E.g., in an inventory focused business send a price list with current available stock on hand to an ecommerce partner. Imagine that – emailing different customers price lists at different calendar frequencies as requested with no ongoing effort.
- Even manage /reschedule some Infoware housekeeping functions. There may be end of day functions that you wish to suspend or delay due to shift changes or additional work.
In an inventory business environment, there are often tasks that are repetitive.
- Send latest price list each month to a specific customer(s)
- Send latest stock figures to other business partners
- Send date sensitive product approaching its Best Before Date Inventory stock should never go negative so list any products with negative qtys at end of day/week.
- Generate a list of products with more than 3 months Stock on Hand
- New Inventory product codes have been setup without a bin location.
- Customer backorders that have existed for a ‘long’ time – contact customers to see if still require back order or if you can supply a substitute product.
- Outstanding supplier orders that are well overdue. Is supplier going to supply or should you source elsewhere?
Unless an alert is put ‘in front of your face’ you may be too busy to remember to manage these exceptions and presume all is running ok.
We are also extending this further to provide better proactive alerts in Infoware e.g. generating alerts if a BAS has not been run by the required time.
In some businesses we may need to do more than just send an alert. We need someone to take ownership and action the alert – even if they do nothing except tick a box to say it is reviewed – and do not warn again for a while.
A recent example of managing alerts is a client who has production forecast alerts for up to 12 months for their products. Many of the core component products take 4-5 months to manufacture and deliver from overseas. Their issue is if they run out of stock today then they cannot supply for some months and have a funnel of disappointed customers believing they were going to be supplied. We have added a ‘predictive forecast alert’ that based on their current stock holding and purchase orders and the recent product consumption, Infoware calculates when they will run out of stock.
Besides creating an alert, we create an ACTION for each alert requiring the user to:
- Create a new Purchase Order – this automatically closes the alert action, or
- Acknowledge the alert but advise Infoware not to create another alert for this product for another 4 weeks (as an example) as you are happy to leave as is (but are aware of it).
While this specific example may not apply to your business, are there other more complex or perhaps just simple alerts to make sure those Quality Assurance (QA) monitors are being achieved without any reoccurring effort once set up?