Getting back to Normal – What to do Next?

Now that many field-based construction and utilities workforces are getting back to work, they need to establish what elements from the ‘old normal’ they wish to retain and what elements are no longer needed or relevant. Some may think that it is only a matter of time before things get back to where they were before, the ‘old normal’, so to speak. What the virus has shown, is that companies with digitised field operations have performed best and are ideally positioned to move forward and gain market share. These are also the companies that have quality and security at their core, and that have eliminated data silos. These digitised field practices promote collaboration, flexibility and safety - now the most agile will survive and prosper. The old days are not coming back and all field operations companies must prepare for a new world. This, however, is not a destination – but more so, a journey.


Here are some thoughts from GeoPal Field Operations Customers:

Business Continuity

For many years and for many Field Operations Organisations, business continuity is something that could be deferred, as other items were considered more pressing. The current crisis has shown that standards like ISO 22301, which certifies Business Continuity Management, whilst once peripheral to a Field Operations organisation, should now be at the core of everything they do. Many Field Operations companies with ISO 22301 kept pace despite the crisis, with minimal disruption to continuity. Not only that, but even now they remain agile, flexible and innovative.

Data Silos

During and after the 2008 financial crisis, companies that were in the top fifth performance cohorts prospered. There is little doubt the same will be true in the aftermath of the current crisis. It is interesting to see some of the main characteristics that they have in common. They are agile; have a data driven approach to decision making; they are innovative (and they are always looking to continuously improve how they work, and how they work together); they do not have data silos (so management have full-view of all aspects of their performance); and they have 100% digitised operations.

Thinking Long Term

This crisis has shown the value of long-term planning to business success for field operations companies. We have previously mentioned Business Continuity. A commitment to security, and quality are also vital. This commitment facilitates a change of both mindset and culture. For example, considering IT as not just an expense but an investment in the transition to a fully digitised operation. It means being future-focused - looking beyond ‘quick fixes’ to more agile sustainable solutions.

Partners to Create Value

Now more than ever, organisations are seeing the true value of partners. Unfortunately, some partners that were once seen as valuable and dependable have proved to be anything but. Many organisations are now looking to streamline their Partners - assessing existing and potential Partners for key characteristics like quality, security, sustainability, and business continuity.

Environmental Management

Environmental Management was once seen as a compliance issue. Many articles exist exploring and examining the similarities between the current coronavirus crisis and long-term climate change. Accordingly, environmental management should be considered by Field Operations companies as a core corporate capability and a source of competitive advantage. The crisis will propel the green agenda, becoming a key driver for field operations companies accelerating digitization and contributing to a greener, paperless environment.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Post-crisis, there will be a push to move to 100% digitization and automation. IoT sensors will be at the heart of digitization and automation, allowing a field asset to be monitored by an IoT sensor. This in turn can automatically send an alarm when it detects a fault, instantly dispatching a field worker. This process will be paperless – fully digitized and automated. Implementing higher degrees of automation through IoT sensors characterizes a necessary move from a reactive, break/fix service model to a proactive preventive model.

Contactless Economy

Post-crisis, all payments will be handled via mobile payment technologies. As the construction and utilities industry continues to move toward accessing and inputting data on connected devices, they will benefit from the ability to securely accept various payment sources. As well as saving time, implementing mobile payment technologies will allow companies to provide value-added services to customers.

To accelerate the road to recovery and to protect operational business continuity, leaders must act with thought and consideration for the future of their enterprise – instilling a culture of purpose and of optimism. Transitioning to digitised practices characterizes a transition to a ‘new normal’ - secure, sustainable, and scalable solutions.

Learn how GeoPal can help you navigate the ‘new normal’ through digitisation, request a free demo today.

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