You gaze into the distance.
For a moment, you’re thoughtless.
You stare out of the operations center window into the adjacent parking lot.
Shouting relays throughout the room.
But, you remain quiet.
The overwhelming sensation of helplessness has reached its peak.
You’re tired – exhausted.
Your operation is always chasing the next incident, and you need a solution to get you out of this mess.
You’re running a reactive operation, and you know it.
Then, as soon as your thoughts leave your mind, they and the background noise crescendo.
It’s back to the reality in front of you.
“We’ve got to triage and handle the high priority incidents right now,” you tell your team.
“We’ve got to choose the most important at this point,” you continue.
Incidents are coming in but at a delayed rate.
Your team responds to an incident, and then another higher priority one is reported.
Your staff sees or hears of an incident several minutes after it has occurred.
This shortfall makes it challenging to respond efficiently.
You’re at a disadvantage.
Your teams are arriving on scene to incidents several minutes too late.
It’s leading to plenty of complaints.
You’re already expecting Monday morning to be a nightmare.
But, you’ve got to figure something out before your whole operation crumbles.
You don’t have a choice.
This is your responsibility.
You must fix it.
What are you going to do?
You need an increase in awareness, better resource management, and to gain operational insight to reduce your response times to incidents.
We’re going to show you how incident management systems can help you accomplish this challenge.
We’re going to show you how to be proactive.
Are you ready?
It All Starts with Awareness
Why do we hold awareness so high?
You can’t manage, measure or improve what you don’t know exists.
You have incidents that occur all the time.
Depending on your current situation, responding to them can take a little longer than you’d like.
What about the reports and all the complaints you get on Mondays or days later that you never knew about previously or on the day in question?
- No one responded to a customer in the parking lot after her physically challenged husband fell. Where was Parking Operations?
- An assault outside of your property occurred after hours, and none of your officers responded in time. They responded as the suspects fled.
- Several car break-ins took place in your farthest parking lot during business hours. Not only do you find out about this the next day, but you also learn the designated guard was not manning his post during that time because he was responding to nearby miscellaneous incidents.
Do these situations sound familiar?
There’s only one way to overcome this issue and to become proactive.
You must use an incident management system.
Now, you might already have a solution.
But, you’re probably underutilizing it.
We’ll help you expose those factors.
Then, you’ll need to address them immediately.
Do you see why increased awareness matters?
Your awareness can lead to efficiency, or it can lead to disaster. That’s your choice, and it requires effort.
You need awareness, and you need it now, especially if you want to improve your response times.
Incident Management Systems Help You Better Manage Resources
Incident management systems are a significant aspect of proactive operations.
They help increase your awareness and achieve maximum performance.
But, you must be willing to use the system – and execute.
Proactive operations begin by asking tough questions.
Ask yourself the hard questions, but also ask the right questions.
- What are you asking when it comes to your awareness of incidents?
- What are you asking that affects response times to these incidents?
Let’s refer to the previous section for a moment.
What is the one characteristic each of the above three incident examples has in common?
It’s resource allocation.
Proper resources were not commissioned to these areas permanently.
There’s a good chance that appropriate personnel had been at these locations and then moved.
Here’s the problem: who knows where they went and why?
No one is tracking these resources.
Your entire operation can experience a shortfall when personnel is not managed efficiently.
That’s why it’s vital to your effectiveness to maintain full awareness in your operation.
You can slash response times when you have full awareness.
Think about it for a moment.
How fast could you respond to a slip and fall, theft, confrontation, or allergic reaction when you know where all your resources are?
Know which team is best to respond.
Know this information at any moment.
- Who will be expeditious?
- Which team is already assigned to other incidents?
- Who is currently on-scene?
- Do you need to reallocate resources to maximize efficiency?
These are all questions your system can help you answer.
You’ll be able to see your resources the way you need to look at them.
Having the awareness means knowing the answers.
Then, you can focus on improving your response efforts.
Are you ready to improve your response times to incidents and issues?
Proactive Operations Can Slash Response Times
You’re doing what it requires to be a dynamic operation.
So, would you say you now have a good grasp on your resources?
You know where everyone is, and all information and statuses are up to date.
Nothing is going to slip through the cracks.
Your team can quickly respond to anything.
Our introduction scenario is a problem of your past.
Things have changed for the better. Do you agree?
Your improved incident management process and system gives you the upper hand.
Your operation wasn’t running efficiently before, and now you know why.
Now you can fix the problems.
With the appropriate people and solution in place, you can pick up the incidents you’ve missed in the past.
Your solution then enhances this process by letting you receive new incidents, prioritize, communicate, and manage them effectively.
Exciting what a little extra awareness can do, right?
It gets even better, though, because now you collect relevant data to use for reducing your response times.
We’ve said it before in past articles, response times matter.
- Handling incidents or issues a few minutes sooner is what makes a world-class operation. It’s how you keep your customers coming back to your property. It’s Proactive Operations.
- Faster response lessens the adverse impact of incidents on your customers, teams, and property. This enhancement protects you from future liability too. A medical situation, such as an allergic reaction or heart attack handled with slow response time, can turn into a fatality. How would you explain this incident to the court? How heavy is that burden to carry?
Analyzing incident response times gives you an understanding of your weaknesses.
You know how to achieve increased awareness. You also understand the importance of response times.
Do remarkable things.
Look deeper into your data.
You can do this with confidence because you’ve strengthened your incident management.
It’s time to ask questions using the data you’ve obtained from your system.
Here’s what you should be asking once your proactive operation is ready:
- How often do you receive new incidents for dispatch via your software solution? How many incidents are occurring on your property? This question is one that properties don’t always have an answer too. Do you know?
- How quickly does your staff dispatch these new incidents to the appropriate personnel? Is staff focused on their responsibility or laughing with colleagues when it matters most?
- Do your response teams arrive on-scene within two, three, five, or seven minutes of receiving notification? What’s the cause for delay?
- How long does it take each team to mitigate and then handle an incident before moving to the next?
From there, you can take it more in-depth.
Ask more questions.
Get specific in your analysis.
- Do you need more personnel near front entrance restrooms to support faster response times?
- Is section GG a hotspot for car break-ins? Do you need additional security in this location to cover the incidents reported?
- Has the introduction of an incident management system improved your team’s ability to communicate critical medical details? Are you saving more lives because of this ability?
The room for improvement might be limitless.
Use the data gained from your incident management software to increase your awareness and augment response times on your property.
Over to You
Incident management systems force reactive operations to increase their awareness. It’s how they achieve Proactive Operations.
Can you see how the implementation of these systems leads to increased awareness, better resource management, and the collection of vital information that reduces your response times?
Each enhancement to your operation is precisely why the world’s best properties rely on these solutions. But, the ultimate reward is your ability to keep customers safe, save lives, and maximize everyone’s experience.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.