Operations in every industry run on data — from the C-suite to the office or factory floor. When it comes to collecting, analyzing, sharing, and acting upon that data, context is key.
Your teams can have all the information in the world, but if employees don’t know how to use that data to accomplish their specific tasks, it has little effect. Similarly, if employees have more context than they need — if they’re presented with information that goes beyond their specific roles, for example — the data becomes ineffective.
The key when it comes to contextualizing data is to create a scenario in which individuals have exactly the right amount of information they need to understand their given task in order to get the job done without having to search for additional information or wade through unnecessary details. That way, they can act quickly without sacrificing efficiency and driving up costs with lost time.
How Contextual Data Can Help Improve Operational Efficiency and Agility
Things rarely go as planned — which is why a lack of contextual data is a problem in operations. When managers and employees start a task or project based on a plan but circumstances call for adjustments, everyone involved needs to know those updates in real time. Otherwise, some team members will continue with business as usual, rather than accounting for process or workflow shifts; others might adjust incorrectly because they lack the context to know what, exactly, has changed.
The shipping and receiving industry offers an excellent example of this breakdown. Nothing changes as often or as fast as traffic and the weather, both of which can seriously impact on-time deliveries. Whether you’re shipping a product to a client or expecting a delivery, unexpected events in the last mile of that delivery can wreak havoc on the plan. When things go awry, everyone along the supply chain needs to be immediately aware of why the breakdown has occurred and the actions that need to be taken.
The Right Collaborative Software Can Contextualize Data for You
With collaborative software that provides contextual data, however, parties on both sides of such a situation can know exactly what to expect as soon as conditions change. The same goes for any industry. Employees and managers must be able to communicate around data with full context in order to improve operational efficiency in the face of unexpected challenges.
Coolfire’s collaboration software creates context for operations and organizes tasks, communication, alerts, files, maps, and team members into a common digital environment. The dashboard is accessible from a smartphone or tablet and provides a task-oriented view of the full project or process that is built for quick consumption. Not only does Coolfire communicate important information in real time, but it also includes workflows that allow employees along the supply chain to take action.
In the shipping and receiving example, IoT-connected sensors and IT system integrations could generate push notifications to the shipper, carrier, and client. All stakeholders could then collaborate around status updates to take the correct action — therefore ensuring smooth, efficient delivery.
Any industry that requires agile processes needs contextual data to reach full operational efficiency, and collaborative software can bring it to them. The key is to find a tool that automatically populates relevant, actionable data in the right context for each individual involved in the process. Then, it needs to combine that communication with your workflow to ensure teams take action quickly and accurately.
To learn more about how Coolfire can accomplish this for you, contact one of our representatives today.