Raymond Loewy was a French born industrial designer who made it to America during the 1930s and put his stamp on American culture with iconic designs that are still around today, including the paint scheme on Air Force One and the logo on Shell gas stations. Companies hired him to create successful designs for their businesses, something that would create a lasting symbol of their individual brands.
Maybe you just started in your new role, or maybe you have been with the same company for a long time. Either way, when it’s time to update the command and control center, it’s time. You know it, and your operators also know it. Providing a comfortable, ergonomic environment for your people is the right thing to do.
It’s important to start with your mindset. Is the purchase of new consoles a cost or an investment? If it is a cost, that will be tricky to justify. I can just hear management say that they already have desks that work, so why would they spend money on that? Instead, try to think of it of as an investment for your people. A more comfortable environment improves the health and performance of your team, which can surely lead to a ROI.
If you’re advocating that new consoles or workstations are an investment for your people, here are some important factors that will help make your case:
Whether you are managing the buses throughout King County in Seattle -
the flow of traffic in Naples, FL – the
water system at Denver International
Airport – or, the electric grid in Baton
Rouge, LA – it all comes down to
keeping people safe and things
The people doing all the manning of our transportation and utilities, your operators and dispatchers, with the onslaught of more smart technology, have more monitors with more information to look at than ever. As the demands of the job increase, how do you ensure your people are healthy and happy at work?
This time of year, many organizations are planning to remodel, upgrade or build a new command center. If this is happening for you, the amount of decisions you need to make for success of the project can seem enormous. One of the decisions may include new consoles, desks and furniture for the project. Now is the time to go for it! The budget approval for your new consoles may be relatively small as compared to the million dollar or so project at hand, but, how it can help your operator’s daily lives is huge.
As Chief, Supervisor or Head Operator of a Command Center, you want your people to bring their "A Game" everyday. So, what can you do on a daily basis to make a difference for your people and improve their performance? The April edition of SUCCESS magazine, in an article titled, “The ROI of Compassion,” leadership guru John C. Maxwell sums it up:
Let's be honest, if you are in the Command and Control industry, you pride yourself in organization, optimization, effectiveness and efficiencies. Like the grease to the wheel, you like organization and to keep things working at their best. The placement of command center workstations in a control room should be just as important for the optimal performance of your operators. Having miss-used space or disorganization can cause the efficiency and effectiveness of the team to dwindle.
Smart Grid is on everyone’s mind in the utilities industry. How do we make the grid more reliable, safe, and efficient? It may seem like a new term yet it has been in the making for over 10 years. In 2007 Congress passed and the President approved the EISA (Title XIII of the Energy Independence and Security Act). This gave leadership to the Department of Energy to drive grid modernization. So, what is a smart grid? Some definitions are:
DistribuTECH is right around the corner. Are you building or updating a TOC or DOC with new command center consoles? What are some questions you need to be asking as you start the planning process? Or, if you are already in the process, what types of questions should you be asking now that can save you time, money and energy down the line?
Whether a DOC or a TOC, operation centers need to ensure reliable grid operations to keep the power on. We all rely on it. With no weather issues or recent storms, one of the biggest issues for a operations center can be if it is too quiet. Sounds strange, but in a 24/7 center and 10 hour shifts, the days can get very long for operators. On the flip side, if there is too much happening, this can make for a stressful day. Keeping the body and the mind active can help to reduce stress and improve health. So what can you do during times of stress or inactivity. Here's some suggestions:
As a manager, do you know the five important factors of command center consoles that contribute to a successful environment?
Whether this is your first outfitting of a command center, or not your first rodeo. You know that command center console items must be right the first time. When updating or replacing your existing furniture, be sure to look for console furniture that has attributes of longevity, quality and ergonommics. The furniture should relate well to your available space, as well as to the duties of your team.
Here are the five important factors of command center consoles that you should keep in mind as you consider vendors and options: