Staying Afloat: Maximizing Resources During Disruption

Written By: Julie Fancher
September 1, 2020
5 min read

If you ask any executive who has overseen a plant reopening or restructuring this year what their highest priority is, they will tell you that it is to keep their employees safe. Companies have responded quickly and accurately to CDC guidelines to make sure that their operations could continue or restart. Leadership during uncertainty has had to be flexible and resourceful, and above all, transparent in their words and actions.

Rarely have employees had to rely so much on upper management to maintain their well-being, and never has that maintenance been more critical. Without a pre-defined roadmap, competent leadership has embraced innovation, critical thinking, and fresh ideas to help them move forward safely.

What Does Leadership Look Like Right Now?

You may be in trouble if nothing has changed. A crisis provides a rare opportunity to resolve workflow inefficiencies, discover hidden employee talents, and embrace new collaboration methods. This crisis, being potentially deadly or debilitating, offers unique opportunities in the face of that potential danger. Company leaders can tap into creative problem-solving and unite their employees around a purpose.

Right now, good leadership must be both consistent in message and open to change. The people at the top must put their employees’ health and safety first, and their employees need to trust that that’s happening. And most importantly, company executives should not downplay any danger.

Employees are Giving Leadership Support

While leadership executes on new ways to work, employees are also innovating new ways to get their jobs done. By utilizing tools like low-code application development platforms, citizen developers are finding new software and workflows that adapt to their shifting needs while requiring minimal oversight from busy IT departments.

Low-code platforms also allow managers at all levels of the organization to quickly address challenges and meet new and guidelines for employee workplace safety, including:

  1. Health assessments for employees, clients, and contractors.
  2. Managing and tracking facility sanitization, including offices and assets.
  3. Distancing protocols that include shift planning and traffic management.

Turning Ideas Into Actions

Addressing these new safety protocols with accuracy requires nimble solutions and tools that provide transparency and security. And while manual solutions such as spreadsheets are a comfortable and familiar source of monitoring new processes, they undermine the opportunity to automate and streamline tasks and cannot reliably address security concerns.

Business leaders have four overarching tasks to accomplish with the help of their teams to resume work quickly and safely:

New workflow automation: Overseeing new ways of working to include automation to keep up with the rapid changes in information, materials, and scheduling.

Transparency: Providing stakeholders with the right information in real-time

Scalability and extension: Adapting and scaling new systems as necessary to extend across all core systems.

Compliance: Ensuring data safety and privacy through vetting and governance by IT to comply with cybersecurity standards.

Tapping Into Underused Resources

The citizen developers who keep things moving are also the people who can implement the details of the new processes. Instead of having teams utilize numerous point solutions and disjointed methods, why not give them the tools that will both accomplish what you need and fall under IT’s governance?

Companies are turning to low-code applications that can handle rapidly changing procedures without posing a threat to security.

These innovative low-code solutions offer end-to-end customization, can be built by nearly anyone, and have been proven to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Many low-code applications can be made accessible on any device, which promotes convenience and flexibility. Lastly, they won’t disrupt core systems, but are instead an added resource.

How Businesses Use Low-Code Right Now

Here are four ways that companies are employing low-code applications to reopen or rework their operations safely:

Employee Wellness Tracking

A common way to prevent an ill employee from spreading the virus to others is to perform temperature and wellness checks before they enter a building or site. This data is checked and recorded in a low-code application, regardless of location, and then used to adjust scheduling, enable contact tracing, and provide visibility into any other potential issues the illness may cause.

Facilities Cleaning Management

Low-code tools offer the ability to track disinfecting protocols, cleaning supplies and schedules, and building statuses. They also accept changes and updates within minutes so that information is updated and teams are notified almost immediately.

Locating, Monitoring, and Tracking Personal Protective Equipment

Many companies saw their supply chains unravel this year, which not only posed challenges to moving products but also disrupted the flow of personal protective equipment (PPE). That equipment became more expensive, difficult to find, and in higher demand than ever before.

Some companies have leveraged low-code to provide a centralized repository of equipment tracking, purchasing, and distribution. They have also used the tools to ensure guideline compliance and training certifications.

Safety Protocols and Incident Reporting

In addition to existing safety rules and procedures, there are now new processes to follow that ensure employee safety and wellness. Your citizen developers can create low-code applications that track safety checklists, hygiene practices, and incident reporting. Anyone can use these dashboards to identify trends and prevent a negative impact on costs or safety.

Carpe Annum

That’s right. Seize the year. One large delivery service did this by offering its employees extra shifts by tracking store cleaning shutdowns in real-time. A car manufacturer did it by monitoring their factory cleanliness and cleaning status using low-code. A national retailer uses low-code to oversee its truck fleet’s disinfecting protocols to keep its drivers safe. And one of the largest construction companies in the world leveraged low-code to prevent project delays by streamlining their safety equipment delivery logistics.

Company leaders earned their positions by being competent and resourceful. This year is likely the most challenging you’ve ever seen, and it’s the time to use all the tools you have available to meet and exceed these obstacles. Low-code platforms are new and forward-looking tools that help companies like yours accomplish its goals.

Written By: Julie Fancher

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