In the fast-paced, high-tech business world information, and the speed at which it can be accessed, is power. Companies that aren’t leveraging, developing and maximising their information assets are getting left behind.
Consequently, there is a growing trend towards employing business intelligence (BI) and related technologies that empower businesses to make more informed, more intelligent business decisions faster, based on up-to-the-minute, accurate information.
Furthermore, this technology is becoming increasingly linked to other functions that are essential to the performance of the business, particularly human resources (HR).
“Through using BI technology, companies have become more astute in measuring the true performance of their assets, including human capital and are imposing greater scrutiny on the return on investment of their resources," say Kay Vittee, CEO of Quest Staffing Solutions, one of South Africa’s largest and leading recruitment companies.
"As a human capital outsourcing company, we have had to re-engineer our services and technologies to deliver the results demanded by the changing business landscape.
“We have applied BI technology to our Field Services division, which essentially deals with the management of diverse, logistically intense and geographically spread projects as well as the staffing requirements thereof.
"We understand that our clients need accurate data for their vital business decisions and analyses, and to support this we have found a way of ensuring that the right information gets into the right hands in real time.
"Under the expert guidance of our Field Services GM, Troy Petzer, we have designed a full set of processes, work flows and systems to create a complete, field-based operational solution for our clients that is focused on managing and achieving the required contractual results,” says Vittee.
“In order for us to accomplish this, we first recruit field-based or geographically spread staff in line with the parameters set by the client as well those of the Quest Field Service Matrix. We then set about training them in terms of client and Quest specific requirements. We have also developed an advanced IT infrastructure to remotely manage the complete operations of our clients’ accounts.
"This includes communications, reporting, record keeping, costs, the staff involved, nationwide contract deliverables, service level agreements and client relationships.”
She continues, “This infrastructure also handles an immense amount of data, which allows for remote online collection and storage. What this means for our clients and staff is having constant access to real-time information.
“This solution focuses on all stakeholders – customers, shareholders and staff. Through setting up physical as well as online support we are able to execute the needs of our clients, report back in real time on specific areas of delivery and ensure that our staff have constant access to communication and information.
"In addition, the system allows our managers to manage the outputs of their staff as well as their development in as near to real-time as possible. Due to the fact we can manage remotely and have a tight rotation policy that is fairly monitored and managed, we can deliver effectively and timeously as well respond before major trends or complications can arise.
"As a result of constant access to information and the experienced management insight of our Field Services personnel, we are able to change our execution within a short turnaround time, disseminate this back to our staff and change delivery as and when needed.”
A representative from one of Quest’s client companies currently utilising the Field Services solution says, “Quest has created a robust control mechanism which makes it easier to communicate with both management and sales leaders in each of the regions nationally. The value of the system was emphasised during a recent internal audit where the process was greatly enhanced by having the ability to go onto the Quest Online System and extract needed documents.
“In managing the relationship between us and Quest, this system has added tremendous power to address not only daily challenges, but also to notify and escalate challenges to regional management to address and resolve at the point of impact, without delays being experienced by forwarding e-mails to Head Office," he adds.
"This system has aided and enhanced the service that Quest provides to us and has greatly improved the efficiencies required to make this a successful business model.”
“It’s through the combination of our people, processes and technology that we are able to achieve true partnership and transparency with our clients – giving both them and us a strategic advantage over competitors,” concludes Vittee.