The first part of a new year is often when people and companies look at evaluation and assessment. Even though we are a couple of months into the start of 2019, it’s not too late to evaluate business practices, review policies and procedures, and take the pulse of the overall health of your monitoring center’s performance. In fact, it’s important to assess your company annually. Why? Because things change gradually over time. In the past year, you may have implemented changes with your staff, advanced how you serve customers, or experienced a leadership transition. All of these have likely impacted your business in some way. Here are some steps you can take to review and improve your monitoring center performance:
1) Review your operation and training processes
According to a recent Gallup poll, only between 14 to 41% of employees know what their company stands for and what makes them different from their competitors. How many of your employees understand what they are doing and why? The best way to help increase employee engagement is to build staff confidence through training and processes.
Steps to take:
- Leverage your available learning tools to foster an environment of self-empowered learning.
- Create an environment where mistakes are not something to be feared, but rather, teachable moments. This encourages operators to step out of their comfort zone and figure some things out on their own.
- Clearly define processes and procedures; this removes uncertainty and empowers operators to solve specific customer needs and issues.
2) Make sure your hardware is functioning at peak efficiency
Hardware is exactly that – hard. It is subject to the physical world and all the environmental elements. If your server room fans stop circulating cold air, the servers will heat up; this can damage circuits or corrupt hard drives. Other environmental elements can also cause hardware failures, including dust, jostling, or power surges.
Steps to take:
- Devise a maintenance plan to manage all of your hardware and keep it as safe and protected as possible.
- Prominently label the person to contact if something goes wrong with your servers, and make sure someone from every shift knows where to find this information.
- Implement a hardware replacement plan with your hardware provider.
3) Back up your data and be sure your team is confident failing over
Emergencies happen! But an emergency is not the time to find out no one knows how to fail over or that the data on the standby server is not up to date. In the event operators discover they are unable to process alarms, they should know how to confirm replication is accurate, and how to efficiently fail over to the standby server.
Steps to take:
- Create regular, daily backups of your data on all database servers.
- Send a weekly copy of your backups off-site to an accessible location.
- Regularly practice fail over procedures to ensure that one or more individuals on EVERY shift know the process and what to do when an emergency occurs.
These are the three most vital elements of a monitoring center’s success: Staffing, Hardware, and Software. If any element fails to perform at its highest level, the customer experience suffers. By implementing these three steps: engaging your team through training, maintaining your hardware, and preparing for emergencies, you will experience improvement in your monitoring center performance.