‘Single site’ covers a lot of bases. Single site organisations can be as small as an individual shop or office – or as huge and complex as hospitals, universities and even festival sites and holiday parks. Clearly, such sites have very different communications challenges from their smaller cousins.
Thousands or even tens of thousands of people work across these large single site organisations. Some, of course, are unique to particular sectors, such as the health practitioners in hospitals, but a huge proportion operate in all industries, from cleaners and maintenance staff to security personnel. These staff make up facilities management – and for them, communications are critical.
Whether it’s a team of maintenance engineers repairing or upgrading part of the heating system, or security investigating a potential burglary, large single site organisations rely on individual teams within the facilities management operation to be able to collaborate and coordinate their actions even from opposite sides of what can be a huge area. They need, also, to be able to communicate with other teams – for example to rapidly clean up the results of an incident that may have originally been investigated by another set off staff.
These operations may seem simple, but in large organisations if they are not carried out rapidly and smoothly, then damaging process bottlenecks can occur surprisingly quickly. Imagine a broken lift in a hospital that is not isolated and repaired as quickly as possible. Or broken glass at a holiday camp full of children that is not identified and thoroughly cleaned up. In a major single site, even very straightforward tasks can become mission-critical – which means they need to be underpinned by a mission-critical communications infrastructure.
What does such an infrastructure look like? It’s easy to imagine that mobile phones would be suitable, but coordinating all operations in a typical large organisation this way would likely result in multiple black spots. Radio communications – and in particular, digital mobile radio (DMR) – has the advantage of being far more reliable, while also being able to connect multiple staff members over a shared radio frequency for group calling – for example, when all members of the security team need to be briefed on a particular individual who is under surveillance. Furthermore, DMR can enable additional rich features such as lone worker protection – the ability to trigger an alarm when particular conditions are met, such as lack of movement for a certain period of time. For facilities managers working remotely, particularly in hazardous environments, this is a hugely valuable safety feature. DMR can also enable ‘all informed net’ group calls.
These features are beneficial in all kinds of settings, but for facilities managers dispersed across a wide area, attempting to coordinate and collaborate while on the move and remote from each other, they can be truly game-changing.
And mobile phones don’t need to be excluded from the picture. Simoco Wireless Solutions offers a feature called Push to Talk, which enables mobile phones to connect like radios to the mobile network. In this way, everyone across the operation can be connected to everyone else when needs be.
Our solutions for large-scale facilities management operations incorporate a wide range of the latest portable and mobile radios – our 700 series. They run on our world-leading digital mobile radio (DMR) network, Simoco Xd, and can be integrated with other unified communications services depending on the precise needs of that organisation. So, for example, location-tracking applications that can run on DMR devices could be added, or features like the lone worker support outlined above, for people working in very remote areas of the site who might need to quickly radio for help.
In other words, our solutions for facilities management operations respond to the precise needs of large-scale single site organisations, which need absolute efficiency and reliability over a large and crowded area, while still being flexible enough to be tailored to the nuances of individual sectors.
Facilities management is a truly mission-critical part of large organisations. You need to underpin it with mission-critical communications.