May 05

Control Room Management as a Collaboration Tool

How a collaborative CRM tool makes a difference in the Control Room these days

The COVID-19 pandemic has put companies’ workforce, as well as their IT infrastructures, to the test. Like all of the first responders, operators at control rooms are facing some of the biggest challenges these days – maintaining an uninterrupted and safe operation of the controlled assets while avoiding the virus.

At the same time, control room supervisors and managers are also committed to providing support, guidance, and assistance to their organizations, staying close to their teams while considering all the precautions to ensure social distance and minimize the risk of contagion.

Here is where collaboration tools become very strategic to support and manage their operations.

The capability to share meaningful data related to events in real-time and be able to interact with their controllers remotely, maintaining full traceability and auditability of the information and instructions provided is becoming more and more critical under the current circumstances.

Operating assets and coordinating activities remotely, by e-mail or text message, has become a regular practice; however, in the event of an incident or accident, using all this information from disconnected sources can be time-consuming and lead to misinformed decisions.

Collaboration tools allow organizations to share and organize data consistently and coherently, from posting and sharing critical event data, to coordinating outages and MOCs (Management of Change). Furthermore, considering the sensitivity of this type of information, collaboration tools are also conceived to protect the data and control who has access to it.

With the current situation, control rooms are operating in a more intense schedule, expanding their shifts, modifying rotation patterns, or dividing into subgroups of controllers. With all these new measures in place, it is even more critical now to enable team connectivity and allow them to share information with their supervisors and managers, who are usually working remotely. One of the main goals of any control room management application should be to facilitate such activities by maintaining a full record of comments, documents, and specific information that is being exchanged between the controllers and the supporting field personnel.

Operating companies must keep in mind that CRM more than being a compliance guidance to run your control room; it should also be a tool to facilitate the tasks of controllers and their interaction with the entire organization.

For more information on how to make your CRM a true collaboration tool, please visit our MaCRoM page.