Does Your Emergency Communication Service Improve Your Organization’s Agility?
Understanding and articulating the importance and ROI for automated emergency communications can be relatively easy. This is especially true if your organization has been through an event where an inordinate amount of time was spent on manual calling or emailing lists that delayed your ability to resume normal operations.
Reducing a time-consuming task to mere seconds or minutes results in measurable savings, both in terms of man hours, as well as in response time for events and crises. Add to this the fact that an organization is not required to choose a single mode of communication during an event, and the power of automating communications is clear. Acquiring a notification system can and should be liberating. The best systems have multiple modes of communication in order to provide a comprehensive service. One size fits all need not apply to automated communications since each event can have its own requirements for dissemination of information.
Automated communications and multi-modal capabilities are certainly critical on their own, but without a robust analytics and reporting engine, an automated emergency communication service can result in failure, and actually slow down your response and recovery. Worst case, it could be a liability.
Events are rarely linear. There are typically multiple tracks for managing events with one employee or several workers involved in directing activities and resources over the course of time. Your organization may also be sophisticated enough to have a system that is dedicated to things like Continuity and Resiliency, or Scheduling and Planning. These tools typically provide Standard Operating Procedures, important artifacts, and contact lists for various types of events. Whatever your organization’s planning and procedures, there is one thing that every event has in common: It never unfolds completely as planned.
The primary keys to this eventuality are AGILITY and COMMUNICATION.
In many ways, the most important tool in an emergency manager’s war chest is a notification system’s robust auditing and reporting. This capability provides detailed and summary information for those who were contacted, and for those who were unavailable or did not respond. During an in-progress event, you need this “collective intelligence” to guide your next steps.
The importance of the audit trail is critical, but keeping your business running is your ultimate goal. You need to follow up at least once, and perhaps more than once, to complete your mission over the coming days and weeks. This shows the value of “actionable” reporting. Actionable reporting provides a way to filter by contact result and initiate the next contact – all without leaving the screen.
Emergency and critical communications are almost always fluid and require multiple, related notifications. Ensuring your communications provider has the capability to track those related notifications to the event is crucial. In addition, your organization should require the capability to access, analyze, and export the audit trail for these notifications. Your communications provider should prioritize your organization’s ability to create detailed and graphical reports based on the elements that are important to you. Your provider should also partner with your organization to ensure that you have the ability to automate the “feedback loop” to other systems. This can save you and your team time when it really matters by integrating notification initiation and reporting, ensuring that your processes are complete from end to end.