New Features in this Release:
Reporting and data visualisation
Sophisticated issue management
Push and e-mail notifications
Enhanced offline support
Geo-stamping (i.e. where was my Op submitted)
More configuration options (including optional post-Op 'selfie')
Some of the features detailed in these release notes relate to the OpsBoard app that you will have downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Whilst we’re able to deliver many minor improvements via ‘code push’ that are applied in the background whilst you use the app, more significant improvements (like those detailed below) require an updated version of the app to be installed. Please turn on auto-updates to ensure that you always receive from the App Store these and can enjoy all of the latest features.
We’re introducing several significant improvements to the way that issues are raised and managed.
Firstly, when a member of staff reports an issue they’ll be able to assign a coloured flag. Within the OpsBase web app you can now label these flags so that their significance is understood across your organisation by all users.
The person reporting the issue can also categorise it. Again, these categories are configurable within the OpsBase web app. Based on the chosen category, the issue will be auto-assigned to the desired person, role or team.
Using our new notifications system (more info below) the relevant person or team will be notified when new issues are raised or assigned to them.
Issues can now be managed within the mobile and tablet apps. If you’re using the TeamBoard it will display issues owned by or assigned to the team(s). If logged into the app as an individual user using our new staff login functionality (more info below), then you’ll see ‘your’ issues. This is based on whether the issue is owned or assigned to you as a person, a role you hold (e.g. chef) or a team you belong to (e.g. BoH).
Assigned issues can be viewed, commented on and reassigned. Owners (as the people ultimately responsible for the issue) can also close the issue once resolved.
Staff Issue logging and Issue management (bottom video)
Our notification system launches with three types of notifications:
If you are using the mobile or tablet app at the time a notification arrives, it will popup inside the app and display onscreen.
If you have the mobile or tablet app installed but are not using it when the notification is sent, then a standard push notification will appear on your device.
If your email address is entered in the OpsBase system, you can optionally choose to receive notifications via email.
Notifications will initially be used for the management of issues and will be enhanced in future releases to include other desirable events such as overdue Ops, etc.
Improved Staff Login
There are two major enhancements to the staff login on the OpsBoard.
Because we’ve found many of our customers are willing or even preferring for staff to use their own devices (rather than a shared tablet), all staff will be able to log in to OpsBoard. There are several beneficial side effects to this including improved auditing and facilitating of staff communications (a feature which is coming soon).
As all staff will be able to log in to OpsBoard individually, our second enhancement is to make the login process easier by using their phone number and/or email address to send a simple 4-digit login code (via SMS or email depending on details held by the system). It is expected they’ll only need to go through this process once (unless they sign out for any reason).
Enhanced Offline Support (+ Performance Improvements)
When OpsBoard is first launched and connected to the internet, it will download all of the latest Op and Issues data. This means if it is taken offline it will still be possible to perform Ops and raise new Issues. It also means that if the internet connection is patchy, the performance won’t suffer so there should be less noticeable ‘lag’.
Once reconnected to the internet, all Op work and newly raised Issues will be synced back to the server (and any new information will be downloaded to the device too).
Reporting (and Web App UI Improvements)
We’ve undertaken a huge project to make sophisticated enterprise-level reporting possible. The backbone of this work is foundational to many system enhancements which will be introduced in upcoming releases.
Scalability for Enterprise Clients
The main focus of this work has been to handle the large volumes of data our newer, larger customers are dealing with e.g. 100s of sites and 1000s of staff. Displaying all of this information on a single web page in the same way that we do for smaller organisations would have resulted in your laptop slowing to a crawl!
With the new enhancements in place, data is paged and admins can use advanced search, filters and grouping options to display only the data that they’re interested in. This additional functionality and improved user interface will be most commonly seen on Ops, Issues, Sites and Staff screens.
What you’ll have realised is that selecting the data to display is akin to ‘building a report’ without the need to navigate to a separate reporting page in the system. We’re putting the tools where you need them.
These same tools also include more advanced features that allow you to:
Drill down and explore the data
Visualise the data in graphs and charts
Configurable ‘Selfie’ On Submitting Ops
For the purpose of auditing it was a requirement that staff take a ‘selfie’ when submitting an Op as a ‘visual signature’. Understandably some staff didn’t like this and it has been refreshing to learn that many organisations trust their staff. So, by popular demand, we’ve introduced the ability to turn off the requirement for staff to take a selfie when submitting an Op.
Of course, where staff log in as individuals rather than using a shared TeamBoard (see the improved staff login info above), then the system ‘knows’ who is submitting the Op anyway (i.e. the individual signed-in user).
Many of our larger enterprise clients have managers that carry out internal audits at sites throughout their region. For customers that want additional confirmation that these audits have genuinely been carried out, we now have geo-stamping that will record the location of the device at the time the Op is submitted.
The following features are all on our roadmap and will be made available to you in the coming weeks.
For customers with extremely complex data analysis requirements, data can be exported from the OpsBase web app for further exploration in their app of choice.
Related to the management of large volumes of data (and also useful for customers with smaller amounts of data) is the ability to import data (such as staff lists held in Excel). This takes away the labour of getting up and running no matter how big or small your organisation.
Unified To-Do List
Up to now we’ve separated Ops (jobs to be done at a scheduled time) and Ad-Hoc Ops (jobs that occur at an undetermined time) into separate lists within the OpsBoard. In actual fact this isn’t especially helpful and we’re taking steps toward a unified ‘to do’ list where all jobs to be done appear in a single place. This makes the app easier for your staff to use and reduces that chance that tasks get missed.
3rd Party Software Integrations
APIs are the means by which different software systems can ‘talk’ to each other.
OpsBase is built around our own API, and most other cloud-based systems that you use throughout your business will also have an API. This makes integrating systems theoretically possible, and integrating systems is useful as it allows data to flow between them. This keeps the data in sync and avoids the need for duplicate data entry. An example of this would be if you use a staff scheduling system… staff data could flow between that system and OpsBase. Imagine the scenario where a new member of staff joins - when you add them to one system, they automatically get added to the other. It is quicker, simpler and more accurate.
If this is of interest to you, we can liaise with your systems provider to discuss the practicalities of creating an integration with them. Over time we’ll be releasing several off-the-shelf integrations for the most popular systems.