CIO50 2021 #17 Hani Arab, Assetlink

  • Name Hani Arab
  • Title Chief Information Officer
  • Company Assetlink
  • Commenced role May 2015
  • Reporting Line CEO
  • Member of the Executive Team Yes
  • Technology Function 7 staff, 3 direct reports
  • Technology is playing a big role in making sure staff at integrated facilities service provider Assetlink are safe when they are working at sites after hours and are alone.

    People Protect (PP), a lone worker mobile app solution introduced by Assetlink’s CIO Hani Arab and his team, is helping ensure the safety of 200 staff conducting cleaning activities at 500 Australia Post retail sites across Australia.

    Native smart phone capabilities monitor team members’ mobility during their site attendance with timed escalation protocols in place that are monitored by an offshore safety help desk. The app indicates if an Australia Post site was not cleaned for any reason following the worker’s shift during the previous evening. An alerting mechanism helps a portfolio manager to contact a facility manager and arrange alternative remediation.

    Arab’s team and others across the organisation delivered the app in four months. It includes a white labelled Global Alerting Platform by Two10degrees for smart device ‘lone worker’ functionality and safety desk monitoring. The ServiceNow platform is used for business rules, escalation auditing, notification, operational dashboards and automated reporting. Workspace ONE mobile device management software is used for smart provisioning and reassignment automation.

    An extensive training program was developed and delivered through the company’s learning management system. This included 10 training modules with additional instruction videos produced internally demonstrating the use of the app.

    “The PP dashboards are critical tools for frontline and facility managers because high-level operational optics are presented in a streamlined view without limiting immediate real-time drill down to the individual record. This capability allows for managers to contribute to the work activities of concern by exception, improving their overall efficiency,” Arab says.

    Finally, the dashboards provide a central hub for all facility-related operational activities which give operational staff more confidence as every service line is being represented through these dashboards

    Arab says value is derived from the confidence attained from knowing a solution is in place and effective in ensuring the safety of remote lone workers.

    “Furthermore, the ability to identify cleans of Australia Post facilities that haven’t been completed before the start of business opening has been a significant shift in the way we engage with Australia Post’s facility managers.

    “Rather than the facility manager contacting and informing us of a missed clean we are now notifying them before the start of opening. This capability also provides an opportunity to remediate any cleans that haven’t been done where possible and to also track attendance performance by our team members all-in-one operational dashboard,” he says.

    A second innovation introduced by Arab and his team is high touch point (HTP) cleaning validation, a solution that ensures the safety of patrons traversing commercial sites in cities like Melbourne when the first wave of workers came back to the office prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta strain.

    Using a smart phone with pre-designated QR codes labelled strategically at all HTP areas, cleaners scan the QR code as they complete their daily cleans. Areas include lifts, stair railings, and door furnishings.

    “Our client dashboard is updated in real-time which provides transparency for services rendered and improved customer satisfaction by indicating the last time a clean was completed at a site,” Arab says.

    His team also continually enhance client portals by surfacing all new application developments through these portals that provide visibility for all services that the organisation is engaged to deliver to its clients.

    “Every client portal is unique because the portal reflects the services being rendered as well as the innovation being employed on the assets. These vary by asset class such as retail, commercial, aviation, and mining,” Arab says.

    What's the real problem?

    Being a member of Assetlink’s executive leadership team is an opportunity to be deeply involved and aware of all significant business challenges and opportunities.

    “The discourse I often find myself involved in is not being a pure champion of technology, but exploring and discovering, with my colleagues, the real problem,” says Arab.

    “Historically, our executives have been quick to onboard technology to solve business challenges and, in some cases, replacing existing technology for an alternative technology with limited success,” he says.

    Over the past few years, Arab says he has promoted and challenged his colleagues – where appropriate – to not jump immediately to technology in seeking solutions to problems.

    “Our executive leadership team have matured, and they understand that technology choices are in great abundance and the real challenge is to understand the problem definition with an appropriate level of detail before progressing to research and solution design,” he says.

    Arab says he came to a pivotal moment in his career twelve years ago when he recognised that he had to ‘step up’ to become a leader. He was managing a small team, but he was focused on projects, work activities and deliverables without giving much thought about the people that were required to deliver the right outcomes.

    “I also relied a lot on my manager for approval for every step I needed to make. It was my manager at the time who provided a reality check when I was so overwhelmed with anxiety yet was stagnating by asking for approval and advice way too often.

    “I was supported and told that I had the capability and should trust my instincts and acknowledge that mistakes would be made at times, and this was part of learning and developing my capabilities,” he says

    Byron Connolly

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