Author Archives: Monique

How a Workforce Management System Supports Your COVID Safe Plans

Imagine the following scenario.

One of your workers unknowingly comes to work while infectious with COVID-19. Days later when symptoms start, they get tested and return a positive result. You’re talking to government health officials and contact tracers, and now your workplace has become an exposure site.

You have two options.

Option One

You don’t have any accessible, useful data about your workforce. You don’t know who was on site, on what days and at what times. Your workplace is closed for deep cleaning. With no clear picture of who might be considered a contact, in an abundance of caution, your entire workforce is at home self-isolating. Several days, potentially weeks, of downtime will cost your business lots of money.

Option Two

You have a digital workforce management solution, like Pegasus. You can download the data of who was on site within minutes, handing it over to government health officials. With easily accessible contact information, you send texts and emails to affected workers so they know to get tested immediately and isolate until they return a negative result. Your workplace is closed for deep cleaning, and you’re open again in a few days.

We know which option we’d choose.

Co-Existing with COVID-19

As Australia reaches higher double-dose vaccination rates, restrictions ease and borders open, COVID-19 will continue to be a threat to health in the workplace. One you need to manage.

Your business needs a COVID-19 Safe Plan which must be followed in accordance with government health advice. WHS obligations include protecting your workforce from illness.

We’ve seen many of our clients implement their own safety measures to curb the spread, especially within the mining industry.

“The sites are taking testing into their own hands. They’re doing rapid antigen testing off their own back, every two to three days. Workers have to return a negative result to be allowed on site,” says Tim Workman, Pegasus Client Account Manager.

Such is the importance of good planning.

What’s Your Business Plan?

As we’re looking at the roadmap out of lockdowns, contact tracing will change as vaccination rates increase. This doesn’t mean there’s no risk—and workplaces will still be required to have their COVID-19 Safe Plans up to scratch.

You could decide in your workplace that even as things change, you want stay cautious and carry out your own tracing to do your best to stay on top of outbreaks on your sites and projects.

“These clients are prioritising safety. If they get a positive case on one of their sites, they’re going to want to have access to data like what is found in Pegasus to do their own contract tracing,” says Tim.

“If you get a positive case on your site, instead of saying ‘we don’t know who was here, we’re going to have to shut down’, you can get the data from the Pegasus system in minutes and only have to close for a short amount of time.”

The Cost of Not Investing

Investing in a digital workforce management solution might seem costly, but when you consider the financial impact to your business if you’re forced to close for an extended period due to a lack of available data, it’s a cost worth paying.

“Even if you only save yourself four days of closure, that will pay for the system in its entirety over a few years. The return on investment in this scenario would be fantastic,” says Tim.

How are you developing your COVID-19 Safe Plan? Speak to Pegasus today to discuss how we can help you manage your workforce risk.

October is National Safe Work Month—a time to commit to building a safe and healthy workplace. The theme this year is think safe. work safe. be safe.

During the month of October, we’ll be exploring how you can approach safety in your workplace by looking at each part of the theme. This week, we’ve looked at think safe.

think safe– is the first step to thinking about work health and safety, which covers the planning and forethought that Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs) (such as employers and small business owners) must do to identify risks and maintain healthy and safe workplaces.

Farewelling Phil Charley: The Original Pegasus Developer

You may not know his name, but if you’ve used Pegasus software, you have Phil Charley to thank. Phil has been with Pegasus since the 1990s and is the author of our original software, Onsite Track Easy. This week, Phil is retiring.

One of the friendliest faces in the office, Phil happily talked to us about his years with Pegasus, his career before joining us, and what the early days of software development looked like.

Join us for Phil’s story, a rollicking journey which takes him from nursing to cattle farms, the Pilbara to Melbourne, and back again to the Hunter, where thankfully the original PegPal decided to dabble in computers.

“Software development was the career that was waiting for me that didn’t exist.”

As our original developer, it’s safe to assume software has been the sole focus of Phil’s career. Except when he finished school and went to university, there was no such thing as software development.

If you pick a career, it’s likely Phil has done it. After a year of studying law at University of Sydney, Phil was asked to join an acting troupe, performing live theatre in Sydney and Melbourne which sounded much more interesting. So to the stage he went. Following this, Phil took what can only be described as a non-traditional path – he went on to work as a psychiatric nurse, dabbled in leather work at the Argyle Arts Centre in Sydney, before working on a cattle farm in the Snowy Mountains.

From there, he and his wife Louise hopped on his motorbike to ride across the country—yes, really—where he started working as a labourer for an iron ore mine in the Pilbara region. It’s safe to say Phil has had an incredibly varied career.

Beginnings in software

“While I was working in the Pilbara, I wanted to do a university degree in software development, but there were actually none available in Australia for remote learning. That’s the era it was,” Phil says.

But when a position in the mine laboratory opened, Phil transitioned to the role of industrial chemist. It was during his time in the lab that Phil became acquainted with Hewlett-Packard computers and his foray into software began.

Lucky for us.

The original PegPal

After a decade in the west, Phil returned to the Upper Hunter and finally started his degree in software development. Phil then taught computer studies to adults through TAFE, and started his own business before first crossing paths with Pegasus, known then as Peter Eason Survey and Mining Services.

Phil installed file servers and network cabling in the Singleton office and eventually joined as a contractor when Pegasus began the fateful shift into software.

We might be a cloud-based software company now, but the early days of Pegasus software were a little more humble – a server on a Windows computer to be exact. Site access? That was a printed, laminated card, scanned with a barcode reader like a library book. These cards were used to record contractors logging on at mine sites and were quite successful – until expansion was required.

“When we went to a second mine site, there was absolutely no communication as they were standalone products running on Windows computers,” says Phil.

“It was at that point we realised the future of that product was going to be extremely limited unless we found a way to have a single repository of information that could be accessed at multiple sites.”

And so, the Pegasus we know today was born. And who better to lead our developers than Phil?

“I’ve had a mix of skills in the mathematical, logical area, and the humanities, languages area. That’s actually very good for software development. You need to be very logical and systematic, but also very good with languages.”

An early staff photo of the Pegasus team

Early days of the Internet

It’s hard to imagine now, with the internet being so ingrained in our lives and businesses, but at first people were slow to go online.

“It was seen as being unreliable, risky and generally not considered to be a good platform for basing any kind of business dependency on,” says Phil.

But young Pegasus knew that using the internet was the way to go. Phil lead a team of contractors to launch the first Pegasus internet-based product, Onsite Track Easy, in 2002, officially pivoting the business from contractor labour hire into a software as a service (SaaS) company.

“What’s happened in the last 20 years is an evolution that’s only been possible through the confidence and courage of the management team of Pegasus to pursue it,” says Phil.

“I wouldn’t have been in a job if it wasn’t for people who were willing to invest in the future of the product. I’m very grateful for that.”

Onsite Today

Onsite Track Easy has been developed for use on hundreds of client sites and most industries across Australia, and more recently, further abroad. The Pegasus development team has expanded to a large team working in agile sprints to deliver enhancements and new features. This expansion is probably not something Phil would have imagined in the early days in Singleton.

“I didn’t get my computer knowledge in the early days of my career; it was a bit later on,” he says. “Now within the software development team, we have many developers who develop across multiple languages, numerous platforms and people within the group specialising in certain areas of development. The team has gone well beyond my own strengths.”

While it was hard to gradually release the reigns of Onsite to others within the company, seeing the vision of management, especially CEO Adam Boyle, made it easier to do. Phil talks readily about passing on the baton.

“It was only really seeing that he had visionary awareness for what the product could become and where it could go. Once I realised that, I was really happy to loosen the reigns and let someone else have a go.”

Biggest highlight

“This isn’t my personal highlight really, because I don’t feel like I personally had much to do with it, but our acquisition by Avetta has been a huge highlight for me. Onsite has been very much like a baby to me. You’re involved and there’s so much to do with it as a young Onsite

And then Onsite got into the teenage years and got a bit recalcitrant, there were some hard things. But now it’s as if I’m seeing Onsite off on its own pathway as an adult. I’m proud of what it’s become. I know my involvement was there at the beginning, and there have been some significant influences by a lot of people.

That’s without a doubt the biggest highlight for me, seeing Onsite go global with truly genuine global capabilities which it can do with Avetta. “

What’s next?

Heading into retirement, we asked Phil what’s next. While plans to visit friends in Denmark have been put on the back burner, travel is still on the cards. After numerous visits between Perth and the east coast along the bottom of the country, Phil and Louise have more exploring to do.

“We’re going to buy a camper trailer and go on a trip over the top end of Australia,” he says.

A consummate gentleman, it’s hard to imagine Pegasus without Phil. He will be incredibly missed!

How Does Your Workforce STAY Compliant?

In the world of Pegasus, you’ll hear the word ‘compliant’ more than occasionally. But what does it mean and how do you get there?

Compliance, in the context of the workplace, boils down to following a set of rules. These rules can be individual workplace policies, standards, specifications workers need to meet to undertake their role, or law—such as the Work Health Safety Act 2011 (which we’ve unpacked here).

It’s simple when you think about it. You want the people working for you to be the right people for their roles (through training, skills, licences and qualifications). With workplace safety more important than ever, you also want to make sure everyone is up to date with your policies.

Join us as we look at how to get your workforce compliant, how Pegasus helps keep them compliant, and an often-overlooked avenue for maintaining compliance and improving safety outcomes.

Getting your workforce compliant

Workforce compliance is the reason why companies like Pegasus exist. With our workforce management software, we keep your workforce safe on site.

We help you sleep at night by pre-qualifying your contracting companies, making sure your workers are competent, providing inductions and training, only granting site access to those who pass those first three parts, and we even make sure the plant and assets on your sites are up to code.

Managed services helps your workforce reach compliance

When you partner with Pegasus, there’s a level of managed service you can come to expect from us (which we’ve laid out here). If there are only two things you take away from that in this context, it’s that:

  1. Business rules specific to you will help keep your workforce compliant. When everyone understands exactly what’s needed to achieve and maintain compliance, time is saved, and workers are on the job quickly.
  2. There’s a whole host of people at Pegasus whose job it is to help support the ongoing compliance of your workforce.

So, tell me: how do they stay compliant?

A benefit of the managed service element of our partnership is that our involvement is ongoing. We don’t walk away after the software implementation is complete.

Why is this so important? Because there’s no use making sure your workforce is compliant at the beginning if down the track, they’re not.

If an incident occurs, the Work Health and Safety Inspector doesn’t care about the compliance status of your workers six months ago—they’re interested in compliance today.

Because of this, any time training is due to be taken again, an insurance close to lapsing, and a licence set to expire, your contractors receive an automated reminder from Pegasus.

But wait, there’s something else you can do!

A really simple way to help maintain compliance and make sure your workforce is safe is investing in training.

On top of our brilliant LMS, did you know Pegasus has a ‘Ready-to-Go Course List’ where there is a whole slew of online customisable courses available for you to purchase? With continual learning linked to boosted performance, increased productivity and reduced employee turnover, online courses are a simple way to keep your workforce compliant and improve your business.

What are the benefits of online training?

1. Flexibility

Workers can train in a way and time that works best for them. It doesn’t matter if they use a Mac, PC, tablet or mobile phone, as long as they have access to the internet and a web browser, they can complete training from wherever and whenever suits them.

2. Higher Retention

Learning online boosts retention rates by 25 to 60 per cent, so your workers are more likely to remember and be able to implement what they learn.

3. Safe and Accessible

Alongside changing businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we learn.  With increasingly dispersed workforces, classroom learning is on the way out.

Online learning allows you to train your workers no matter where they’re located, and decreases any risks associated with in-person learning.

4. Save Money and Time

Research shows corporate learning online takes 40 to 60 per cent less time to complete when compared to traditional learning. Online training can be delivered quickly. Workers can learn new skills and information almost immediately.

Does your workforce need training to help maintain their compliance? Talk to Pegasus today or download our Ready-to-Go Course List.

4 Oil and Gas Procurement Challenges (with Solutions)

The Oil and Gas industry is one of the most high-risk in the world. With Australia’s oil and gas workforce doubling over the last decade – and growth continuing – legislation is evolving to meet new advances. Those changes are reflected in the safety and compliance challenges facing the industry.

Read on to discover the most common oil and gas procurement challenges industry professionals face—and how you can overcome them.

1. Visibility and Flow of Supply Chain

Oil and gas supply chains aren’t always the most transparent. Many companies rely on oil and gas production from just a handful of countries. When disruptions occur, such as shortages and other economic impacts, it affects the oil and gas supply chain and procurement process at home.

How can you solve this?

The best way to overcome this challenge is to make the supply chain more transparent. How? Monitor the risks abroad, look for alternative suppliers in the event of shortages, and keep track of current prices each day.

The more you can break the supply chain process into manageable chunks, the easier it is to identify challenges, address them, and get the business back on track quickly.

2. Large Amounts of Data to Process and Interpret

When looking to improve procurement and supply chain management, you’ll quickly realise how much data you need to process and interpret every day—it’s a lot. It requires a dedicated person in your team to monitor and interpret this data.

Without doing this, companies may never have the chance to use the information they’ve discovered to create sustainable strategies to improve operations.

How can you solve this?

The best way to address this challenge is to partner with a data analytics expert. They can help you organise, process, and interpret the data that comes in each day. Using a dedicated platform for this process will help you avoid time-consuming and resource-draining information backlogs that interrupt your business’ flow and keep you from being able to expand at a reliable rate.

3. Difficulty Attracting Qualified Employees

One of the biggest contributors to oil and gas procurement issues is the employees and contractors that companies hire. Attracting high-quality talent can make all the difference in solving procurement challenges.

Having the right people – in-house or contractors – can help streamline the procurement process, keep an eye on the supply chain, and help implement changes which improve business. The wrong people can end up contributing to those issues, forcing companies to experience more delays and interruptions each day.

How can you solve this?

Investing in your hiring process and expanding your talent pool to other locations as needed can help you secure better talent. By focusing on quality hires, you’ll be more likely to attract talent that is willing to stay with your business for years to come, which reduces the amount of training you’ll need to pay for over time.

And don’t forget contractors! Working with vetted, qualified individuals along every step in your supply chain can make a big difference in the efficiency and productivity of your business.

4. Changing Demand for Oil and Gas

The oil and gas industry may be one of the more stable operating worldwide, but it’s not without its ups and downs. As more people transition to working remotely or working from home rather than making the standard commute to the office, demand for oil and gas will continue to go down.

This changing demand means the oil and gas procurement process needs to be more dynamic.

How can you solve this?

By keeping an eye on the demand and adjusting your supply chain as needed, you’ll be able to keep up with fluctuating demand levels without losing money. With supply chain analytics in place, you’ll be able to prepare for low-procurement periods and increases in demand without having to adjust things on short notice.

How Can the Oil and Gas Industry Be Improved?

The simplest way to improve the oil and gas procurement process is to embrace technology that’s designed to help streamline operations and reduce backlogs in data interpretation. In doing so, you’ll bring your business into the modern age and can eliminate many of the most common procurement challenges automatically.

Talk to Pegasus today about our Oil & Gas Solution.

A version of this blog first appeared on the Avetta blog here and has been republished with full permission.

Four Key Safety and Compliance Lessons We Can Learn From COVID-19

COVID-19 changed the face of the world and businesses overnight. With the directive to work from home where possible and limit movements, businesses were given the ultimate stress test. Adapt to the changing times or risk closure.

While the past 18 months have been undoubtably difficult for businesses across Australia—even now with large sections of our east coast currently in lockdown—there have been many lessons in resilience and change learnt from COVID-19. These lessons don’t have to disappear when we finally live in a post-COVID world.

For instance, businesses who opted to set up new tiers of suppliers and contractors, have discovered new opportunities they can use after the pandemic as the business environment recuperates. The lessons learned will stay with them, allowing them to sustain operations during other future disasters.

Lessons about safety and compliance can also be instrumental in ensuring business continuity and profitability.

Here are four lessons on safety and compliance we can learn from COVID-19.

1 – Crisis Management Training

While contractor management services and safety training programs are usually part of workforce management systems, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of crisis management training for your workers. In the event of unforeseen circumstances such as bushfires, floods, other natural disasters or public health crises, how will your contracting companies adapt? Alongside safety and compliance qualifications, another piece of the puzzle to collect might be their crisis management plans.

Training will become essential in ensuring smooth and safe operations going forward. Imparting the training instruction effectively using cloud-based training platforms like the Pegasus Learning Management System (LMS) can be the key to ensuring effective worker management that raises the overall bar for operational efficiency.

2 – Worker Health Management

With QR codes and hand sanitiser a staple in every workplace and social distancing strongly encouraged, returning to work is unlikely to be straightforward. Fears of outbreaks are sure to be prevalent for months and potentially years.

With the safest companies set to dominate the future of work, it’s more important than ever to adopt stringent safety rules and keep stocks of hand sanitiser and cleaning products onsite to prevent any illness.

Working from home will remain the norm; with many never returning to the office full-time. Many businesses have already established remote working infrastructure to ensure workers remain productive. Regular health check-ups might become a thing of the future workplace.

3 – Cybersecurity Compliance

With automation on the rise, most businesses in a post-COVID world will use software-defined networks and advanced data analytics platforms to enhance decision-making. While leveraging technology is a great move, the flipside of it is that it comes with the risk of cyberattacks and data thefts.

For this reason, you will need stronger cybersecurity management systems than ever before. Prequalified system integrators and solution providers hold the key to ensuring cybersecurity compliance and protection from vulnerabilities.

4 – Workforce Data

It’s more important than ever to have complete visibility over your workforce.

The data collected in your Pegasus platform tells the story of your contracting companies and workers. There’s detailed information about all the companies who work for you and their relationships to one another.

It knows everything about your workers – their roles, who they work for, their attendance, and their competencies. You will see everything happening on your sites – who is working for you, where they are, their training, and what they can do.

When you resume operations, the stories in this data will allow you to see the contracting companies and workers who were the most efficient for your business.

Nobody can predict when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, but your constant efforts to stay prepared will help ensure worker safety and sustain your business when we return to a new normal in the workplace.

Talk to Pegasus today to find out how we are helping businesses adapt in a COVID-19 world.

A version of this blog first appeared on the Avetta blog here and has been republished with full permission.