INFORM GmbH (INFORM, www.inform-software.com), a leading global provider of advanced optimization solutions for airlines, airports and ground handlers, has released a series of tools to support companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
INFORM offers fully software-based solutions designed to quickly identify workers potentially affected by the SARS-CoV2 infection. The solutions work with INFORM GroundStar product, GS RealTime. Companies can extend their GS RealTime functionality to enable contact tracing by adding INFORM’s new GS BIS Contact Tracer web application and/or GS BIS Contact Tracing report. By using GS RealTime’s historical staff allocation data, it is possible to determine which staff worked with whom, in which team, at what times, and in which locations. Equipped with this data, the GS BIS contact tracer’s functionality can visualize an infected person’s history of contacts. This can be displayed as an on-demand report using the GS BIS Report solution, or in a standalone web application, both to facilitate the implementation of a staff quarantine plan.
“Resource and staff planning has always been key to a successful operation. The pandemic has introduced an additional layer of uncertainty and forces companies to redefine work processes to mitigate the risk of the virus’ spread, all while trying to survive as a business,” said Uschi Schulte-Sasse, Senior Vice President Aviation at INFORM. “We have the ability to help our clients plan to minimize and trace staff contacts, to reduce the risk of contagion and adjust to operational changes in real-time. We support them in planning ahead to find the safest, lowest cost way forward,” Schulte-Sasse continued.
Furthermore, partnering with SafeDrivePod BV, INFORM can also provide companies with an independent Bluetooth-based solution to be distributed to each staff member. The devices are small, maintenance-free and can be clipped on to an ID lanyard, a shirt or other piece of clothing near the front of the body. Each time two devices come into proximity of each other, they exchange their anonymous IDs and record them. Each device stores these exchanges for a pre-defined period.
In case the carrier of one of these devices tests positive for a SARS-CoV-2 infection, their device can be read and the recorded contacts traced. The anonymous IDs can be mapped to real identities by authorized personnel. Isolation procedures can be initiated swiftly and accurately, and the propagation of the virus contained, minimizing the effect on other staff and on the operations.
Accurately tracing potential infection chains further increases by combining the use of the Bluetooth devices with GS RealTime’s historical data. This is achieved by cross-referencing the physical proximity measured by the devices with historical staff allocations, adding an additional level of confidence when trying to determine risks.
In addition, INFORM’s workforce management system, GroundStar (GS) WorkforcePlus, also applies pro-active measures to minimize the risk of contagion. One example is designing shift plans that keep teams as stable as possible and reduce staff contacts. In case a staff member reports an infection, GS WorkforcePlus can calculate the direct impact and ripple effects on other staff members and staff demand requirements. These functions and others make GS WorkforcePlus an important companion to overcome the challenges of the current pandemic by enabling a pro-active contact minimization strategy.
As businesses start ramping up operations, they will need to coordinate the re-entry of a large part of their workforce. With many staff members on paid-leave and reduced work hours, planning for their full-time schedules will involve considerable coordination. For precisely this situation, INFORM provides a fully web-based employee portal. It coordinates shift plans with the entire workforce, especially with those re-entering service. The portal can be accessed from any device. Any changes to the schedule are immediately visible. The portal is offered free of charge for the first two months.