Selecting the Right Console for Your Mission Critical Ops
February 6, 2015
As technology continues to evolve and become more advanced, organizations find that achieving a balanced integration of people, technology, workspace and workflow becomes increasingly more difficult to manage. Understanding the complexities of these four elements is vital in the selection of a console system design. This is certainly true when it comes to establishing the necessary framework for finalizing a decision in a mission-critical environment, especially one that secures an initial lower total cost of ownership and higher return-on-investment over the long term.
Whether it’s ergonomic concerns related to 24x7 staffing, updated best practices in command operations, changes to control systems, or revised communication protocols; these, coupled with advancements in computer technology, are all requiring a fresh approach to console design. The work environment and its mission critical users’ duties provide necessary insight criteria for selecting the best console product for the project. This holds true whether for 911 Emergency Response, Command and Control, Process Control, Network Operations, Incident Command, and other control operation centers. Having clear insight into the people, technology, workspace, and workflow environment factors is essential.
In an ideal world, planning for the command and control consoles would occur early in the design process. Unfortunately in many cases the selection of command and control consoles for mission critical facilities occurs very late in the planning process for both new builds and redesigns. Hopefully, by taking into consideration the following five key points, we’ll provide you with some additional insight in the selection of a console system that can offer your organization the best performance solution.
Technology Integration: Efficient technology integration is paramount in console selection. This means it should provide for the secure storage of technology while offering an ease of access to the extensive wire cable management associated with command consoles. This will enable both the user and IT staff to work simultaneously without disruption to operations while maintaining operational uptime. Essentially, the right console will effectively minimize downtime and allow easy, yet secure access for the technology it supports.
Compatibility/Scalability: Make your selections from among console systems that provide for numerous configuration options that not only meet your current requirements but also allow for future scalability. This means adopting a future-proof design philosophy within your selection criteria. Essentially, choose console furniture systems with attention to cross-compatibility and those that can be reconfigured or scaled to meet future demands.
Durability: Select a console that is designed and constructed to withstand the rigors of a 24/7 multi-shift environment. A durable, well- made console that is intended to house and secure expensive technology equipment along with a massive amount of cabling will save the aggravation of needing to replace or make repairs to inferior console products.
Customization: Since a comfortable work environment contributes to individual productivity, the console should be suited to the operator and the work being performed. Console systems that offer a wide range of functional items such as data-ports, phone trays or binder holders, allow for the customization of individual stations or entire workspaces. This might also include security features for servicing technology and access to cabling infrastructure.
Ergonomics: Current research suggests that changing work postures a minimum of every 45 minutes is directly correlated to better health and higher productivity. However, in mission critical operations, breaks aren’t always possible. Incorporating height adjustable workstations helps increase blood flow to muscles, reduce fatigue and mitigate repetitive stress injuries. In short, ergonomics plays a vital role within a console work environment.
Finding the right console for your needs can be daunting. That’s why working with professionals to assist you in identifying and evaluating your company’s unique workspace, workflow, personnel challenges and technology is so vital to creating the best console design for your organization.
As independent dealers, Legacy Designs can help you with console selection from variety of industry-leading manufactures. This includes thorough analysis of your console requirements and unique environment …as well as the five elements outlined above.