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What is ‘Optimised Cognitive Labour’? It will save you money!

Updated: Mar 15, 2023




A good plan doesn’t generate itself. You’ll have to understand the tagging process first. Our optimised cognitive labour model is the basis for saving our clients’ money and ensuring the highest quality output. Our aims in using this model are:

  1. To ensure that our teams apply RFID tags correctly for our clients and their clients.

  2. To ensure maximising efficiency, which reduces the costs involved in asset tagging.

  3. To ensure our teams are working within their means and without undue pressure.

  4. To ensure that our clients are left without issues, worries or problems of any kind caused by poor RFID tagging implementation

What does this mean for our customers?

Many of our clients have utilised ‘other’ methods for RFID tagging their assets before The Tagging Team is involved. It makes sense, just putting tags on assets; what could go wrong?

Many things can go wrong, and our clients have experienced all of them, the biggest problem, when anything goes wrong with the tagging part of RFID implementation, the whole system becomes useless.

What we do is take away the risk from RFID Asset Tagging; we make sure your project isn’t delayed, disrupted or destroyed by incorrect tag application or data transfer, and optimised cognitive labour is how we achieve that.


Step-by-step Optimised Cognitive Labour for RFID Tagging


The ‘optimised cognitive labour’ model forms the criteria we use to successfully run RFID asset tagging projects for our clients.



Many of our clients began by tagging their own assets, and many suffered as a result. Why take the risk? Take the safe option and protect your RFID project!

How can you apply the Optimised Cognitive Labour Model?


The steps above are all you need to apply the Optimised Cognitive Labour model to your project. The question is not the application of these methods but the initial understanding of the project and processes themselves.


RFID tag application and programming require a grounding in the technology being utilised, given that grounding your team is more likely to make correct tagging decisions during the process. Furthermore, understanding the technology should, one hopes, ensure that the team applying the tags does not work outside of the process as they understand the consequences.


As with all things, knowledge is power, or in this case empowering, to perform the tasks correctly based on a sound knowledge of the process, technology and outcomes if tags are misplaced or incorrectly programmed.


Once you have the training in place for the technology and process, it’s time to utilise the Optimised Cognitive Labour model to maximise efficiency. Each step is not, well, a step, it’s part of the improvement process, but any step can be taken solo or as part of the overall strategy.


Reference the Parkinson’s Law element, this part of the improvement process needs some pre-planning and preferably pre-knowledge of the likely timescales involved. If you set a too short timeframe, the project will not hit its target, and there will inevitably be a knock-on effect. On the other hand, setting the timeframe too long will mean that the time taken matches (at least) the timescale applied. This is potentially a very expensive and time-consuming miss-calculation.


Planning that timescale requires either previous knowledge of the task or the opportunity to run tests. It also requires that you understand the people doing the work, their capacity for repetitive tasks, their requirements for breaks, their attention to detail and their availability, mainly whether other tasks are likely to disrupt their work and their flow.


Getting this information using agency / temporary staff can be a tough ask. For example, how could you possibly know the skills, concentration level, attention to detail or focus of an agency-provided ‘labourer’?

That’s why we’d recommend not using agency staff to provide your tagging service; it’s simply too important and potentially too expensive (if not managed correctly) to take a risk.


Optimised Cognitive Labour Model in other industries

We specialise in RFID tag application, but that doesn’t limit the scope of what we could or would do with this process. Any high-volume, predominantly repetitive task could benefit from the skilled application of optimised cognitive labour. For example, digitisation, archiving, book cataloguing or reclassification, to name a few. Anything that requires a consistent quality level, a high processing volume, a set timescale and a set budget can benefit from the Optimised Cognitive Labour Model.


Continual assessment through Optimised Cognitive Labour

There’s a difference between continually assessing and continual assessment within our Optimised Cognitive Labour Model. Assessment is pointless without the tools to act on what that assessment discovers. Where the usual process would be; look at the procedure being performed, highlight if / where it is not being executed well, and retrain and restart. There is an assumption that the process itself has been optimised. Still, it’s unlikely that any process, optimised or not, has considered every element involved and any changes that have occurred.

Using a complete process planning strategy on a continual basis is how proper optimisation is achieved. This is because things change, and the process needs to change with them.


Summary

  • In a labour-intensive, high volume and repetitive task situation, ALL elements of the project must be continually managed.

  • A failure to optimise will cost time and money.

  • Repetitive tasks only suit some people, put the wrong people on your project, and the cost will increase proportionally to their ability and investment in the result.

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