Operations leaders across the retail industry may not always face the same challenges. Still, each has a similar goal: to improve their organization’s operating costs, boost employee productivity, and stay ahead of equipment performance issues.
In recent decades, accomplishing these initiatives has become easier with the Internet of Things (IoT), but facility management is always an ever-evolving process. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of facility best practices.
Wondering how IoT can help your business? Read about how Lush Cosmetics saves $215,000 a year using the connected facility solution, SiteSage®.
IoT and Facility Management
Since automation and connected equipment positively impact how organizations do business, especially in the retail industry, it’s wise to harness the power of IoT. In addition, IoT makes data capture analysis more efficient, which makes it a perfect solution for operations leaders.
During our webinar, When Crisis Strikes, retailers Five Below and Lush Cosmetics discussed how they reduced energy use, mitigated costs, and kept business alive shortly after the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. While the days of lockdown are thankfully over, there are many important lessons that can be applied to what’s been coined the “new normal.”
Operations leaders are recognizing the increased importance of being agile and identifying issues before they become catastrophic problems. To make sure this is possible, there are some key ways that facility management and IoT combine to make the job easier.
6 Best Practices
Here are six best practices for retail establishments harnessing the power of IoT.
1. Automate and streamline facility maintenance and operations
Connected facilities take the burden off employees by ensuring essential equipment stays up and running with minimal effort. Automation reduces labor challenges and increases operational efficiency. For example, SiteSage makes it possible to control lighting, signage, and other equipment remotely. With the ability to schedule and proactively service equipment, performance improves, and energy expenses are reduced.
2. Use automated scheduling
Don’t make the mistake of leaving on lights, thermostats, and other high-energy consuming equipment, especially when the establishment is closed or transitions to different seasonal hours. Access to crucial data can stop energy-wasting behaviors. Depend on a solution like SiteSage for automated scheduling and reporting to reduce energy waste and increase revenue.
3. Identify individual drivers of energy costs and make improvements
IoT can help optimize gas, electricity, and water consumption through efficient automated control and accurate monitoring. The business gains the ability to identify detailed, individual drivers of energy costs, including HVAC systems and lighting. From there, operations leaders can identify unique benchmarks to target problem areas, make improvements, and automate key equipment. Higher energy spending can help uncover underperforming equipment needing repair or replacement, oversized equipment, or poor adherence to equipment schedules. This leads to lower energy consumption and expenses, reduced maintenance costs, and less equipment downtime.
5. Implement a preventative maintenance plan
A connected facility eliminates the stress of unexpected downtime because it constantly monitors the energy usage and temperatures of HVAC units so maintenance technicians can make preventative repairs when they’re already onsite for seasonal checkups. It also leverages proactive text and emails to staff when there are equipment issues to prevent catastrophic failures. SiteSage even offers an HVAC ‘fix list,’ which prioritizes the most urgent issues contributing to customer comfort problems. Red alerts highlight the issues that need to be addressed now, while yellow alerts provide long-term visibility into problems that may not require immediate attention.
4. Track and measure
Use data trends to track and measure facility management processes and performance. With insight into what’s working and what’s not, there is a better chance for improvement. For example, SiteSage provides remote visibility into equipment operation, plus advanced diagnostics and real-time alerts. When there is enterprise-wide visibility into HVAC, lighting, and other equipment, it’s possible to control energy use and reduce operating costs without compromising comfort. Plus, with features like remote equipment monitoring, there is easy access to the data needed to maintain a high level of equipment and facility performance.
6. Prepare for the future
The only constant in most industries is that things are always changing. If the pandemic has taught retailers anything, it’s that they need to be prepared for the unexpected. Since no one knows what the future holds, it’s important to map out plans for different scenarios and recognize the necessary infrastructures to maintain a successful business.
Learn more facility management best practices when you start a conversation with a member of our team.