Facilities management includes all operations that ensure retailers keep the lights on and doors open, i.e., making payments for utility costs, such as electricity, gas, water and sewage, keeping the HVAC system operating, ensuring point-of-sale systems process payments electronically and more. Unfortunately, disparate systems, as explained by Naomi Milian of FacilitiesNet, drive up facilities management costs. In other words, disjointed systems lead to confusion among maintenance schedules, equipment breakdowns, and lower overall energy efficiency. As a result, deploying the Internet of Things (IoT) to create efficient facilities management processes is essential to the survival of retail establishments.
Facilities Management Represents the Second-Leading Retail Cost
Facilities management processes make up the second-highest cost of business. In fact, facilities management makes up approximately 30 percent of a company’s annual budget. Since these costs are second only to labor costs, reports Naveen Kumar, efficient facilities management operations simply provide the greater chance for enhancing profits.
Better Systems Contribute to Better Experiences For Customers and Employees
Efficient facilities management is not solely devoted to keeping a company’s building and structures intact and operational; it contributes to better customer service experiences and greater satisfaction among employees.
For example, consumers will choose a store with adequate ventilation and appropriate indoor climates than a hot, sticky or frigid retailer. Meanwhile, employees that are comfortable are more likely to report enjoying their careers, reducing hiring and training costs.
Big-Box Competitors Are Already Implementing These Systems
Big-box retailers, ranging from Walmart to Kohl’s, have already implemented automated, efficient facilities management protocols leveraging the IoT to collect and analyze data. Temperatures in cold storage areas are logged automatically, and if it gets too warm, unsafe for perishables, an automated alert can help to keep customers from getting sick and product from being destroyed.
Amazon Is Driving Efficient Facilities Management Too
With Amazon’s increasing number and type of services offered to customers, companies that do not enhance facilities management operations face a greater risk. If customers can get what they need from home, the number of active shoppers will dwindle. Thus, retailers must give the greatest possible customer experience to meet every customers’ and workers needs’. This will be the only way to keep an okay customer from becoming an angry customer. More importantly, Amazon’s increasing array of services will further drive costs of retail merchandise down. Consequently, every transaction needs to derive the greatest profit possible without the added expense of inefficient systems.
Efficient facilities management, utilizing IoT enabled smart building solutions such as a cloud-based application enablement platform such as an energy management system, will improve the cost-effectiveness of your company. Savings will derive from automated identification of issues, better preventative maintenance schedules and greater life expectancy from your facilities’ amenities and construction. Ultimately, your company needs to prepare now if you hope to keep costs down in the future. If you fail to implement efficient facilities management practices, it will be practically impossible to keep up with the constantly lower prices of items available online. Can you afford it?