What the Internet of Things means for your facilities

SMS Assist

New technologies are making it easier than ever for facilities leaders to better understand and serve their communities. Decades ago, the Internet brought early digital capabilities to the facilities landscape.

In recent years, all kinds of work order management systems, mobile apps, and even geolocation technologies have transformed the way facilities management is done.

And today, new and emerging technologies are making it possible for facilities managers to understand their location environments on an even deeper level.

The Internet of Things (IoT) more closely integrates physical spaces with data capture and processing capabilities, bringing more transparency, visibility, and performance information to any space.

Here’s what this means for your facilities portfolio.

Internet of Things means better location performance

IoT devices can enhance your understanding of how your customers and associates interact with the physical environments within your locations.

  • IoT-enabled customer traffic sensors can help building managers prioritize locations for priority handyman coverage, schedule floor care and general cleaning needs, and adjust seasonal staffing coverage.
  • Weight sensors placed under stacks of shopping baskets can help inventory managers better understand shopping preferences at different regions, seasons, times of day, and so on.
  • CO2 sensors can estimate the number of people in a space, and can trigger HVAC systems to adjust airflow based on your store preferences. Data gathered can also be used to adjust customer traffic flow and reduce bottlenecks at your locations.

Internet of Things means better portfolio savings

With relatively inexpensive IoT-connected sensors, you can identify and prioritize savings opportunities across your portfolio.

  • Simple airflow sensors can alert a facilities manager about problematic refrigerator doors. Left unattended, cooler doors left slightly ajar can force machines to work harder—limiting their useful life and increasing the amount of energy required to run.
  • IoT sensors can be installed in HVAC systems to monitor for irregular sound, vibration, temperature shifts, and fluid leakage—any of which could be a sign of a very serious and potentially expensive problem, if left unaddressed.  
  • Especially for large warehouses and shopping facilities, Internet of Things devices can be installed to strategically trigger lighting changes based on customer traffic or the presence of natural light.

Internet of Things means safer locations

IoT-connected devices can also bring an extra layer of safety and security to your locations, not only for your customers but for your associates, who spend a majority of their days at your business.

  • Low-cost and highly-sensitive wireless carbon monoxide detectors can be installed throughout your locations, not merely to report the presence of carbon monoxide but also report shifts in air concentration, when the chemical was detected, and more.
  • Facilities managers can use IoT sensors to detect the rate of mold growth in high-risk areas throughout your portfolio, so you can plan and execute preventative measures before mold growth poses a risk to your infrastructure, inventory, or your customers and associates.
  • IoT devices can even be installed to monitor and report pest activity at your locations. Infrared technology can monitor for specific pests based on movement and heat signatures, even behind walls and certain built environments within your locations.

IoT-connected devices are an inexpensive way to identify, collect, and make use of information about your locations that would be difficult to detect on your own.

Facilities managers can use the information gathered to make more refined, data-driven choices about what maintenance to perform, when to make fixes happen, and how to schedule recurring maintenance.

What’s also clear is that IoT-connected devices can make a difference not only for cost savings, but for the safety of your spaces, inventory, and the people who depend on them every day.

Want to learn more about IoT connectedness at your locations? It helps to work with a team of dedicated experts. Get in touch to learn more about technology-forward facilities and what it can do for you: weknowFM@smsassist.com.