Smart Restrooms Increase Productivity and Sustainability

Jul 09, 2018

Written by: Molly Granse, SupplyWorks

This article was written in June 2018 for the 2018 Quarter Three Newsletter.

The age of smart restroom technology has arrived. With the air of embedded sensors and software in restrooms, data transferred wirelessly over the network increases productivity, reduces waste, decreases spend, and enhances the image of a building.  
With the new generation of employees arriving in our workforce, building managers are put to the task of accommodating their tech savvy lifestyles in order to lease the available space in their buildings and now the restrooms are no exception to this type of technology. 
Today, we are seeing several manufacturers launch smart technology to manage the restrooms. Through these systems, restroom work orders for replacing supplies are decreased to nearly zero. Tenant satisfaction is increased. Premature refills can be as low as 10% significantly decreasing waste and cost. In addition, dashboards provide critical information that allows for reallocation of cleaning resources. With this valuable data, property managers are more effectively able to focus on managing the overall image of the building by spending more time in areas of high visibility, areas that matter most to tenants. 
Smart restrooms provide real-time data through any device and allow you to detect issues as they happen, before they become complaints, even when you are not onsite. Cloud computing analytics provide data on response times, when issues are resolved, and overall details to help better manage your restrooms. When considering a restroom management system, it is best to ask about the reporting capabilities. Not all systems provide in depth analytics. 
The system will alert you to which floor, which restroom, and which dispenser (towel, bath tissue, or soap) needs attention, eliminating the need to check each individual unit during the cleaners' round. Thus, greater efficiencies are created for the cleaners as they spend less time in the restrooms. 
Medical offices and hospitals are now choosing to monitor employee hand hygiene through the hand soap and sanitizer dispensing systems. The monitoring can prevent the spread of germs and disease throughout the facility and track where an outbreak may have come from. 
One Minneapolis Class A building has reported savings of up to $6,000 in the janitorial process, and a decrease of $53,000 in consumable spending, which was approximately a 45% savings per square foot. In addition, they are using the smart restroom system as a tenant attraction tool because they recognize that there is a huge push for buildings to offer technological amenities along with the baseline amenities. Sustainability is very important to them. With the system, they are definitely hitting that sweet spot where technology, green and productivity overlap. 
This type of technology not only revolutionizes the way you manage your building but also provides a huge decrease in the amount of waste going into our landfills each year due to premature refills. If every capable building installed this type of management system, think about the amount of natural resources that would be saved in the manufacturing and shipping of such products. 
Eventually, this type of technology will just be the norm. Will you choose to lead the change in making your building more attractive to your tenants by being an early adopter of smart restroom technology? 
Reach out to your service provider and make sure they are educating you on these systems and advocating for your portfolio with new technology helping to create a place where current and potential tenants want to be. 

Category: Industry Insights

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