Yousef is a facility manager for a multi-tenant, multi-story office building. His team is responsible for upkeep, maintenance, grounds, and facility repairs. Tenants come and go over the years, and seem to care little for the common areas of the building. They rarely report outages or problems, but complain when things in their units are not working properly. Yousef gets frustrated that his team is constantly walking into common bathrooms to see toilets running, sink fixtures backed up, and general disarray on a near-daily basis.
To address these and related concerns, SRT proposed to Yousef the following:
- Install connected water meters on the building and flow meters at each bathroom to monitor the baseline for water usage across the building.
- Use a connected watering system controller and weather station to water only on a schedule not impacted by rain. This would also monitor for water usage outside of scheduled operating hours to ensure there are no problems with excessive water usage outside on the grounds.
- Set up connected fixtures to be alerted to which stalls and sinks are running excessively.
- Install leak detectors on the floor and within sink cabinets to provide a warning when small leaks exist, to prevent long-term issues with rot, mold, and other structural damage.
- Set up smart soap/towel dispensers and door counters to the bathrooms to understand the usage of each room on each day, being proactive to clean and restock inventory before bigger problems arise.
SRT can support Yousef using the M1 Hardware Portal, a website and app that allows him to view all the information from all of his building sensors in one place. But more importantly, the portal will give Yousef the insights he needs to ensure excessive water usage is minimized and that issues within common areas of the building are addressed quickly, before they become real problems.
Maria is the Operations Director for a school district with 15 buildings. With state funding getting tighter and tighter, Maria has to find ways to make every dollar stretch further. And with the ever-present concern for student health and safety, providing better services and cleaner facilities are key concerns for the superintendent and citizens of the county. Unfortunately, the antiquated buildings and older facility systems means they would be starting with a relatively blank slate when considering new technologies. And her custodial and operations staff have high turnover due to their requests for new equipment and materials being regularly rejected.
To address these concerns one step at a time, SRT proposed to Maria that she create some “quick wins” to demonstrate a clear Return-on-Investment (ROI) and quantitative results for a better facility.
- First, during the next staff turnover on the custodial team, SRT proposes that Maria purchase or lease a floor cleaning robot. The cost of such is only slightly higher than the fully loaded monthly rate of a team member and can demonstrate clearly an improved cleaning performance, with metrics deliverable to the superintendent.
- Maria is also encouraged to get connected hand sanitizer dispensers for all entry points and along main thoroughfares of a few of her buildings with the highest registered sick days for staff and students. Illnesses for the years before and the year after their installation should be monitored and compared, which should show reduced sick time in those buildings with sanitizers. Demonstrating improved health conditions for this expenditure would allow for larger budget requests in future years to add this feature to all schools.
- Power utilization is often the greatest expenditure for the operations of a facility, with HVAC and lighting being the largest components of those. Monitoring data from these systems through upgraded sensors and controllers can provide a large ROI with relatively low expenditure. Moving toward smart lighting systems in each building would provide greater control over the lighting expenditures while also managing the lighting schedules remotely to ensure lights aren’t on when nobody is in the building.
- Connected temperature sensors inside of each cafeteria refrigerator and freezer ensure that all food remains at the required food safety temperatures before being prepared and served to students. These sensors capture when these systems break down, providing a proactive warning to Maria so that food can be relocated to a different freezer before it is spoiled. They also reduce the overhead of staff time to ensure accurate reporting since data is captured much more frequently than county compliance reporting requires.
Although there are dozens of other ways that Maria can use technology to improve the services around her school, including air quality sensors and water monitoring systems, it is essential to start small and clearly demonstrate both ROI and improved services for the students at the school. Once these are demonstrated, additional deployments can be considered for staff cost savings, utility savings, and improved operational efficiency.
Dave is a custodial manager in a multi-facility office complex. He is frustrated that his staff spends a lot of time cleaning areas that aren’t used that day, while he’s also unaware of when areas are heavily soiled until his team gets there during their scheduled shift time. His team is also frustrated because they either feel bored with their normal routine or overwhelmed with unexpected crises when they arise.
To address these concerns one step at a time, SRT proposed to Dave that he sets up a variety of sensors to help reduce stress and improve employee morale.
- First, he set up door counters to know which rooms were accessed that day, and therefore would know which rooms did not need to be cleaned.
- Then he deploy occupancy sensors to get an idea of how many people were in each of the corridors during each day. Areas with heavy traffic would get more cleaning time in the schedule that day, while areas with less traffic would get reduced cleaning time.
- He then integrate data from a new weather station on the building so he knows exactly when bad weather (rain or snow) aligned with foot traffic in and out of the building. This combination of data allows him to do intermediate cleaning to prevent slips and better focus a deeper clean on certain areas at the end of the day.
- He set up connected soap and towel dispensers to get insight for when his team needed to clean each bathroom. this saves time spent cleaning unused bathrooms and prevents staff arriving to see an unexpected mess in the room with no inventory remaining.
- Finally, he “hire” a floor cleaning robot and installed elevator controllers to transition the robot between floors. This allows Dave's team to focus their cleaning on the more difficult and necessary tasks, as well as being responsive to the needs of the day, while the robot follows the regular repeating tasks every day up and down the hallways.
SRT can support Dave using the M1 Hardware Portal, a website and app that allows him to view all the information from all of his building sensors in one place. But more importantly, the portal will give Dave the insights he needs to manually adjust his daily workflow to take into account what happened across the building that day. Should Dave prefer, SRT’s Automated Scheduling tool will allow him to simply approve proposed updates to the daily schedule based on the unexpected happenings within the building.