Smart Restroom Technology FAQs
With their combination of sensors, wireless transmitters, and data analytics, IoT-enabled facility solutions help deliver high-performing buildings by systemizing day-to-day facility functions, such as heating, cooling, lighting, inventory control, and security. Facility and operations managers have leveraged these solutions for years and, over the last five years, many have added smart restroom solutions to their management toolkit.
Smart restroom solutions enable data-driven cleaning and maintenance by continually monitoring IoT restroom devices and alerting custodial staff immediately when maintenance is needed. This data empowers custodial staff to be more proactive in providing well-maintained and well-stocked restrooms and leads to elevated cleaning and hygiene results, improved operational efficiency, optimized energy consumption, and reduced waste.
As interest continues to grow in IoT-enabled restroom solutions, John Strom, vice president and general manager of Innovation at GP PRO, a division of Georgia-Pacific, provides answers to some commonly asked questions.
Smart Restroom FAQs
Q: What type of facility benefits most from smart restroom technology?
A: We have primarily seen interest from high-traffic venues and larger office buildings, both of which boast a large number of dispensers that are spread out over significant square footage. In general, these are facilities that need to take advantage of every opportunity to drive labor savings, improve the user experience, and impact waste savings and that need to demonstrate a return on investment proportionate to their space.
Now, though, we are seeing growing interest and traction in new segments, including food service and industrial, two segments that have been heavily impacted by labor shortages, supply chain issues, and an increased cost of goods and with facilities needing to drive cost and labor savings and employee or customer retention.
Q: What kind of ROI can a facility expect to achieve after implementing smart restroom technology?
A: This depends on the size of the facility, how invested the custodial staff is in engaging with the technology, and to what extent the data and analytics are leveraged. That said, GP PRO proprietary research provides some great insight into the positive impact of smart restrooms on the bottom line.
In one survey, we learned that 50 percent of consumers have chosen not to return to a business because the restrooms weren’t clean and well-stocked (CBT-21-5118). A business losing half of its customers because of the condition of the restrooms has a significant financial impact in terms of lost revenue and customer acquisition.
In another survey, we found that 90 percent of real estate professionals believe a smart technology that helps ensure consistently clean and well-stocked restrooms warrants a premium above base rent, with two-thirds of property managers and 57 percent of commercial real estate brokers putting that premium at or above 3 percent (NCT-22-778452).
Q: Who on the facility side should own smart restroom technology decisions and deployment?
A: Individuals on the facility management and operations side are the ones who have that first-hand perspective of the greatest operational challenges they’re facing regarding custodian productivity and efficiency and restroom maintenance and cleanliness.
That said, successful installation and deployment of smart restroom technology requires buy-in, input, and expertise from IT stakeholders, human resources, custodial teams, and, of course, the organization’s leadership. These individuals and teams help secure the necessary financial and personnel resources, ensure the least disruptive installation timing, and identify potential infrastructure challenges.
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Credits: GP PRO