20 July 2018

How facility management companies can use IoT in offices

Blog Post
Facility managers

Smart offices will soon be as common as smart homes.


But one thing remains old-fashioned and inefficient - the way in which facility managers service offices.


Running out of supplies isn’t an option for busy offices. But it’s also a headache for businesses. That’s why it’s often outsourced to a facilities manager.


Even now, offices still need to call or email their manager whenever an issue occurs. This is far from a satisfactory scenario which leads to high churn rates, especially if the service isn’t cheap. If managers don’t do a good enough job at the right price, they will quickly be replaced.


The Internet of Things (IoT) offers a way for facility managers to move clients away from a focus on cost, towards a focus on the customer relationship.[CLICK TO TWEET]


Amazon Dash has already introduced the concept of moving away from cost and towards cost relationship management in the home. Now, facility managers can do the same in the office with the help of a global IoT connectivity solution.


The IoT device that is perfect for facility managers

Smart button devices are one of the simplest connected devices in the world. Similar in style and function to Amazon Dash, the device can be used by clients to communicate instantly with facility management companies at the touch of a button. The plug-and-play device is ready to use out of the box without any additional set up and works via the Sigfox network. This means that the device doesn’t have to rely on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth networks. It can be used anywhere in the office, even if there is no Wi-Fi coverage.


How do Smart button devices work in an office?

Smart button devices can be installed throughout the office, wherever facility manages provide their services. On printers, in supply cupboards, in communal areas that require cleaning and ongoing maintenance, Smart button devices can be installed to notify facility managers when stock is running low or when manual intervention is required.


For instance, if the facility manager looks after office printers and related supplies, two Smart button devices can be attached to or near the printer. One would notify the facility manager of an issue with the printer itself, the other would notify the manager of low ink. When ink runs low, workers in the office would hit the connected device and an alert would be sent instantly to the facility manager via the Sigfox network. The facility manager is alerted to the issue and can schedule resupplies immediately. Within hours or days, the office is re-supplied with ink so that it can carry on functioning properly.


How managers and their clients benefit?

The benefit to clients is clear.


The reordering and replacement process for clients becomes significantly easier by using connected devices. No more phone calls, emails or website visitors, the push of a button is all that is needed for clients to immediately get in contact with their facility manager.


As clients experience improved levels of satisfaction, facility management companies with offices as clients will experience lower churn rates. After all, why would an office want to switch facility management companies when service is so quick and easy?


As well as winning and retaining more clients, facility managers themselves can reduce their costs through Smart button devices. With the use of data analytics, over a period of time, facility managers are able to anticipate the needs of that facility. This reduces wastage and maximizes efficiency


As offices become more and more connected by smart devices, Smart button devices provide a way for the smart office to be connected with smart facility managers.


For more information on how the IoT can empower facility management companies and how they can be used in the office, read the Sigfox full case study.



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