How Automated Data Collection and Sensors Help Your Business and Workforce

by Glenn Hicks on October 4, 2017

There are two universal truths to running a business: 1) Without accurate workforce and workplace data, the organization will undoubtedly fail, and 2) nearly every process can be improved by automation.

It's 2017 - data collection should be automated and gathered in one, easy to read dashboard.Considering the overwhelming number of automated data collection solutions and sensor technologies out there, no business should put itself behind the eight ball by using manual data collection and ignoring sensors.

Read on to learn why your company needs this technology.

You can better utilize space.

Inefficient use of space can be a drain on an organization’s funds. And since real estate is the second largest expense for any business, it’s crucial for the company to track how space is being used (or not used).

When a company is paying for space it isn’t using, it’s squandering budget — budget that could be applied to other important business expenses. Just as a retired couple whose children have left the nest probably doesn’t need to continue paying for utilities and a mortgage on a five-bedroom house, a business with a smaller workforce shouldn’t continue to invest in facilities that far exceed their needs.

With manual data collection and analysis, an organization might not know there is a cluster of vacant offices that could be subleased to a smaller business. Or the company may be unaware an unoccupied floor is still being heated and cooled. But by leveraging automated data collection and sensors, organizations have real-time insight into how and when space is being used, allowing management to identify these opportunities to decrease real estate costs and increase workspace efficiency.

Space data collected by sensors helps facilities leaders understand what workspaces their employees prefer.It’s easier to design a workplace your employees love.

Each of your employees likely has a go-to space somewhere in the office where they can escape from their desk. It could be that the space has plenty of natural light or comfy couches or simply a soothing color scheme.

Automated data collection and sensors allow you to identify the types of spaces favored by your employees and use this data to design workspaces the entire workforce will love and want to work in. By acknowledging the fact your employees spend a good chunk of their week in the office and doing your best to create the kind of spaces that feel a bit more like home, you demonstrate you care about your workforce’s health and comfort. And employers who show they’re invested in the wellbeing of their employees tend to have higher retention rates. Plus, when your employees feel more comfortable, you can usually count on higher levels of productivity.

You’ll know the location of assets and how they’re being used.

Using a system of hard copies and manually updated spreadsheets means you can’t be 100% confident about an asset’s location unless you’re actually looking directly at the asset. And if an asset goes missing, you might not know for days, weeks or even months. This could be something as small as a coffee maker (which an employee borrowed for an off-site team building event but forgot to return) or something as major as a printer (which was scheduled to be delivered to a maintenance facility but never scheduled to be picked up).

Without sensors, you also have limited visibility into how the asset is being used, which means you could be wasting funds on storing and maintaining equipment the business doesn’t actually need. Conversely, an asset could be in high demand but have insufficient availability, which can disrupt operations and create frustrations for your employees. (After all, a large percentage of your workforce needs their morning coffee.)

But companies that use automated data collection and sensors have better insight into the location of every asset and piece of equipment as well as visibility into asset utilization. With this information, you’ll be better able to accommodate the needs of your workforce and workplace, and be sure they can print the reports (and get the caffeine) they need to have a great meeting.

Investing in automated data collection software and sensors has numerous benefits for your business, including the ability to accurately forecast, create benchmarks and identify important trends. Plus, these technologies can decrease human error, helping to support increased productivity (and reduce the stress on your workforce). Finally, automated data collection and sensors enable you to build an environment where your employees feel motivated to do their best work.


Glenn Hicks

A member of the Business Development team, Glenn has years of experience with business process improvement on the Commercial Real Estate and Facilities Management sides.

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