Smart Washroom, Smart Investment
How implementation of smart, IoT technology can improve washroom experience and operational efficiency
The public washroom is a relatively mundane yet hugely essential part of everyday life. In busy places with a high footfall, such as airports and malls, large numbers of people can be using public restrooms at the same time. As a result, huge investments are made to keep them running efficiently. Consumables need to be topped up, the washrooms must always be clean and maintenance issues sorted as quickly as possible to avoid disruption. This takes a lot of time and money to coordinate and if it isn’t managed effectively, user experience is affected and customer satisfaction decreases.
No one wants a bad washroom experience and issues like a lack of toilet paper, bad smells or dirty sinks really do put people off. In fact, studies have found that when people report a negative washroom visit, the time they spend in an establishment decreases drastically and they are less likely to return in the future.
So how can a washroom be managed as efficiently as possible, while maintaining customer experience? Technology has the answer, with Smart Washrooms offering a cost-effective solution which can help businesses drastically improve customer experience and overall operational efficiencies. The technology is a smart investment and as well as providing long-term cost savings, Smart Washrooms also address one of the most pressing public concerns in a post-pandemic world: hygiene and safety.
What is a Smart Washroom?
A Smart Washroom is a system driven by sensors, that uses IoT smart platforms to increase user experience. What does this mean in simple terms? Essentially, it is the use of technology to operate a washroom more efficiently, to save money. VERTECO, the UAE’s leading water management company, offers a 3D IoT smart platform that improves experience through the use of real time monitoring. The system allows management of resources, air quality, usage, and the cleaning, sanitization and replacement of consumables can be monitored and adjusted, as necessary.
Real time data can be assessed and reviewed to give an understanding of usage patterns, improving overall operational efficiency, ultimately offering businesses a reduction in cost. The VERTECO Smart Washroom solution is ideal for anywhere with a large footfall; airports, malls, hospitals, and stadiums, by allowing easy identification of operational, and hygiene, issues before they arise.
How it works
The potential for cost savings through Smart Washroom technology is huge. Maintenance schedules of cleaning staff can be adapted by monitoring real-time usage data. This means that cleaning patterns can be adapted when necessary and allows more efficient allocation of staff when and where they are needed. The technology also allows alerts to be sent to staff when consumables such as soap and tissue paper are running low, meaning a reduction in the need to check dispensers unnecessarily. By only restocking when necessary, waste is also reduced, offering environmental efficiencies. Technology can also be fitted to washroom equipment; an alert is sent to facilities management staff when an issue is detected, allowing it to be sorted immediately, before a major problem develops, which can extend the life of equipment and reduce the number of major repairs needed.
- Water management – amount of water used can be monitored and leaks detected immediately, increasing life of equipment
- Air quality – Humidity can be monitored, and air temperature set at the most cost-effective temperature
- Usage – Footfall is monitored to allow staff schedules to be managed accordingly
- User happiness – Satisfaction can be assessed, and changes made where necessary
- Consumables – Management of usage levels and replacement alerts, eliminating unnecessary checks
- Wastes bin levels – Alerts sent only when they are full, or an issue reported, reducing unnecessary changes
- Cleaning staff – More efficient management of cleaning schedules
- Taps – Water usage measured and reduced, temperate controlled to reduce infection risk
The importance of good hand hygiene is one of the major lessons learnt from the recent pandemic. Smart Washrooms can help businesses support their customers need for a safe, clean space to wash their hands while out and about. Touchless technology, including taps and soap dispensers that operate via a sensor, reduce the need for surface contact. Increased cleaning schedules during busy periods ensure the washroom is always sanitized and real-time alerts on consumable levels mean access to hand washing essentials is always guaranteed. Occupancy displays can alert users to the current number of people inside the washroom, directing them to an alternative facility if necessary and supporting social distancing guidelines. The public is reassured that they are in a safe, hygienic space.
Ultimately, it all comes down to user experience. No one wants a bad washroom experience and Smart Washroom implementation has been shown to reduce the number of customer complaints. We live in a world where technology has significantly improved our lives and a clean washroom, that never runs out of toilet paper, offers the public what they want, and in a post-COVID world, what they need.
Heathrow Airport in the UK has installed the technology and as a result, achieved reduced operating costs on a large scale. Steven Mearns, Head of Engineering and Facilities said “Having tried a number of IoT enabled products in the past, I was skeptical it wouldn’t cope with the demands of a busy airport environment. Based on the VERTECO Smart Platform in a high traffic landside washroom, I confirm the platform helped identify patterns and trends, adjusted planned maintenance schedules, avoided us running out of consumables and also saved substantial amounts of water in the process. This has also assisted us in our water reduction targets, reducing operational costs and improving passenger experience”.
As we face the world after a pandemic, it is obvious that many sectors wont ever return to the way things were before. The ‘new normal’ will look very different for many businesses, and companies like VERTECO, that utilize technology to offer investor savings, while also prioritizing public safety, will lead the way.