April 1, 2023

Kit Kyte is the CEO verifyan intelligent operations platform for deskless workers in retail, healthcare, science, franchising and facilities.

One of the hallmarks of financial recessions is that they punish bad habits. From managers complacent about the efficiency of their day-to-day operations, to frontline workers turning on appliances at will without regard for the impact on overall energy bills.

The truth is, most of these bad habits happen out of the leaders’ sight — and they’ve multiplied during the pandemic due to social distancing, skeleton staff, and distractions.

However, with inflation rising, staffing shortages deepening and energy costs hitting record levels, it’s more important than ever to uncover and address bad habits that lead to inefficiency. In this article, I’ll explore how technology can help leaders start stripping away layers, looking at their operations at the micro level, to address bad practices and start streamlining.

How technology can help control operations

Record energy price hikes over the past year have been a major concern for business leaders. The U.S. Energy Information Administration warned that Electricity and Gas Prices Set to another peak.

Reducing consumption is an obvious response, but where do you start? Many businesses lack the data they need to determine which areas of their operations are consuming the most energy.

The first step for any business is to identify areas of excessive energy use. Consumption can be hidden—seeing and not wanting. But leaders should look for ways such as IoT sensors to track and control the status of appliances — on or off, too cold or too hot, on or off, safe or dangerous.

Smart solutions can move consumption as needed with fine-tuned controls, reducing waste and providing metrics to optimize operations. The digital assistant, delivered via a mobile device, prompts and guides employees through the processes they need to follow, alerting them when sensors spot problems.

Change doesn’t have to be huge. Small adjustments to daily schedules, such as turning on the oven 45 minutes later than usual, can have a large compounded impact on energy use across multiple sites. Likewise, look at the temperature of the refrigerator.Setting the refrigerator to 1 degree Celsius below the necessary temperature can increase operating costs up to 4%. It all depends on the ability to receive real-time measurements and adjust employee routines or device settings accordingly.

Maintenance is another area to investigate.The Department of Energy concluded that strong operations and maintenance practices can achieve roughly the same amount of energy savings as energy efficiency upgrades and costs. about 20 times less.

Sensor-driven data can tell managers whether appliances are losing efficiency based on their energy usage. Maintenance visits can be reduced by transferring data directly to the management desktop. There may be a simple fix that requires new parts or prompts to replace the device before it is completely damaged.

Research shows that sustainability initiatives can enjoy “4.7x operating margins and lower volatility” compared to companies with poor ESG performance.

How to Get Started with the Augmented Enterprise

This is the potential of the “augmented enterprise,” which brings together data from buildings, physical assets and employees to simplify how organizations operate.

One of the most common barriers to achieving an augmented enterprise is the misconception that such a transformation requires an expensive, time-consuming and complex digital transformation involving large-scale consulting and long-term integration.

In fact, small-scale test and measurement methods often yield the fastest and most tangible value. ROI can be implemented and delivered quickly, starting with a single site, a specific business operation, or a small set of routine tasks. For example, you can start by looking at the equipment and procedures involved in storing refrigerated food.

Another potential hurdle is culture. Changes of this nature often involve frontline, deskless workers who have historically lacked technology investment. 73% of frontline workers Work from paper with manual workflows. How does this help them, their managers and leaders improve business operations? More than 70% of these workers really want technology Do a better, more enjoyable job.

This is another bad habit that needs to be corrected—not only to unlock efficiency savings, but to increase the engagement and productivity of employees hurt by “big quits.”

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