Retail facilities managers face more challenges than ever before. They are responsible for overseeing the overall operation of a facility, and these duties have expanded to include inventory management, company operations, payment processing, information technology (IT) needs and more. In a sense, facility managers have entered an age where their roles bridge the gap among the company, the owner of the property, internal IT staff, the consumers, and everything between. In fact, consider these top problems in retail facilities management and how today’s smart building technologies can solve them.
1. An Aging Infrastructure Makes It Difficult to Stay Competitive
Aging infrastructure includes equipment within a facility, the structure itself, the real estate it uses, and the neighborhood surrounding it. As time progresses, all these infrastructure components deteriorate and threaten to undermine the success of the business. But, facility managers must still figure out how to address each problem and make the best decision for a respective location.
Aging buildings in retail benefit greatly from the use of a data analytics platform. Modern platforms, using the IoT, can operate within the cloud, leveraging information gathered by a retail establishment and its surrounding area. Even if surrounding businesses and consumers do not have an existing platform in place, machine learning and data analytics can draw on information collected by consumer-facing resources, such as Google. As a result, facility managers can make data-based decisions, like upgrading HVAC units or opting to relocate the establishment to an area of higher traffic.
2. Too Much to Manage Reduces Efficiency and Ability to Meet All Responsibilities
Today’s facility managers wear many hats. They may easily be responsible for operational, management and customer service duties, among many more. Meanwhile, the technology used by diverse departments in a retail facility has increased, and facility managers may not understand how to use or react to problems within these systems. In addition, facility managers often lack the authority to make actual decisions.
New technologies, like augmented reality or virtual reality, can be used to educate facility managers on problems in real time, reports Stephen Lambert of Facility Executive. This allows managers to make data-based decisions and review scenarios for decisions, based on analytics and machine learning systems in simple, easy-to-use dashboards.
3. Vendor Management Is Increasingly Complex
Vendor management used to be a straightforward process, but an increasing number of vendors, products and parts means vendor management complexity has grown significantly. This can easily cause problems for vendors. These activities must also consider the impact from retailers opting to increase open hours, such as staying open overnight, late or allowing for online order pick-up.
Modern smart building solutions can leverage data from vendors and consumer shopping trends to create the best inbound shipping strategy. This leads to better inventory management, including just-in-time stocking, less excess inventory and reduced storage costs. As a result, retailers can move more product and realize higher profitability.
Take Advantage of Smart Building Tech to Solve Retail Facility Management Problems Now
Retail facilities management is getting more complex, but today’s technology can help facility managers meet these challenges. to find out more about how your establishment can retrofit your systems and overcome common challenges today.