We see how The Internet of Things (IoT) is connecting smart devices in our homes from everything from our Fitbits to our alarm systems to make our life easier. Well, it is not just our home lives that are benefiting from the ability to connect devices to the Internet. IoT is having significant impact in businesses, particularly the hospitality industry and specifically in commercial laundry operations. IoT provides not only an opportunity for hoteliers to improve their bottom line but is also helping them create and brand sustainable green properties.
Why Hotel Laundry?
The cost of laundry is a significant expense for hotels and hoteliers often struggle with understanding where the costs stem from. By connecting laundry systems to the Internet systems can be monitored for usage to help uncover costs and to predict savings from more efficient use. With IoT-based applications, hotel laundries can now hone in on their costs with a level of accuracy never seen before.
Enabling Accurate Usage Monitoring for Cost Savings
Smart meter devices monitor the amount of how much hot and cold water used, energy consumed, and chemicals used, and feed this data across the network to an application that can calculate costs based on the usage data collected. This allows hoteliers to get a clear understanding of real time operating costs in order to improve laundry efficiency. On an aggregate level, they have a holistic view of the health of laundry operations.
This all translates to savings. The monitoring systems are often used to justify purchasing more efficient laundry machines, or can be shared with local utility companies to qualify for energy-saving rebates.
Reducing Labor Costs and Downtimes
With data obtained from smart devices, hoteliers are able to manage the laundry room remotely which helps lower labor costs and the labor savings don’t stop there they reverberate to the hotel floor. We can all relate to waiting in a hotel lobby for our room to be ready and being told by the front desk that housekeeping is working on it. So it is easy to understand that if housekeeping has clean linens available when needed, their down times are minimized and labor is optimized, which is a significant task. Decreased wait times for linens also positively impacts guest satisfaction.
Helping Validate Sustainability and Building Brand
Today’s consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever before and they have an affinity for businesses that are eco-friendly. When traveling, they have a preference for green hotels. According to a TripAdvisor survey, nearly two-thirds of travelers, 62 percent, often or always consider the environment when choosing hotels. Hotels branding themselves as green have a competitive advantage with eco-conscious travelers.
IoT helps hotels give credence to their sustainability claims. The data gathered from IoT applications enables hoteliers to demonstrate exactly much water, energy and chemical savings they are reaping from their conversation efforts. This helps substantiate branding as a green property which when harnessed into hotel’s brand messaging can increase occupancy rates and thus revenue.
What to look for in Smart Commercial Laundry
As hotels start thinking about how the Internet of Things will transform daily operations in the future, here is a checklist of capabilities to look for that will enable intelligent monitoring, control, optimization and autonomy.
- NSF-certified meters installed on laundry machines
- Meters approved by major utility companies for accuracy and reliability
- The ability to collect and upload real-time utility usage data
- A secure, cloud-based application for analysis
- Sharing of data with local utility companies
- Energy-savings based financial incentives
About the Author: Jonathan Benjamin is President of Global Commercial Laundry at Xeros, Inc., the maker of an ultra-low water laundry system. Using patented polymer bead technology, the Xeros System for commercial cleaning uses up to 80 percent less water, 50 percent less energy and about half as much detergent. Jonathan is responsible for Xeros’ product development, sales, marketing, and operations worldwide. He began his career at GE Capital. For more information, visit www.xeroscleaning.com, or follow Xeros on Twitter @Xerosinc.
Edited by Ken Briodagh