Technology can lower facility management costs in retail industry

by Benay Ozdemir
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As the retail industry enters into its peak amid Black Friday sales and Christmas, technology can lower costs related to facilities management.

FM departments are incorporating technology to improve their operations especially in a rocky economy, the use of tech can allow FM teams to make informed decisions when maintaining a high level of customer experience.

It is imperative to take examples from retailers and incorporate them into your own facility management. The principle focus in retail is ensuring employees are interacting with customers to increase sales. 

The time spent in addressing a situation is time spent away from customers. Mobile technology enables employees to not waste time and provide undivided attention to their customers. 

Employees can get distracted in answering phone calls and spending time on a computer, but having mobile technology can completely change that. The devices can take photos, edit inventory, scan barcodes, access HRIS tools and enter work orders.

This new process should be adapted across all retail stores as situations such as an electrical fault, can be accessed by taking a photo and adding in a new work order. Communication between employees and management is essential – but having mobile technology fast tracks the communication. It decreases the time spent on back and forth communication, and immediately alerts for the job to be completed.

Another important retail tech tool is avoiding data breaches. As the recent Optus and Medibank breaches have affected millions of Australians, facilities managers must ensure that they have relevant data security measures. Without these measures, businesses can lose millions of dollars. Facilities managers must comply with the government’s security measures. 

A focus on technology in retail can allow costs to decrease, as employees will have more time to spend with customers. Businesses must take the opportunity to understand that non-revenue departments are often hit with budget cuts, but impacting FM and technology would impact sales due to time loss with other matters.

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