Smart devices are a hot technology topic in 2018. From watering your lawn to locking your front door to playing your favorite music and finding quick (and accurate) answers to your burning questions, smart devices help consumers optimize their time by automating everyday mundane tasks. While it’s no longer shocking to visit someone’s home and be greeted by a smart home device, it’s not only consumers that benefit from smart devices. Businesses are also increasingly adopting Internet of Things, or IoT devices, to save them time and money.
For small to medium-sized businesses, IoT devices have the potential to optimize resources, streamline processes, and in the end, result in significant overall savings—but in order to achieve these benefits, you have to understand how your IoT device works. According to Scotiabank, smart thermostat companies claim they can help users save 10% – 30% on their energy bills, but what they don’t tell customers is this is under an extremely disciplined use in a laboratory setting. In reality, users save somewhere close to 7% on their energy bills, or in some cases, could even see an increase in their bill.
Energy is Fixed Cost in Offices
Let’s look at smart lights as another example. Many offices choose to replace their lights with new, smart LED bulbs. While the companies selling these bulbs claim they’ll help users save big on energy bills, the fact of the matter is, these bulbs are much more expensive. Let’s assume a small size company uses 100 light bulbs at the office. On one hand, there isn’t a big difference in electricity cost between 100 non-smart LED bulbs (costing $200 a year) and 100 smart LED bulbs (costing $100 a year), as they both using the same lighting technology. On the other hand, there is a huge difference in the cost of bulbs.
A pack of 3x60w General Electric non-smart LED bulbs is $10 at Walmart, while the minimum price for a smart light is $14 at IKEA and $35 on Best Buy. Using these numbers, it’s clear that paying $1050 more per year on bulbs doesn’t help, even if you’re saving $100 a year on your energy bill. A better option would be a voice assistant or automation IoT device, similar to the ones discussed in this post. With an IoT lighting device, you can schedule times to switch lights on and off, or even sync the color of your lights with the music during an office party.
Optimizing Your Resources With IoT Devices
These days, many of the small companies are using robot vacuum cleaners, like the Roomba, to keep their offices clean for minimal costs. Roombas, which can be purchased for a few hundred collars, last for two years at the very least, equaling approximately 100 hours of labor. Additionally, an iRobot can operate at night without making any noise or distractions. The Roomba is a classic example of how IoT devices can effectively reduce labor costs for small to medium-sized businesses.
Even tasks as simple as watering plants can be facilitated using IoT devices. Last week, I visited my friend’s workplace and discovered that a person was in charge of watering ten plants that are placed throughout the office. With the plants requiring water three times a week, and the work taking half an hour each time, the total labor costs for this task is 78 hours, or $1,170 a year (based on $15/hour). According to The Guardian, keeping live plants at the office can improve productivity up to 15%; however, many of the small and medium-sized companies can’t afford the plants’ maintenance cost, and in some cases, they will use artificial plants instead of living plants.
I wanted to know more about this task and how much it was costing businesses, so I contacted four plants contractors to get a quote for watering 10 plants, three times a week. I received quotes ranging from $700 to $1,300 a year.
Using an IoT solution like Goldoon (smart self watering planter), which has the added benefit of a soil moisture detector and 3 liter water capacity, enough for one month of water, results in labor cost savings of $500-$1,000 a year, or a 70-80% plant maintenance cost reduction via a three years plan.
Goldoon: Smart Self-watering Planter
Goldoon Biz has a 3-liter water capacity and is $200. Both Home and Biz model are available for preorder. If you’re interested in learning more and want to purchase the Goldoon with a PREORDER coupon to save $50 off of each device, click here.
Smart solutions for businesses are not only designed to save money, they’re also effective solutions for minimizing workplace distractions, optimizing performance, and improving the work environment. Want to learn more about smart devices and their potential to save you time and money in the workplace? Check out the Goldoon today.
Special thanks go to my friend Elizabeth O’Hanley for editing and proofreading