Automation technology, like the smart devices we use in our homes, can provide big value to maximize the little things in your local business, like register monitoring and food-storage thermostats. More specifically, here are six different areas where small businesses can drive cost efficiency through automation:
1. Remote access: Whether allowing access for a late-night delivery or locking up behind a forgetful employee, remote lock access can optimize your business from a distance, 24/7.
2. Verify with video: Video monitoring is no longer just the go-to-the-tape option -- it can create greater peace of mind. Utilizing remote access video options, you can tune into your store at the time of an alarm, visually confirm the activity and help distinguish a break-in from an embarrassed employee dashing in to grab forgotten keys.
3. Monitor the register: According to the 2015 Global Retail Theft Barometer, 43 percent of the estimated $42 billion lost annually in retail shrink is attributed to employee theft. Video remains one of the most trusted ways to monitor this issue -- make sure your camera configuration considers potential issues in front of and behind the counter.
4. Food safety day and night: According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, kitchen culture and storage issues are huge difference-makers for product loss. Approximately four to 10 percent of food purchased by restaurants is lost before reaching the customer. To reduce risk, make sure you’re actively monitoring storage areas. Establish alerts when refrigerator doors are left open or when the temperature rises or falls below certain temperatures to keep close tabs on these out-of-sight areas -- just as important as monitoring customer-facing spaces.
5. Customer insights: Make the most of the foot traffic in your store. When a long line is building up at the register, automation can let you know to move staff from a back room to assist with the demand. If customers tend to bottle neck in one part of the store, you can adjust your layout to reduce the buildup, or you can place high value product in the area for increased customer exposure.
6. Comfortable productivity: Looking at employees, studies have shown a nine-degree difference in temperature greatly impacts productivity. Make sure your temperature management system keeps your space around 71 degrees to keep both employees and customers happy.
Each business’s opportunity to automate the little things is different. But when using smart technology, all businesses can find big bottom line improvements by maximizing efficiency during business hours and minimizing losses when closed for the night.