Here’s a challenge for you.
Can you think of a single industry that technology hasn’t changed?
Technological innovations have disrupted and revolutionized businesses all over the world, and the aquatics industry is no different.
Consider Latch, a company that uses hardware and software to manage the ins and outs of office buildings, apartment buildings and other facilities. In the past, apartments would have a simple deadbolt or lock on the door handle. New tenants would check in, get their keys, stay for their lease period, and then either renew their lease or turn in their keys.
Today, companies like Latch provide hardware that allows tenants to lock and unlock their doors digitally, and also software to better understand all parts of the rental process. For example, managers can see at a glance when a new tenant moves in, whether they need rental insurance, and when they might want their carpets cleaned.
Software and hardware have come together to better match the needs of modern management and security. Instead of just file cabinets and locks and keys, we now have all sorts of digital tools to help keep homes and businesses safe and running smoothly.
Technology has also played a key role for many service providers. Take Lessen, for example. They bring the property management industry into the modern era by creating a one-stop digital shop for finding property services all over the country.
With smart innovations like these, the biggest obstacle is often the initial start-up. People don’t always take new innovations seriously. Products may seem too different from the norm, and their value isn’t immediately apparent. They may come off as a fad, or technology for technology’s sake.
But the proof comes when people see innovation in action. As with the two above examples, it can be a real game-changer in any industry.
Advanced technology and software are ever more commonplace, and more accessible to a wider range of businesses. As technology evolves, more possibilities emerge in different industries, and people find new and inventive ways of putting it to good use.
In the aquatics industry, we’re seeing this more and more. From helping to save on energy costs to streamlining behind-the-scenes operations, a wealth of technological advances are having far-reaching effects within our industry.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can incorporate recent technological innovations to more efficiently run your facilities and make your life easier!
Automate, Automate, Automate
There is virtually no limit to what automation can do for water management. From turning lights and heaters on and off at ideal times, to setting temperature points, to managing water chemistry automatically, to monitoring tank level sensors, the (technology) world is your oyster.
Automation can extend the life of your equipment by optimizing the ongoing maintenance involved. It can also help you save on labor costs.
For example, if you manage a small property, you probably only have one manager. Their workload is likely full, and automation can help lighten the strain. They won’t need to organize and carry out every maintenance task if they can let the automation technology to do it instead.
For larger properties, even though you have more staff, you also have a greater workload. Regulations state that some sensors and equipment need to be checked four times a day. Saving those man-hours through automation could quite literally translate into thousands of dollars saved each year.
On top of all these benefits, automation is surprisingly straightforward and affordable. With the right partner, you can take the guesswork out of water management and create a scalable system that suits your operations.
Revamp Your Workflow
There are a lot of moving parts in the aquatics industry. Technology can help you stay on top of them through tools such as online checklists and digital data records. Keeping key information online means all relevant personnel can easily access and update data in seconds. This helps to speed up efficiency and reduce error.
For example, maybe you run a chain of hotels, all of which need to stay compliant with water chemistry regulations. When your water chemistry readings are consistently updated in one place for all facilities, those responsible for compliance can stay on top of what needs to be done.
In this scenario, unifying your data also strengthens the hotel chain as a whole. Different facilities can learn from and educate one another. With so many employees and different programs in place, there is so much value to be gained from knowledge transfers like this.
Workflow automation and efficiency is a rapidly expanding area of innovation. A lot of the focus is on portfolio management rather than individual property management. It’s helpful to test a few options in practice and get a clear idea of the features you need in advance. That way, you can weed out the less suitable options and save yourself some time.
Energy efficiency is not only better for the planet, it’s better for your finances too.
Innovations have produced low voltage appliances like heaters, lighting and pumps. You can also find automatic energy-saving options, such as lights that turn off when not in use.
The federal government is actually now mandating some of these changes. For example, manufacturers can no longer sell single-speed pumps, and we can expect to see similar regulations on other products soon with the goal of reducing energy use.
These energy-efficient appliances do often cost more initially than their counterparts, but don’t let that deter you. The amount you’ll save in energy costs means that most of these products pay for themselves within a year — an excellent return on your investment.
Detect Leaks Automatically
Water meter technology can now automatically detect leaks for you. Once it records a baseline, the meter will pick up any changes from that norm or any increases in backwash.
Many pools have autofill systems, which means they could leak and no one would realize it. Their water and energy bills would still show the strain, however, costing the owner money.
You can save on water and energy costs for water pumps and heaters by minimizing leakage. Leak detection also helps you develop benchmarks to inform your water management. And reducing water and energy waste can go a long way toward hitting key sustainability goals.
Leak detection technology is already available, but not widely deployed. Today you have an opportunity to break the mold and get ahead of droughts and water usage while simultaneously showing local officials that you’re serious about water management.
Pools are universally loved by guests and hated by operators. A lot of hard work and painful administration goes into managing them. With the innovations spreading in our industry, you can implement new solutions to alleviate some of the most trying issues of pool management.
When the safety of your guests is better assured, your costs are down, and you’re a leader in sustainability, you’ll have greater peace of mind regarding your pool facilities. And with your staff free from the day-to-day weight of water management, they’ll shift their focus to higher leverage tasks to the benefit of your overall business.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how to implement technological innovation in your facilities, please contact us. We’d love to help review your options and create a strategy that works for you!