5 Ways Indoor Wayfinding Can Help Your Business Do More for the Environment

Created: Monday, February 28, 2022, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

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By Joe Fernandes, founder and CEO, BuzzStreets

The phone in your pocket is many things: a portal to YouTube, Disney Plus, Netflix, etc.; it gives you access to office products such as Word and Excel; it’s a camera; it’s a radio; it’s an internet browser; it’s even able to let you speak to someone in the next room or on the other side of the world. It can also direct you from one part of the world to another, providing the fastest, easiest route to any destination, whether driving, using public transport or walking. But when you reach your destination and you enter an office building, shopping mall, hospital or airport, how useful is Google Maps? The answer is zero. If you need directions to the right office door, shop, department or gate you’ll need a little more help.

Indoor Wayfinding Can Help Your Business Do More for the Environment
Image: Yay Images

1. Reducing pollution in car parks

Looking for an available car parking space can take several minutes. It’s a fairly minor inconvenience that most of us are used to, though nonetheless frustrating. But when hundreds of people every day spend several minutes each looking for a space, that totals up to many hours spent unnecessarily driving around. Multiply that by the number of car parks in the world and this small inconvenience becomes a major source of car pollution.

Indoor wayfinding could be incredibly useful in this situation ─ identifying empty spaces and directing drivers directly to available spaces. Less frustration for drivers and thousands of tons of carbon emissions saved every year!

2. Minimizing missed appointments

Indoor wayfinding can also help reduce missed appointments. If someone heading for an appointment can easily find a parking space and locate the exact area of the office they need to go to, there would be far fewer missed or late appointments.

Not only would this help make things more efficient but it would also minimize traffic (and therefore emissions) caused by unnecessary repeat visits. Missing a meeting or being late due to getting lost within a large office building is frustrating at best and, at worst, can lose businesses money. Ensuring that clients can find their way effectively to your office means more effective and efficient use of meeting time and far less stress.

3. Improving efficiency of utilities

Data on where users have been and identifying high and low traffic areas can also make things like lighting and heating more efficient. If nobody visits a part of an office building after 5pm, for example, then the lighting can be switched off and the heating reduced.

Currently, that information is difficult to reliably collect or analyze, leading to guess work, at best. With information gathered by an indoor wayfinding app, you have reliable information on which to base these decisions that could help save money and the environment.

4. Keeping track of equipment

As well as keeping track of where and when people move around, some indoor wayfinding systems (for example, BuzzStreets) can also track the location of equipment. With a clear idea of where the equipment is and how to get there, you can navigate straight to the item you need rather than hunting for it, thereby saving time, energy and unnecessary travel.

Keeping track of equipment also eliminates the need to buy duplicates of things you can’t find, reducing waste and saving money. You always know exactly what you have and where it is kept, making storage and transport far more efficient.

5. Using assets more efficiently

In addition to keeping track of inventory, wayfinding can also ensure that assets are where you need them when you need them the most. You may always need an asset in a specific office on a specific day. Having staff drive around trying to locate the item and moving it back and forth wastes time and energy as well as petrol.

Small efficiencies can quickly add up and are even more apparent when the assets need to move between cities. If a specialist device is regularly used in Manchester but never in Brighton over the Christmas period, for example, then it can be moved once to Manchester and left until the New Year. This can avoid both unnecessary transport and unnecessary duplication of assets through better planning.

The application of this approach is almost endless. Food from a quiet café could be move to a busier café at different times, for example, minimizing food waste and maximizing profits. Or office space that is rarely used during the summer could be sublet to other businesses, helping reduce overheads while maximizing space usage.

Joe Fernandes
Joe Fernandes, founder and CEO of BuzzStreets, an award-winning navigation platform, that enables organizations (hospitals, shopping malls, airports, offices, stadiums, etc.) to offer their customers an indoor way-finder that allows them to navigate inside the building. The client arrives at the entrance or reception and then uses the bespoke app to navigate to the specific location (room, shop, check-in, office, or even seat) they need. BuzzStreets also supplies movement analytics that can help improve building efficiency and keep track of vital equipment.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

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