IBM announced that the Professional division of Kimberly-Clark, maker of such household brands as Kleenex and Huggies, has adopted IBM Cloud to create a new intelligent facilities management app that helps clients better monitor and manage restrooms remotely, lowering costs and improving consumer experiences.
Kimberly-Clark Professional’s new Intelligent Restroom app was built using IBM Bluemix development platform and is hosted on the IBM Cloud. Through the use of the IBM Internet of Things Foundation service, facilities managers collect data and alerts from sensors integrated into restroom amenities, from soap dispensers to air fresheners, as well as non-amenities like entrance doors. All the data is managed and monitored through a central dashboard that can be viewed on desktops or mobile devices remotely.
In pilot tests of the Intelligent Restroom, Kimblerly-Clark Professional has been able to reduce the amount of supplies used in the restroom by up to 20 percent. The solution is available currently in select North American markets and will be showcased at the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) show in October.
The condition of restrooms is a critical factor for building owners around the world. Poorly maintained restrooms reflect negatively on building owners, as well as tenants, and often lead to tenant departures. In fact, two-thirds of office workers polled in a recent survey said an unhygienic restroom lowers their opinion of the facility and indicates that management “doesn’t care,” according to a report from Kimberly-Clark Professional.
“The restroom and supplies management have always been important factors in facilities management, however, we now know they’re critical to maintaining the business itself,” said Bryan Semkuley, Vice President of Global Innovation at Kimberly-Clark Professional. “We wanted to help our clients reduce tenant churn, lower costs, and improve the customers’ experience along the way. That’s when we turned to innovations in cloud and IoT from IBM that can be operated from facilities managers’ smartphones.”
“Kimberly-Clark Professional products are used by one fourth of the world’s population on a regular basis,” said Rachel Reinitz, IBM Distinguished Engineer and CTO, IBM Bluemix Garage. “IBM Cloud, from development platform through IoT, enabled them to develop and deploy the innovative Intelligent Restroom from the ground up.”
Kimberly-Clark Professional first learned of the value of Bluemix and IOT when it participated last year in an IBM Design Thinking Workshop that featured the IBM Bluemix Garage Method. Through this process, which is designed to help clients innovate and develop apps like a start-up, people are able to rapidly design, build and deploy solutions.
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