How Are Smart Thermostats Making Homes Greener? – ReadWrite
When people look at green home options to make their abodes more sustainable, they often explore smart thermostat options. They’re accessible, reasonably priced, and can usually help households save money.
According to one source, they can reduce heating bills by up to 12% and cooling expenses by as much as 15%, although the figures vary. That’s one reason why smart thermostats are particularly appealing to cost-conscious consumers.
However, they’re also extremely convenient. A person might be relaxing on the couch and realize they want to change the temperature in their home. A smart thermostat lets them do that without getting up. Instead, they can use an app to adjust the settings. Similarly, having these types of temperature controls allows homeowners to specify the exact temperature they want.
A smart thermostat could also be helpful for people with disabilities. Most of the leading brands have accompanying voice assistant skills. Then, a person could say a command to alter the thermostat rather than using an app or making manual adjustments.
Cutting Emissions and Wasted Heat
Many people want to have a green home, but they’re unsure where to start. Installing a smart thermostat could be a great starting point.
A study in the United Kingdom market by Heating Wise indicated that smart thermostats could reduce household emissions and excessive energy use. They concluded that part of the energy savings come from how smart thermostats keep temperatures consistent in a home. They eliminate the need for the heating system to continually run throughout the day.
Additionally, the study found that having a smart thermostat helps people avoid heating empty homes, which wastes unnecessary energy. Some smart thermostats even have occupancy sensors, so they can detect if people are home or in particular rooms.
Many homes in the United Kingdom use natural gas for heating. However, the study showed that when people have smart thermostats, those devices can help minimize the so-called fugitive greenhouse gases caused by leaks and irregular natural gas emissions. Those reportedly account for approximately 4% of the world’s greenhouse gases.
A person may find that one of the reasons they get good results from a smart thermostat is that it helps them break bad habits they didn’t realize they had. Perhaps that individual frequently leaves the house for hours and doesn’t think about whether the heat’s left on while they’re away. Having a smart thermostat can help them only heat or cool the residence when they’re home. That’s better for the planet and will reduce bills.
Appealing to People Looking for New Places to Live
People consider a wide range of aspects before moving to new places. They often research things like hospitals, schools, crime rates, cultural offerings, and job markets before taking the plunge. However, many individuals are also thinking about the impact that homes have on the environment.
According to one survey about millennials’ home preferences, 83% of respondents felt concerned about the impact of home construction on the environment. However, only 16% of those polled said they’d be willing to pay more for eco-friendly residences. Fortunately, having a smart thermostat is a practical way to promote sustainability without making major investments in green technology. The advertisements for many newly built apartment complexes often mention smart tech as a selling point.
Florida’s iApartments is a Tampa-based company specializing in adding smart thermostats and other connected technologies to multifamily housing complexes. More specifically, people from the business work with property owners to determine the most appropriate additions for the residences. The company provided data showing that only 2% of apartment buildings have smart home technology. That suggests there’s plenty of room for growth.
However, another study found that Florida is among the U.S. states with the most homes for sale that feature smart technology. Researchers analyzed Zillow listings to gauge the popularity of such amenities. Florida had 2,242 listings mentioning smart home technology. Conversely, there were only eight in Alaska.
However, smart home technology appeals to young renters, too. Research indicated that 62% of the Gen Z segment surveyed considered it a factor in deciding where to live. It’s important to clarify that having a smart thermostat does not necessarily equal having a green home. However, it’s a good starting gadget that can encourage people to start making their homes more sustainable.
Reducing Resource Usage
Reducing resource dependence is a significant part of living in a green home. It’s not feasible for most people to live off the grid or take other massive steps to cut their usage. However, installing a smart thermostat is a much more accessible option that most people find they’re willing to do.
At the utility provider level, decision-makers support investments in renewable energy sources. Solar power is one of the most popular options. It has had an annual growth rate of more than 42% since 2000. Efforts are even underway to turn roadways into solar power generators.
However, smart thermostats can help people reduce how much electricity they use, even if the power sources are non-renewable. One study investigated the benefits of using a smart thermostat with zone-based occupancy sensors to minimize electricity usage. In such cases, a household could keep certain parts of the home warmer or cooler to maximize comfort without wasting energy.
More specifically, the investigation concluded that the setup enabled energy savings of 37.9%, equalling 496 kilowatt-hours during the study period. Researchers also calculated the estimated annual kilowatt-hours saved as 5,208 kilowatt-hours, or 43.6% better than before having the smart thermostat.
Some smart thermostats learn households’ energy habits. The gadgets then recommend an energy-efficient temperature setting based on those trends. That way, people can save energy without guesswork.
Increasing Energy Usage Consciousness
Many people can probably recall having their parents remind them to turn off the lights before leaving a room. However, without that ongoing feedback, it’s often difficult for adults to get in the habit of doing things to curb their energy usage.
A handy feature of many smart thermostats is a graph or dashboard showing how someone’s energy usage changes over time. Some models also give people helpful recommendations for sparking positive trends.
Fannie Mae conducted a two-year study of people with very-low, low, and moderate incomes who had received mortgages. Some of the participants received smart thermostats since the goal of the investigation was to see what changes, if any, those gadgets caused in people’s behaviors.
One of the questions posed to people who installed smart thermostats was whether doing so made them more aware of their energy usage. Approximately one-quarter of the respondents reported that they were previously only aware of it occasionally, but the smart thermostat made them always pay attention to their energy consumption.
The research also showed that nearly 70% of those polled changed their habits to save more energy. It’s often hard to know which behaviors will have the biggest impact on energy savings without data. Fortunately, smart thermostats often provide the details needed to help people make actionable and beneficial shifts in how they live.
Offering a Potential Decarbonization Strategy
Government leaders worldwide have released ambitious decarbonization plans, and they have various ideas about how to reach the proposed goals. Smart thermostats alone won’t enable approaching the milestones, but a study suggests they could help.
It examined how the gadgets could contribute to the European Union’s goal of getting a 55% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. The research took data from more than 1 million smart thermostats in European homes. The results indicated they caused an average of 22% in energy savings per residence.
The study also indicated that, if all homes in Europe had smart thermostats, the gadgets would collectively cause a 4.75% reduction in total carbon emissions. Another takeaway from the research was that this approach would cost €40 billion, or 6.67% of the budget for the European Green Deal to help reach the climate targets. However, it would cost substantially more to get comparable emissions reductions through other infrastructure improvements.
The next most economical change was to install heat pumps, but that would cost €432 billion. The researchers confirmed that smart thermostats were unique among all the options studied in that they provided people with consistent money-saving returns while reducing their carbon footprints.
Of course, there would need to be a significant and coordinated effort to encourage all property owners in the European Union to switch to smart thermostats. Offering discounts or similar perks could be enough to convince some people who are still on the fence.
Making Smart Thermostats More Attractive to Europeans
A different study surveyed people from five European nations to determine which factors would make them more willing to switch to smart thermostats. One of the study observations showed that public or private subsidies would compel people to adopt them. However, another finding was that people have privacy concerns, including how their data gets processed and what happens to it.
The researchers admitted that the data privacy fear was an irrational barrier to adoption, given how readily people download smartphone apps that collect and use data about them. Nonetheless, they suggested that manufacturers increase transparency about why their smart thermostats collect data.
Another finding was that smart thermostat credibility rises among the public when energy experts and purchasing advisors recommend using them. That suggests the previous trust in an entity about other matters could influence people to buy smart thermostats, too.
These conclusions are reminders that even when an individual is eager to live in a green home, some hesitations may remain. When decision-makers know more about those, it’s easier to dispel those obstacles and provide helpful clarifications.
Showing the Possible Payoffs of Other Energy-Saving Methods
Researchers also learned that studying smart thermostat data could help homeowners see how much money they could save by upgrading their insulation. They created a graph to track how well a house held heat and the rate at which it cooled down when the heat was off.
They used data from a smart thermostat’s accompanying sensors in particular rooms of the home. The information associated with how quickly a house cools with the heat off and how substantially it warms up with the heater running allows calculating a metric for the home’s acceptable heat loss rate. Cooling down too quickly due to colder outdoor temperatures could indicate there’s insufficient insulation or weak seals on windows and doors.
The research team clarified that people would get the most valuable results if they compared the data from their homes with how well those residences should hold heat based on things like their sizes and the local climate. Homeowners could also use the data to learn how quickly a home will cool based on every one-degree difference between its interior and outside temperature.
Bringing Energy-Efficient Enhancements to Older Homes
The results of a German study focusing on older residences indicated that smart thermostat usage could bring gains in those cases, too. The team explored the effects of smart thermostats in single-family homes of approximately 1,367 square feet built between 1949 and 1978. The data indicated that if those abodes got energy savings of 5.7%, they would recoup the thermostat investment within a decade.
The payback timeframe was similar for 688-square-foot apartments built in the same period. However, those units could achieve energy savings of 7.7%.
The research also showed other circumstances that helped people in older homes maximize their energy savings. More specifically, in poorly insulated residences, the energy-saving potential was higher than in locations with better insulation.
Additionally, anyone away from home for large parts of the day could get the best energy savings. They can lower the temperature when leaving and set up an automation to raise it when they return home.
A Smart Thermostat Is a Practical Part of a Green Home
There’s no guaranteed path to a greener lifestyle. However, these examples show why a smart thermostat could be a fantastic starting point for business leaders and eco-conscious homeowners.
How Emerging Technology Is Helping Teams Save on Development Costs
Software developer pay spans a notoriously wide range, but few would argue that U.S.-based development costs are “cheap.”
According to a U.S. News & World Report analysis, the median U.S. software developer earned $120,730 in 2021. Experienced devs can easily command $200,000 per year in cash compensation alone, with incentive pay and company benefits adding significantly to that total.
You most likely know this already. You also most likely know that complex software development projects take months and involve multiple developers and engineers. “Cost spiral” doesn’t begin to describe the situation.
You don’t need to be reminded how important it is to cut DevOps costs wherever possible. Your bosses and shareholders (perhaps one and the same) remind you enough.
Fortunately, emerging technologies and tools are making it easier than ever to reduce software development expenses without compromising output, efficiency, or quality. It’s no exaggeration to say that these new capabilities are revolutionizing software development and helping DevOps teams save money across the board.
Let’s take a closer look at four types of emerging capabilities: next-generation project management tools, cloud computing services, task automation tools, and ephemeral development environments. Each offers potentially game-changing opportunities for teams looking to work faster, smarter, and more efficiently.
Using next-generation project management tools to drive software development efficiency and collaboration
Signs of bad project management include missed deadlines, poor quality control, and infighting within teams that need to collaborate closely. These and other direct results of poor project management are harmful to the broader organization (and to the careers of those responsible for them).
Yet poor project management has a direct financial cost as well. This goes back to what we’ve already discussed: the high cost of labor in a product development environment and, specifically, the very high cost of labor in a software development context. Every day that passes without an anticipated deliverable is a day that brings unanticipated costs. And while every project budget has some built-in wiggle room, said costs eventually become unacceptable.
The good news is that software development teams can turn to an already-existing library of scalable, easy-to-use project management tools that easily map to DevOps use cases. Your team may already use some basic project management tools to manage workflows and keep track of deliverables, timeframes, and responsibilities. Still, if you haven’t surveyed the landscape and assessed individual tools’ capabilities relative to your team’s needs, you’re likely not maximizing their potential.
Look for project management tools with the following capabilities:
- Use cases specifically designed for your specific development framework. For example, Jira’s project management tool is specifically tailored to Agile development teams.
- Relevant integrations with third-party apps, from general-purpose tools like Google Docs (where your spreadsheets likely live already) to DevOps, cloud storage, and even CRM software.
- Sophisticated calendar views that enable visual-oriented team members to “see” their project responsibilities at a glance.
- Powerful developer APIs that allow you to customize the project management interface to your needs and produce efficiency-oriented outputs.
Ideally, your team relies on one core project management tool to manage everything it’s working on together, with individual developers free to use additional tools to manage their personal workflows.
That may require you to cut out a less optimal tool (or several) and disrupt legacy use cases, but it’s better to rip off the Band-Aid now before a bona fide productivity crisis hits. Further down the road, untangling competing and deeply entrenched workflows will surely prove more costly and more disruptive.
Leveraging cloud computing services for projects with multiple stakeholders
Like project management software, cloud computing services no longer count as revolutionary. If your team is small, it might use GSuite for cloud-based storage and collaboration. If it’s larger, it might use Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (whose incomprehensible value only underscores the critical importance of cloud computing).
And so you’re already aware that cloud computing services make development more efficient by enhancing collaboration, reducing duplication of effort, and sharply cutting reliance on onsite database hosting, file storage, and data processing.
Your team can and should use cloud computing services in additional ways that even more directly improve DevOps efficiency and cost control:
- Containerization: Containerization enables software deployment on any computing infrastructure. Bundling app code and file libraries in a self-contained, platform-agnostic unit eliminate the need to match platform-specific software packages (i.e., Windows-compatible) with the correct machines. Containerized deployment is more portable, more scalable, and more resilient — and it’s only possible in the cloud.
- Microservices (vs. monolithic architecture): Microservices break up the development architecture into many small, agile units that communicate via API. Rather than an inflexible “monolith” that needs to be reworked as it scales, microservices can be scaled internally (or new ones created) as needs arise. Like containerization, it’s a much more flexible, agile, and ultimately low-cost way to manage complex DevOps workflows.
Automating repetitive tasks throughout the development lifecycle
Task and workflow automation tools are improving at an incredible clip, and the advantages of next-generation automation are particularly impressive for DevOps teams. As just one example, telecom giant Ericsson drove significant cost savings by automating key aspects of their software development pipeline and transitioning to a continuous deployment model, according to a study published in Empirical Software Engineering.
Transitioning to continuous deployment is a time- and cost-intensive process that may not be practical for smaller teams, at least not in the near term. But your team can leverage task automation in many other ways.
Testing automation deserves special mention here. Automated testing and QA solutions like Robot Framework and Zephyr (respectively) reduce the need for repetitive, labor-intensive poking and prodding by human devs whose efforts are better spent elsewhere. By finding bugs and quality issues earlier in the development workflow, they also reduce the need for costly and time-consuming fixes further along in the process.
Increasingly, code generation itself is automated, thanks to tools like Eclipse. These generative tools will only improve as processing power increases and training sets expand. Consequently, this sets the stage for a near-future scenario where devs will need to manually write far less code. That, in turn, will allow DevOps teams to stretch dev resources further. Additionally, it will free up person-hours for more creative or problem-focused work.
Utilizing ephemeral environments to improve development speed and quality
Finally, software development teams can achieve efficiency and cost improvements at virtually any scale by utilizing ephemeral environments. These are temporary staging environments that can be created at will, generally for a single-purpose feature test or bug fix, and then eliminated when no longer needed to keep costs low.
Ephemeral environments offer clear advantages for development teams. They reduce pull request backlogs, a notorious sticking point (and cost driver) for larger teams. They’re isolated, which reduces the risk of bug-inducing branch conflicts. They’re fully automated, which frees up engineers to deal with more important matters. And because they enable more targeted, granular testing, they speed up the development process overall. They also reduce the risk of an unacceptable issue breaching the main code branch. Repairs on the main code branch are much more time-consuming and costly.
The result is a faster, more efficient workflow that scales with your team in response to demand. For example, Uffizzi’s on-demand ephemeral environment tool helped Spotify add 20% more features to every release of its popular Backstage developer portal platform. Backstage grew rapidly after initial open-sourcing in 2020 and now averages some 400 active pull requests per month. The transition to ephemeral environments slashed average pull request completion times across the platform.
Ephemeral environments can also help smaller development teams achieve the same economies of scale as larger teams. For example, moving to a continuous deployment model might seem out of reach for small teams under the old “bottlenecked” shared environment framework. Start by streamlining this process and freeing up department resources for longer-term strategic work. Ephemeral environments (and other process automation tools) make such shifts possible.
It’s no accident that Uffizzi’s out-of-the-box ephemeral environment solution supercharges the continuous integration/delivery process.
Opportunities abound now, with more to come
Change is already here for software teams accustomed to the old way of doing things. These four emerging or expanding technologies and tools —
- Next-generation project management software
- Expansive and flexible cloud computing services
- Increasingly intelligent and capable task automation tools
- Scalable, on-demand ephemeral environments for better testing and QA
— are making life easier and development faster for DevOps departments around the world. Their capabilities and use cases will only expand as time goes on.
These four technologies aren’t the only emerging opportunities for software developers and the companies that employ them, however. Around-the-bend and over-the-horizon capabilities could change the tech industry in even more fundamental ways:
- AI-driven platforms for developers, like TensorFlow, that promise to dramatically speed up development timeframes and allow teams to do much more with much less
- Infrastructure as Code (IaC) capabilities that break down silos between DevOps teams and the rest of an organization and create trusted, reliable code frameworks that ultimately reduce developer and maintainer workloads
- Low- and no-code application development, which — while possibly overhyped in the short term — could further break down barriers and enable faster, more collaborative action
- Augmented reality tools and apps, whose potential impact remains speculative but which will likely play an increasingly important role in software and product development over the next decade
In the coming years, odds are you’ll integrate all four of these capabilities into your DevOps workflows by then. You’ll most likely take advantage of other emerging technologies and tools in the near future too. These may even include some we don’t yet know about. As the pace of innovation accelerates, staying one step ahead of the competition — and doing right by your firm’s stakeholders, financially and otherwise — means watching closely for new tech that can speed up your development timelines and reduce overall DevOps costs.
Published First on Due. Read Here.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Pixabay; Pexels; Thank you!
Eco-Friendly Fleet Maintenance Trends and Strategies
As the world becomes increasingly aware of the impact of climate change, many businesses are seeking ways to mitigate their carbon footprint and embrace more sustainable practices. In the transportation industry, fleet maintenance is a key area where businesses can make significant strides in reducing their environmental impact.
The Big Issues With Today’s Fleet Maintenance
There are several environmental issues associated with today’s fleet maintenance practices. Here are some of the biggest:
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Fleet vehicles are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. The emissions from fuel combustion and the use of heavy-duty vehicles can have negative impacts on air quality, water quality, and human health.
Hazardous Waste Disposal
Many fleet maintenance activities generate hazardous waste, such as used oil, solvents, and other chemicals. If not disposed of properly, these can contaminate soil and water, posing a risk to human health and the environment.
Fleet maintenance requires significant resources, including energy, water, and raw materials. The extraction and processing of these resources can have negative impacts on the environment, including habitat destruction, deforestation, and water pollution.
Fleet maintenance activities can be noisy, especially in urban areas. This can have negative impacts on wildlife and human health, contributing to stress and hearing damage.
Land Use and Habitat Destruction
The construction and maintenance of fleet facilities, such as maintenance yards and parking lots, can require significant amounts of land. This can lead to habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity.
Overall, fleet maintenance has significant environmental impacts, and addressing these issues will require a comprehensive approach that includes the adoption of sustainable practices, the use of alternative fuels and technologies, and the implementation of environmentally responsible waste management practices.
7 Eco-Friendly Fleet Maintenance Tips
Aligning a company’s fleet maintenance approach with larger green initiatives and eco-friendly mission statements has never been more practical. Here are several helpful tips and strategies to get you started:
1. Switch to Alternative Fuels
One of the most effective ways to make fleet maintenance more eco-friendly is to switch to alternative fuels. Traditional gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles produce a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Alternative fuels, like electricity, biofuels, and even hydrogen, produce fewer emissions and can help reduce a company’s carbon footprint.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable transportation option. EVs produce zero emissions and are typically much cheaper to maintain than traditional vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are also an option, producing only water as a byproduct. Biofuels, which are made from renewable sources like corn and soybeans, can also be used in some vehicles.
2. Use Sustainable Products and Materials
In addition to alternative fuels, businesses can also make fleet maintenance more eco-friendly by using sustainable products and materials. Here are some examples:
Biodegradable cleaning products: Traditional cleaning products can contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. Biodegradable cleaning products are a more sustainable alternative as they are made from natural, non-toxic ingredients that break down quickly and safely.
Recycled materials: Using recycled materials, such as oil and tires, can help reduce waste and conserve natural resources. Recycled oil can be re-refined and used again, while recycled tires can be turned into rubberized asphalt, which can be used to pave roads.
Eco-friendly lubricants and fluids: Using eco-friendly lubricants and fluids, such as biodegradable hydraulic fluids and biodegradable grease, can help reduce pollution and protect the environment.
Sustainable packaging: When purchasing products and materials for your fleet maintenance, look for sustainable packaging options, such as products that are shipped in recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
By using sustainable products and materials in fleet maintenance, you can help reduce your environmental footprint and promote sustainability.
3. Conduct Regular Preventive Maintenance
Fleet maintenance software can be a powerful tool for managing preventive maintenance as part of a green fleet management strategy. Here are some steps to help you use fleet maintenance software to perform preventative maintenance:
Set up a preventative maintenance schedule: The first step is to set up a maintenance schedule in your fleet maintenance software. This schedule should include regular maintenance tasks such as oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance tasks that will help keep your vehicles running efficiently and reduce emissions.
Track vehicle usage: Your fleet maintenance software should be able to track vehicle usage, including mileage, hours of operation, and other relevant data. This information can help you schedule maintenance tasks based on actual use rather than just time intervals, which can help reduce unnecessary maintenance and waste.
Use eco-friendly parts and materials: When performing preventive maintenance, make sure to use eco-friendly parts and materials whenever possible. This can include using recycled oil, eco-friendly tires, and other environmentally friendly products.
Monitor fuel consumption: Your fleet maintenance software should also be able to track fuel consumption for each vehicle in your fleet. By monitoring fuel consumption, you can identify inefficiencies and make adjustments to improve fuel economy, which can help reduce emissions.
Analyze data and adjust your strategy: Finally, use the data collected by your fleet maintenance software to analyze your fleet’s performance and adjust your strategy as needed. For example, if certain vehicles are consistently underperforming or require more frequent maintenance, consider replacing them with more fuel-efficient models.
The good news is that implementing fleet management software into your company’s strategy isn’t nearly as challenging or intensive as you might think. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the upfront setup is much faster and more efficient than you may realize. This allows you to get up and running quickly.
4. Implement More Efficient Routing
Efficient routing is another strategy for making fleet maintenance more sustainable. By optimizing routes, businesses can reduce the amount of fuel their vehicles consume and the emissions they produce. This not only helps the environment but can also save the company money on fuel costs.
GPS and fleet management software can help companies optimize their routes and reduce fuel consumption. These tools can provide real-time data on traffic patterns, road closures, and weather conditions, allowing businesses to make informed decisions about their routes.
5. Promote Better Driver Education
Another important aspect of eco-friendly fleet maintenance is promoting driver education. Drivers who are trained in eco-friendly driving techniques can help reduce fuel consumption and emissions. This includes techniques such as reducing idling time, avoiding sudden accelerations and braking, and maintaining a steady speed.
In addition to driver education, businesses can also encourage their drivers to adopt sustainable habits, such as carpooling and using public transportation when possible. This not only reduces the company’s carbon footprint but can also save employees money on commuting costs.
6. Use Telematics Technology
Telematics technology refers to the use of wireless communication systems and GPS technology to transmit data from vehicles to a remote location. This technology allows businesses to track and monitor the performance of their fleet vehicles, including fuel consumption, emissions, speed, and location.
By collecting this data, telematics technology can help businesses optimize their fleet operations to make them more energy-efficient and green. Here are some of the ways that telematics technology can be used to improve fleet sustainability:
Route Optimization: Telematics systems can provide real-time traffic updates, road closures, and weather conditions to help businesses optimize their vehicle routes. By choosing the most efficient route, fleet managers can reduce fuel consumption and emissions while ensuring on-time deliveries.
Fuel Efficiency Monitoring: Telematics technology can track fuel consumption in real-time, giving fleet managers insights into how their vehicles are performing. By identifying patterns of inefficient driving or idling, businesses can take steps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Maintenance Alerts: Telematics technology can also alert businesses when a vehicle is due for maintenance or repairs. By staying on top of maintenance, businesses can ensure that their vehicles are running at peak efficiency.
Driver Behavior Monitoring: Telematics technology can monitor driver behavior, including acceleration, braking, and speed. By identifying patterns of inefficient driving, businesses can provide coaching and training to drivers to help them improve their driving habits.
7. Reduce Vehicle Weight
Reducing the weight of fleet vehicles can also make maintenance more eco-friendly. The heavier a vehicle is, the more fuel it requires to move, which means it will produce more emissions. By reducing the weight of their vehicles, companies can reduce the amount of fuel they consume and the emissions they produce.
This can be achieved by removing unnecessary equipment and cargo from the vehicles, as well as using lightweight materials for vehicle maintenance. For example, aluminum wheels and carbon fiber parts can be used to reduce the weight of the vehicle.
Turn Your Fleet Green
Implementing eco-friendly fleet maintenance practices not only benefits the environment. It can also help businesses save money in the long run. By reducing fuel consumption and emissions, companies can lower their operating costs and improve their reputation as a sustainable business.
Use the tips highlighted above to reorient the way your business approaches fleet maintenance in 2023 and beyond.
Image Credit: by Lê Minh; Pexels; Thanks!
5 Essential Benefits of Choosing an Efficient ERP System
The corporate world is changing at a fast pace, and advanced technologies such as ERP system is at the epicenter of the ongoing digital revolution. Businesses are more dependent on technological tools and enterprise software than ever before. In fact, these tools and software are enabling businesses to drive greater success by enhancing business processes. Are you ensuring that you have the right software and tools to help your business advance swiftly?
There is a plethora of software and solutions to choose from, and each of them comes with its own merits. But what is making a real difference is the integration of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that can streamline processes across various verticals in an enterprise.
The use of ERP systems defines a new trend altogether in the modern workplace.
Gone are the days when only multinational companies subscribed to ERP solutions for managing processes at the entire enterprise level. Nowadays even small businesses are bridging ERP systems onboard to facilitate business advancement. To validate, as per statistics, the global market size for ERP software is expected to reach USD 96.7 billion by 2024. Finances Online further explains that more than 52 percent of organizations are highly satisfied with the decision of integrating ERP systems.
Probing further, vertical ERP, small business ERP, generalist ERP, and Open Source ERP is among the most common types of ERP software that businesses are integrating. Moreover, it is also notable that most organizations are showing a keen interest in Cloud-Based SasS ERP systems, given the edge they have over traditional ERP.
All in all, the integration of ERP systems has become one of the most sought-after change management activities in the corporate world. The question is, what are the advantages of ERP software that businesses are subscribing to ERP solutions? Let us find out in this blog.
Key benefits of ERP Systems for businesses
1. Massive optimization of productivity
The ultimate objective of every enterprise is to drive the highest productivity across every vertical. However, when your employees work on recurring and repetitive tasks, not only their individual productivity takes a hit, but the efficiency of the entire organization takes a setback. This explains why businesses increasingly spend on automation tools to streamline repetitive tasks like invoicing. Even marketing automation is one of the thriving corporate trends.
All in all, the greater the automation in an enterprise the higher will be the productivity. Having said that, this is where we must look at one of the greatest benefits of integrating ERP systems. To substantiate, ERP systems come with incredible and reliable automation capabilities that can help your organization achieve its business objectives at a greater pace.
Moreover, with AI integrations as per the latest developments, the automation capabilities of ERP systems are much higher than ever before. To substantiate, as per Netsuite, employers are now happily investing in advanced ERP solutions that come with intelligent AI or machine learning capabilities.
Needless to say, artificial intelligence is the way forward for enterprises, and the blend of ERP and AI is worth embracing. This combination will certainly give your business an unparalleled competitive advantage.
2. Real-time analytics
Having timely access to analytics that can help you constantly enhance processes is nothing short of having a competitive advantage. In fact, everything in the modern enterprise world revolves around analytics. From analytics on customer engagement to analytics on inventory management gaps, you need analytics at almost every step.
This is where ERP comes up with another great feature that you should definitely not ignore. An efficient ERP system can generate real-time quantitative analytics that can lead to better planning, execution, and monitoring. Besides, the best part is that with an ERP, you can create data analytics capabilities in your businesses without even having to hire a dedicated team for data analytics.
Moreover, real-time analytics will also ensure that there is a smoother workflow management and will also aid in effective collaboration between teams. Especially if your project teams work remotely, it is essential that there is real-time sharing of data analytics for project success. ERP does not only automate data generation but also data reporting in a presentable and lucid form. However, in the ultimate sense, the positive impact of ERP is subject to the efficiency of your change management process.
3. Greater cost-efficiency in operations
Irrespective of whether you are a budding startup or an established business, operational costs will always be a top concern for you. The correlation is quite simple, the lower the operational costs the higher will be the profitability. Now, the question is, can ERP help you in bringing down operational costs? Well, the answer is a big yes and it is time you acknowledge that.
To validate, as per Datix, ERP solutions can help organizations reduce operational costs by 23 percent. This clearly indicates that you can save a major chunk of operational costs by investing in the best-in-class ERP solution. The sooner you bring ERP onboard, the greater the savings.
4. Magnification of data security
It is a well-known fact that the contemporary corporate world has a massive dependence on big data. Every business process in the modern corporate world has data engineering and analytics at the forefront of things. Data security has become a top concern, especially when cyber-attacks and data breaches are more advanced than ever before.
One of the most compelling reasons why your business needs ERP is the set of advanced data security features. When an ERP is integrated into business processes, you can set controls for accessibility to confidential data. To explain, you can control who can access sensitive information and who cannot.
Otherwise, in the absence of an ERP system, you will have to spend fortunes on cyber security and data security solutions. ERP gives you multidimensional benefits of optimized business processes along with credible data security measures.
5. Enhanced flexibility
Does your organization have a traditional on-site working style or a hybrid working style? Are you planning to move your employees to permanent work from home? ERP gives you great flexibility irrespective of your organization’s working style. Simply put, ERP can be easily integrated even in remote working cultures or hybrid cultures and will also help you to avoid employee burnout (seodiggerz dotcom “help employees avoid burnout). You can implement an ERP system with great ease and put it to work from the word go.
Besides, ERP systems also offer great flexibility in terms of future scalability. If your business is expanding and you want to add more users in the future, ERP systems offer the room to do so. Room to expand has to be the most important feature you should be looking for when you choose an ERP system. Not every ERP system may come with an effective scope of future scalability. Still, you will find a lot of ERP systems that do offer scalability features and you must choose from them.
ERP systems are changing the way businesses approach their operations and key objectives. Besides, ERP is much more than a planning resource and offers immense value in terms of optimizing business processes.
Integrating ERP for your business can be a real game changer. The sooner you subscribe to it, the more advantageous it will prove to be for your business. Make sure you choose an ERP software that is best suited for your enterprise.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Erik Mclean; Pexels; Thank you!