The Internet of Things will be the top driver of change in the retail facilities management industry, according to a new report that predicts a new wave of innovation that will unify the variety of systems used in retail FMs. The outlook, released by the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association, notes that intelligent data management and the use of advanced technology can both help FMs improve daily operations and prepare for future changes in the industry.
Along with the Internet of Things, the report outlines four other major trends that will affect retail operations:
- Distribution center proliferation – With brick-and-mortar retailers increasingly competing for business with online outlets, the report predicts a large buildout of distribution centers to satisfy the growing demand.
- Waste management challenges – Recent instability of paper prices could put the retail industry’s reputation as a recycling leader at risk, meaning FMs will need to find innovative new ways to sustainably manage materials.
- Shortages of skilled workers – The demand for skilled technical tradesmen is expected to grow in the future and strategies will need to be created to ensure attractive working conditions that will improve retention.
- Supplier diversity – The report shows an increasing interest in the utilization of women and minority-owned suppliers to help serve industry needs.