You know them from the products you use — but probably don’t think much about — every day: from Kleenex to Cottonelle toilet paper to Huggies diapers, it’s safe to say that Kimberly-Clark has a presence in your home or office. And now, the international personal care company is branching off into not only stocking your bathroom, but using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to monitor it as well.
Last year, the company released Onvation, an IoT-connected smart restroom management system that lets property managers remotely monitor conditions in their bathrooms. The system can tell building owners or managers when supplies in the bathroom are low, how fast users are going through products (to better stock and prepare for the future), and what traffic is like in the restroom throughout the day.
With real-time monitoring and data collection, the Onvation system saves not only time and money, but ensures less waste and energy savings as well.
And last week, Kimberly-Clark doubled down on its commitment to IoT research by expanding its already-robust relationship with Georgia Tech. They announced a partnership with the university’s Center for the Development and Application of Internet-of-Things Technologies (CDAIT), a non-profit R&D center that relies on corporate sponsors like Amazon, Comcast, AT&T and Samsung to inform IoT R&D efforts.
“Kimberly-Clark Professional, as a thought leader in the application of IoT in the restroom environment for commercial real estate buildings, will work together with CDAIT in shaping the future of IoT applications in building management through research in areas that are important to customers including privacy, trust, ethics, regulation, and policy,” says Clay Mahaffey, Kimberly-Clark Professional’s Global R&D Director.
“Our teams will apply these learnings directly to the evolution of our Onvation solution,” says Mahaffey.
According to Mahaffey, the feedback from building managers about Onvation has been extremely positive, particularly regarding the reduction of restroom work orders and tenant complaints.
“In fact, we’ve seen customers reduce tenant complaints by up to 75 percent,” says Mahaffey.
CDAIT is structured in working groups, including IoT Education and Training, Startup Ecosystem, and Thought Leadership. Alain Louchez, Managing Director of CDAIT, says Kimberly-Clark’s experience will be especially useful in the Security and Privacy working group.
“We are looking forward to actively collaborating with Kimberly-Clark’s experts in the IoT space,” said Louchez. “In particular, their significant involvement in the IoT Security and Privacy Working Group will provide a very useful perspective in a complex and critical area.”
Mahaffey says the partnership will help shape Kimberly Clark’s future IoT projects.
“Moving forward, our teams will continue to use customer insights to shape the future of the restroom management solution,” says Mahaffey “(We will) explore additional benefits that could be derived from the data to support customers’ business goals and fully unlock the potential of the restroom to drive an exceptional experience.”