Bluetooth Beacon Technology Benefits for Workforce Management
For facilities management professionals searching for ways to better manage distributed workers, Bluetooth beacons offer reliable benefits. In short, beacons are wireless transmitters that communicate with other smart devices using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, a power-friendly version of Bluetooth wireless tech.
Bluetooth beacons constantly send out radio signals to nearby smartphones and tablets. Those signals contain a small amount of data, and mobile apps listen for those signals being broadcast. When apps hear a relevant signal, it can trigger an action on your phone. That reaction can pinpoint a location, track movements and trigger location-based notifications.
Beacon technology gained a large amount of global reach over the past decade, as major companies began using beacons for smartphones, tablets, laptops, medical devices and home entertainment products. In 2016, the market for beacon technology was valued at $519.6 million, and is it expected to reach $56.6 billion in 2026.
For cleaning and security professionals who require low-cost solutions that offer real-time asset tracking and proof of service to customers, beacons are a reliable choice. In addition to being able to trigger notifications, Bluetooth beacons can offer real-time data, insights or analytics that can be accessed via an integrated workforce management system.
Bluetooth beacon benefits
Due to its location tracking technology, beacons stay up to date and consistently provide accurate information in regard to the exact position of a mobile device. This is true outdoors and indoors, as smartphones can fail to pick up GPS signals from satellites inside some buildings.
Requires little maintenance
Since beacon software relies on Bluetooth Low Energy technology, very few power requirements are necessary. After spending a minimal amount of time on installation, modern beacons can stay in operation for years before even a battery needs to be replaced.
Another optimal part about beacons is the low power requirements. In comparison to GPS or wireless tracking technology, there is a significant amount of power required to run that equipment while the device is in use, which drains a power supply.
Easy to engage
After placing the beacons for ideal outdoor or indoor positioning, mobile devices will activate automatically when they are in range of a beacon. Location tracking features are enabled, even if the mobile app that comes in range of the beacon is fully closed. This feature aids in driving engagement within mobile apps, and that engagement happens at exactly the right time and place.
Functions without an internet connection
Although an internet connection may be required to initiate certain content, such as push notifications, mobile apps pick up beacon signals when an internet connection is unavailable. The app will also store data locally on the device. This feature makes Bluetooth beacons a highly useful proximity trigger in areas with spotty WiFi or inconsistent internet connections.
When compared to GPS or wireless technology, implementing and maintaining a beacon network costs less and requires less maintenance. Naturally, a large network of beacons will incur more costs, as will developing a beacon-enabled mobile app. But taking advantage of already developed apps will eliminate those costs.
More details about beacon technology
Bluetooth beacons generally perform the same location tracking and data transmission related tasks. However, they vary in shape and size. Price-wise, beacons cost between $1 – $50. Features will vary somewhat, most notably with signal range and battery life.
With regard to batteries, coin cell or AA battery types are most common in beacon devices. Battery life will vary depending on different factors, such as power source, settings and usage.
Beacon hardware came to fruition about a decade ago, and over the years the software has improved. Most beacons have a surrounding case, battery, processor chip and Bluetooth radio. However, there are beacons that contain additional features, such as an accelerometer and heat sensor.
Beacons operate on all common smartphones, (i.e. iOS and Android compatible). Due to the commonality of Bluetooth technology, there should be built-in features on nearly every smartphone to minimize installation or maintenance concerns.
Lighthouse and Bluetooth beacon software
For security and cleaning professionals who wish to move forward with implementing beacon technology, TEAM Software by WorkWave offers Lighthouse, which integrates with Bluetooth beacon technology and provides a usable app to ensure that dispersed workers are properly monitored.
Whether it’s cleaning task completion, rotation loops or guard patrolling, Lighthouse helps managers ensure that workers are performing their duties while providing proof of record.
Ongoing reports in Lighthouse also help document risk management compliance, defend against claims and expose areas where efficiencies can be gained. Additional Lighthouse benefits include:
- Accurate route data information and reports related to time spent on-site
- Increased quality of service delivery and customer satisfaction
- Better team communication through automated emails and alerts
- Quicker responsiveness to incidents and potential to develop incident reporting strategy
- Overall minimization of risks to a company
To learn more about Lighthouse and beacon technology, access our eBook: The Beginner’s Guide to Beacons. This comprehensive guide shares valuable information on beacon technology, in relation to beacon transmitters and proximity beacons.
Find out how beacons can offer real benefits to your business. Review the case studies included in the eBook. It offers details on how companies better understood which tasks workers were missing and how operational costs could be reduced.