Joke all you want. The fact is, portable restrooms are serious business. No event, outdoor campus, or construction site could function safely without them. And as construction and events ramp up following pandemic lockdowns, the portable sanitation industry is poised for significant expansion. The portable toilet rental market will ramp up at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 7 percent through 2030, estimates Grandview Research. This fact also marks the rise of asset tracking for portable sanitation, as it becomes essential to ensure a successful business model.

Of course, not every site services provider will share in this growth. Renting sanitation units has always been a challenging business. The companies best able to respond to those challenges will win in the boom years to come—and IoT asset tracking technology provides the solutions portable sanitation businesses need to grow.

Here’s how IoT is revolutionizing the site services world, one portable toilet at a time.

Portable Sanitation Challenges, IoT Solutions

Site services can be a lucrative field, but ongoing profitability depends on protecting your assets. The loss of a single portable restroom, or even a soap dispenser, cuts directly into the provider’s bottom line. There are also a lot of inefficiencies built into traditional processes, from route planning to maintaining service records.

Asset tracking technologies—including tracking tags, data platforms, and the networks that connect them—solve these problems. Here’s how.

1. Streamlining Routes to Eliminate Inefficiency

Asset tracking tags don’t just keep tabs on your portable restrooms. They can also spotlight delivery and service trucks, generating powerful data on their routes. That data reveals inefficiencies that lead to compounding costs in labor, fuel, and more.

Route planning is a serious challenge in the site services industry, where managers must constantly balance long-term service sites with ever-changing event rentals. Asset tracking platforms allow you to visualize better routes based on actual driver locations, so you can revise routing in real time. That leads to a more efficient operation overall.

2. Reducing Costly Errors with Better Record-Keeping

Renting a unit is just the first step; site service companies spend heavily on taking care of portable restrooms, too—and you can’t deliver excellent service without spotless service records. That’s a problem in an industry that’s still largely stuck on paper. Drivers make mistakes; those records aren’t always reliable, which can lead to missed cleanings and unhappy customers.

Choose an IoT platform that pairs asset tracking with automated record-keeping, removing the need for technicians in the field to manually keep records. Here’s how it works: Your employees service a unit. A tracker on your truck registers the tag on the unit, automatically recording the visit (and its length). That leads to cleaner records and cleaner restrooms, all while making your employees more efficient.

3. Finding Units, No Matter Where Customers Move Them

Construction sites are dynamic. No matter what your contract says, customers sometimes decide to relocate your units. How do you service a portable restroom you can’t find? Asset tracking lets you know exactly where your property sits, and, with the right IoT platforms, drivers can locate these assets on a mobile app. That eliminates time lost on a potentially fruitless search and ensures adequate service regardless of customer behavior.

4. Improving Workflow Visibility with Real-Time Field Data

You can’t improve what you don’t see. A full-service IoT platform for the site services industry blends a few technologies to provide big-picture insights through real-time data. Here’s how it works:

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  1. Asset tracking tags keep tabs on all your equipment, from restrooms to sinks to hand sanitizer dispensers.
  1. Readers on delivery/service trucks connect employees to tagged units. These portable data readers identify tagged units, let users know when they’re nearby, and record the tag’s last known location. They also identify the last vehicle to make contact.
  1. Data about your unit’s location and service history is collected in a cloud-based platform, which you can use to transform information into insight.

5. Combating Theft and Vandalism in the Portable Sanitation Industry

Basic polyethylene portable restrooms tend to run around $800. Add wheelchair accessibility, sinks, soap dispensers, and trailers, and every unit you send into the field represents thousands of dollars in capital investment.

With such a high-value asset, theft is a serious concern. You can weigh or chain down your units but to a dedicated thief, that’s a minor inconvenience. Ideally, you’d have a way to recover your property—and identify those responsible for its loss.

Asset tracking platforms use IoT networks to reveal the location of each tagged unit, connecting via Global Observation Network, GPS, cellular networks, or all three. This robust connectivity ensures you can always find your property and helps bring thieves to justice along the way.

A well-designed IoT ecosystem gives decision-makers 360-degree visibility into how your business is operating, no matter how large your service area is. That allows you to respond to new challenges as they arise and make the old ones a thing of the past. As the site services industry continues to grow, low-cost IoT asset tracking provides the advantages companies need to compete—and when we say low cost, we mean it. The cost of ownership for today’s IoT asset tracking systems can be as low as $2 per month per asset, so it’s an easy decision to make.

To be sure, asset tracking is just the tip of the IoT iceberg. Connected sensors track and transmit all kinds of data. Weight sensors send alerts when tanks fill to a certain threshold. An accelerometer on a restroom door provides accurate usage counts. These and other IoT sensors empower you to provide service when your clients need it, not just when the truck makes its rounds—and they generate data you can use to continually improve your business.

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