Published: July 5th, 2019
Mero Technologies is a startup based out of Innovation Park at Queens University that helps building owners and managers save time and money in the management of their facilities with smart labor routing. Mero has developed their own Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and a platform to monitor different facility necessities, first focusing on restroom supplies and maintenance.
The Kingston-based startup is comprised of 4 employees including co-founders Cole MacDonald and Nathan Mah who both attended Queens University. Mero Technologies is in early revenue generation with a couple major customers and has several upcoming trials with some major building managers with signed Letter of Intents (LOIs). In addition to that, Mero has raised pre-seed funding and has been awarded multiple government grants.
High Cost of Cleaning
Approximately 80% of total cleaning expenditures in commercial buildings are labour costs. As a building manager, you want to minimize the amount of time cleaning staff spend on monitoring inventory levels of supplies like soap, toilet paper, and have these supplies re-filled on a just in time basis, as large facilities spend over $2.5M on this type of labour every year. Cleaning staff that are checking the supply levels in certain facilities or are changing supplies before they need to be changed as a result of inefficient cleaning routines causes significant wasted resources for building management companies, on average $30,000 per building annually.
Mero Technologies optimizes the routing of the day-to-day cleaning of buildings and other facilities. Their solution implements sensor technology in facilities to monitor items like paper towels, garbage levels, and even pedestrian traffic through buildings. The sensors can easily be retrofitted to existing fixtures and send data over Bluetooth to a data hub where the data is then transported over LTE to the Mero Server for analysis. Building managers then see customized KPI reporting through the Mero Technologies dashboard, providing analytics like real-time supply levels, employee scheduling and performance insight, as well as cleanliness ratings. Mero provides customized reports depending on the customer that focus on the specific ROI metrics pertinent to the specific facility. The solution also comes with a web application that provides analytical insights and sends staff and managers alerts on usage levels as well as the high-priority inventory stocking areas of buildings.
Proving Mero at Scale
Optimizing the route of cleaning staff presents major efficiency and cost-saving opportunities for building managers. Mero Technologies has found their product-market fit and have upcoming trials with several large corporations. Merotarget customers manage millions of square feet and have billions of dollars of assets under management. For this reason, it is critical for the growing Kingston business to fine-tune and test their technology before deploying with major building managers. Many of these customers require a high level of compliance, security, and risk management to set up their solution. Mero Technologies hasn’t yet had an opportunity to execute a full-scale deployment that would be comparable in size to some of their major potential customers.
The CENGN Advantage
Mero Technologies will be utilizing the CENGN commercial-grade infrastructure to demonstrate that their technology can scale to meet the demands of large potential enterprise clients. Specifically, they will be determining how many sensors each server can support. When scaling any technology there are often unforeseen problems that arise in the first deployment. The CENGN project is an opportunity for Mero to uncover these issues prior to a real-customer deployment and make the necessary changes to increase customer retention. In addition, determining how many sensors each server can support will provide the necessary insights for Mero to accurately forecast the resources needed for future customer deployments.
To date Mero has carried out trials with the City of Kingston, LCBO and is in early revenue generation with Toronto Pearson Airport. They recently partnered with a major Canadian property management chain where they are planning to implement their solution to help their new partner achieve major cost savings of wasted resources through more efficient monitoring of facility supplies and replacement of supplies when they have been fully used. Independent third-party validation of the Mero Technologies platform by CENGN will provide Mero with detailed reporting on a commercial-scale deployment of their solution. By the conclusion of their IoT project, the innovative company will be able to confidently prove the performance of their technology and platform to secure new clientele as well as have a strong understanding of the resource requirements for any size of customer to use their solution.
Mero Technologies is a growing Canadian business that is using the services at CENGN through the Next Generation Network Program (NGNP). The NGNP is a Government of Ontario program offered through a partnership between CENGN and the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) that is providing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Ontario access to the CENGN Testbed. CENGN’s digital infrastructure is connecting SMEs like Mero Technologies to state-of-the-art equipment and network services, which will allow these companies to test and validate their solutions.
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