Real-Time Environmental Monitoring Technology has Arrived in Time to Boost New Zealand’s Productivity

A recent report suggests that better use of advanced technology could grow productivity and help transition New Zealanders to smarter ways of working. So, how can Adroit environmental sensor technology improve productivity and empower businesses to make better decisions for their efficiency, the environment and their bottom line?

Real-Time Environmental Monitoring Technology has Arrived in Time to Boost New Zealand’s Productivity
The Spark Accelerating Aotearoa Businesses one technology generation forward report jointly created by Spark and NZIER looked at how a 20 per cent uplift in advanced digital technologies could boost New Zealand productivity and increase industry output by up to $26 billion in the next decade.

Adroit CEO, Blair Stewart says he welcomes the report and the challenge that’s been laid down for New Zealand business.

I’ve been in the technology business for almost 30 years and have seen the difference between companies that embrace technology to provide better products and services more efficiently, versus those that don’t.

Technology adoption can be a game changer for individual businesses. So combined across the board, it would absolutely provide a boost for the entire country

Blair Stewart

CEO, Adroit

As an example, Stewart points to how the Australian mining and construction industries have become leaders in the use of real-time geotechnical and hydrotechnical sensors to make informed decisions about their operations and their impact on the environment.
Australian mining and construction industries have become leaders in the use of real-time geotechnical and hydrotechnical sensors
But on this side of the Tasman, business is just beginning to adopt that same monitoring technology which could be a contributing factor to the well-documented difference in competitiveness between the nations.
We see a lot of benchmarking of the New Zealand industries and their productivity against Australia. In almost every case, although Australian firms seem to pay higher wages, they can deliver these products and services at a lower overall cost. There’ll be many factors feeding into this, but I believe the use of technology is a key one of them
Blair Stewart

CEO, Adroit

Stewart says the difference between having data streaming real-time into the cloud over a mobile or satellite network, versus putting two people in a truck driving for two hours to collect a piece of data once a week, is huge. Yet this is the type of thing that New Zealand businesses are still doing as standard practice.
ews mining
“So, to be honest, there’s no surprise that costs will be significantly higher for those without automated systems, let alone other factors like the health and safety risks of going into remote locations,” he says

And Stewart says there’s more to it than just cost-savings and that having access to live data, with alerts for early warning of slips and other factors is valuable as it enables faster response and potentially better issue mitigation.

“For example, Adroit is implementing the world’s first sensors that enable real-time measurement of bacteria such as E.Coli and Blue Green Algae in lakes and rivers.

Proteus Product 10 sensor
This means that data is available immediately as opposed to over weeks or months through lab testing. So, it’s possible to make better decisions that safeguard the public: Is the lake or the river safe to swim in today – not last week?
Blair Stewart

CEO, Adroit

The Spark Accelerating Aotearoa businesses one technology generation forward report also pointed to the productivity gains that AI can provide business.

Stewart says that AI is part and parcel of real-time environmental monitoring technology because as soon as you have large amounts of data, you need to have some way to manage and use it.

“We talk about Environmental Intelligence, which includes tools such as data analytics to help summarise and visualise information from that data, and then make decisions from it, and that’s where AI comes in to help make the decisions for us. It’s an absolute game changer,” he says.

So, why is New Zealand slipping behind in digital monitoring technology and what can be done to change that? Stewart says in many cases potential customers are concerned about the initial investment above all.

“Often we talk to companies about technology, and they say: “This technology’s great, we agree it’ll be of huge benefit, but it’s not in this year’s budget”. Or, “We haven’t done our budget cycle for next year and we’re all being told there’s no CapEx”.

“Don’t look at those things as barriers. Talk to us. Part of our job is to help clients identify the value this technology can provide. This may be a straight reduction in monthly opex, an increase in productivity, or improved worker safety. ” he says.

“Through the Spark group, Adroit can offer subscription services, so we can structure the cost of the technology to align with what would have been the previous cost.

“Because if a company’s spending money sending two guys in a ute to do a measurement each month, and we can replace that with technology, then there’s a straight OpEx saving,” he says.

Stewart says that the report comes at a critical time for the New Zealand economy and he’s passionate about the potential for real transformation of some of New Zealand’s key industries.

“So, again, I applaud Spark for such a great initiative. This is exciting because it’ll help start a conversation about the potential of our technology and the benefits it can have.

My experience is that the right technology will provide returns many times the investment. And I think businesses need to bear this in mind when we’re going into tougher economic times, continuing that investment can be the best way forward
Blair Stewart

CEO, Adroit

To find out more about Adroit’s real-time environmental monitoring solutions, talk to an Adroit consultant, contact your Spark representative