Our Chairman, Roger Green, writes about the new opportunity to improve productivity by installing washroom sensors on-demand response.

Is this the future of commercial cleaning?

All commercial cleaning companies want to get the basics right, namely recruitment, training, performance, customer care, HR, sales and finances.

And it is because most cleaning companies never reach a suitable level of these basics, that they fail to horizon scan for new trends.

But not all trends are here to stay. Having been in the industry for 30 years, I would say that for every five new ‘latest must-haves’, four will be fads and bandwagons, while one will be enhancing and enduring.

In the case of Internet of Things (IoT) or more generally known as Smart Cleaning, I have no doubt that it will be here to stay.

Internet of Things is a system of sensors and data gatherers to make us more efficient. It is an analytical end-to-end monitoring solution that can be applied to the commercial cleaning industry – mostly for washroom consumable services by sending real time alerts to the cleaning operative’s mobile phone.

It improves operational efficiency by allowing cleaning staff to respond on demand, instead of at set times.

The IoT companies claim it can increase productivity by 30%.

In other words, a daytime cleaning operative might usually clean the toilet facilities at 10am, 1pm and 4pm.

However, using IoT, the same cleaner may clean some toilets once per day because they are barely used, allowing him/her to clean other toilets or hygiene rental facilities 4-5 times per day because they really need it.

For no extra labour cost, or even reduced labour cost, the output and user satisfaction is much greater.

But please consider a key caveat; the cost of the system will only pay its way for buildings of a certain size. I estimate this to be 400+ staff. Otherwise, the savings you make in labour may be LESS than the implementation and running costs.

So what exactly are these sensors and what do they do? Here are 5 of my favourites:

1. People Counter Sensor

By placing a device the size of a dice above a washroom door you can easily analyse real time traffic analytics into the washroom. It shows hotspots and trends. And you can use that data to create a simple alert to your phone to visit the washroom for every 50 visitors, in order to check dispensers, clean touch points, clean sinks, clean toilets etc.

2. Air Quality Sensor

I’ve not seen these sold in the UK, but in America you can buy Air Quality Sensors. That is a polite way of alerting the cleaning staff to attend promptly to whiffy smells coming from a recently used cubicle.

It also measures indoor air quality so that, for example, data is available on long-term foul-smelling urinals.

3. Dispenser Sensor

You can install the same dice like item in the top of your dispenser, or even buy dispensers with the device inbuilt (eg Tork Peakserve).

They can be used in toilet tissue dispensers, hand towel dispensers and soap dispensers.

You can also install them in washroom bins to alert cleaning staff for when bins need to be emptied.

4. Wetness Detection Sensor

Amazingly, and this was new to me when writing this article, there are sensors that will detect pools of wetness on the floor.

These are clearly health and safety hazards and require prompt attention by cleaning staff. See www.realsense.io for further information.

5. Feedback Module

We’ve all seen these in airports, hotel receptions and other customer facing commercial hospitality venues.

To have them in your toilets will allow excellent data capture to check the attitude and appreciation of users.

It’s important of course to keep them just outside the toilets so that you can be sure that people have washed their hands before pressing on the smiley face.

If you would like to learn any more on this subject, please contact Spotless at hereforyo[email protected] and ask for Roger.