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The Rewards And Risks Of Digital Transformation In The Cleaning Industry

Digitalization is aiming to improve the overall service delivery of the Cleaning Industry. However, there are a few pros and cons.

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The digital world has evolved radically in the last few decades. Existing technologies are advancing by the day and organizations are adapting to them in order to transform their businesses and stay ahead in a market full of competitors with unique offerings. This technological revolution has brought about various changes within the Cleaning Industry. Companies around the globe are experimenting with automated cleaning solutions to varying degrees of success. They are striving to be more efficient and impactful in their operations, by reducing dependency on manual labor and having different degrees of automation by using enterprise productivity tools. Digitalization is aiming to improve the overall service delivery of the Cleaning Industry. 

COVID-19 has sent shock waves globally, creating a further need to develop solutions that are designed specifically for the Cleaning & Hygiene Industry. These solutions must allow flexibility in operations, and be easy to deploy and scale. End-customers want to have virtual visibility into day-to-day activities while having objective data-driven parameters as benchmarks for measuring outcomes. Numerous solutions such as semi-autonomous robots, professional enterprise software, communications and reporting tools, and the Internet of Things are levers that are bringing about a radical change which in some cases are already substantially modifying the way cleaning companies provide their services. These efforts are being made to ensure operations are efficient, transparent and facilities are hygienic and safe for users. This transparency can only be possible through the efficient use of the data. How organizations in the cleaning ecosystem leverage the available tools at their disposal and integrate them into everyday operations will differentiate them in the industry in times to come. These technological advancements are inevitable. However, they come with a few pros and cons. 

Pros: Pro-active Cleaning Operations

Real-time visibility – Cleaning management tools/apps provides a game-changing approach towards how a facility’s cleanliness is monitored, maintained, and measured. Real-time monitoring of facilities is made possible with the help of thermal, contact-less sensors, and advanced AI and Machine Learning. The collected data will help managers track housekeeping requirements and usage patterns of the facility to make informed decisions.

Cleaning 24/7 – The data captured from these sensors and tools map the facility’s usage pattern and cleaning activities, giving a bird’s eye view of the entire operation. Monitoring and planning for cleaning through virtual digital tools, enables on-demand, round the clock cleaning resulting in better service quality, operational efficiency, and improved user experience.

Productivity – Cleanliness and Hygiene Management teams who have been able to upskill their workforce and integrated technology into their work processes have demonstrated significant productivity gain giving them an edge in the marketplace.

Predictive cleaning – Advanced algorithms process the data to predict future cleaning requirements enabling managers to roster for operations much in advance. 

Cons: Feasibility for all team and facility sizes

Development of such hardware/software - Hiring a robot to clean is not an easy and full-proof solution and comes with a set of limitations. Cleaning processes and tools also need to be upgraded from time to time. Further, the cost incurred on the purchase, implementation, and maintenance of automated cleaning is sizeable which is why plenty of businesses cannot afford it. To solve these issues companies like SmartClean, are building affordable and practical solutions that leverage the right mix of technology and process improvements to upskill the people involved in operations while automating non-value-added activities.

Manpower getting displaced – Concerns over the future of work have centered on whether technology will displace humans in the workplace and, if so, what to do with the growing global surplus of labor. Cleaning companies have had the advantage of employing these displaced workers to a job that requires manual labor and is less automated. However, high attrition rates in the Cleaning Industry show that there needs to be a further enhancement in cleaner roles. This problem can be solved by technologically uplifting a cleaner and enabling them to work hand-in-hand with digital tools.  

Developing cost-effective tools for low cost-markets – Companies are looking at quicker ROIs and are apprehensive about investing in large CAPEX technology in a landscape that is rapidly evolving. However, SmartClean’s game-changing Sensor-as-a-service pricing model showcases a net positive ROI* from almost day one while ensuring high-quality cleaning practice.

In this industry, as a Facility or Cleaning Manager, it’s imperative to be updated with new technologies and solutions that are being developed. Cleaning businesses have started adopting solutions like those developed by SmartClean who have sensed a huge potential for a ground-breaking digital transformation in this industry. 

SmartClean Technology’s innovative cleaning solutions and processes are fundamentally altering the everyday life of the cleaners and managers in charge. SmartClean automates and simplifies several aspects of the business processes such as real-time monitoring, scheduling of cleaning activities, escalations for unattended cleaning requirements, conducting audits, tracking productivity, training cleaners, attendance, rostering, billing, and so on. SmartClean’s patented sensing solutions makes it possible to quantify cleanliness and give real-time cleaning alerts and graphical data to plan ahead. Cleaner activity tracking is an indispensable tool for cleaning companies to know when and where their team worked throughout the day, as well as the projects that they spent time on.

As far as technology is concerned, it can make facilities clean and safe for use and help attract better employees. However, while staying updated on new developments is essential it can be quite confusing with the plethora of work-management and silo solutions available out there. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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cleaning industry SmartClean

Lav Agarwal

The Author is the CEO and Co-founder of SmartClean Technologies

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