Facility management of the future

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How can the cleaning industry benefit from the Internet of Things? How can we optimise our cleaning flow? How do we avoid run-outs and complaints? These are questions that occupy the minds of many facility managers, cleaning companies and building services contractors.

Tork Professional Hygiene is the first in this market to launch facility management software that uses connected devices to provide cleaning teams with real-time information about actual cleaning needs. Tork EasyCube is set to revolutionise cleaning quality and efficiency in busy washrooms.

“When cleaning teams and their managers get real-time data about cleaning needs, the very logic for how cleaning can be done changes. It becomes possible to stay ahead of the game and do exactly what’s needed when and where. This is data-driven cleaning. Handling a complex facility like a stadium or an airport is transformed from a frustrating guessing game into a fact-based mission,” says Rochelle Lake, head of Marketing – B2B at Tork Professional Hygiene.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already a reality throughout society, with everything from coffee machines to washroom dispensers being connected to the internet. Yet the value lies not in connectivity itself, but in the new information it can provide – and the actions you can take based on that information. With real-time data on actual cleaning needs, cleaning operations can be dramatically improved.

Knowing what’s needed means no time is wasted on unnecessary work. More time allows teams to go the extra mile when cleaning. Managers can feel safe that nothing is neglected and analyse data over time to improve planning, purchasing and logistics. And for the cleaners themselves, work feels more meaningful when every task matters, while better control means less stress and a more balanced working situation.

Data-driven cleaning also enables higher quality with no more empty dispensers and untidy areas. “Overseas businesses found that Tork EasyCube reduced the time with empty dispensers by up to 88 percent, reducing complaints and improving visitor satisfaction,” explains Lake.

In recent years, the cleaning industry has seen a boom of technology overall, such as automated cleaning robots. But the latest shift, toward data-driven cleaning, is not about replacing humans with machines. As cleaning and facility management operations are too complex and unpredictable for automated machines to handle. This is why data-driven cleaning becomes so important. Or as MIT and Duke University researcher Mary Cummings writes: “As a team, the human and computer are far more powerful than either alone, especially under uncertainty”*.

“Empowering managers and cleaners with data to make better decisions is what will really change the game. We are in the middle of this process with our customers, and by sharing what we’ve learned we want to help the industry at large take the leap.” says Lake.

*From the article ‘Man versus Machine or Man + Machine’ by Mary Cummings in IEEE Intelligent Systems 2014, vol. 29, no. 5.

Click here to download the report ‘The value of data-driven cleaning for the facility services industry’.

Tork is the leading global brand in workplace hygiene. To keep up with the latest Tork news and innovations, please visit www.tork.com.au.

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