Tracking the return on investment (ROI) in the cleaning industry doesn’t always come down to a monetary number; sometimes a positive ROI is based on whether the job is done successfully, or let’s face it, done at all. Largely due to high turnover, a shrinking labour market and an unclear total cost of machine ownership, keeping track of monetary gain can be difficult and time consuming, something most cleaning professionals and property manager’s struggle to find the time do when the actual cleaning is top priority.
Yet, tracking ROI is important, even if it is not a specific amount. Sometimes, being able to track machines, operators and a confirmed clean can be enough to get started with improving a business. This is where fleet management software can play a big role for those in charge of tracking cleaning operations, no matter the building or portfolio size.
Meeting and exceeding client expectations is one of most important parts of running a successful business. For cleaning professional and property managers, happy clients leads to renewed contracts, leases and continued business.
Fleet-tracking software helps with meeting client expectations through:
1: Confirmed clean
2: Transparency (through access to data)
Let’s dive further into how confirmed clean and increased transparency can help meet client expectations and even exceed them when it comes to cleaning.
Fleet tracking assists with confirmed clean
The emphasis on total building health and the effect buildings have on human health are growing concerns. Estimates show that people spend up to 90 percent of their day indoors, and, for many, a large portion of that is in office or shared living spaces.
For employers, this means placing greater emphasis on how the built environment supports human health and wellbeing. From issues like increased cleaning to an intentional focus on indoor air quality and using environmentally friendly cleaning products, addressing these concerns is now a significant priority for employers.
Throughout the return to work period, during recovery from the pandemic, the most common actions employers were taking to increase office safety, included: “Providing protective gear and hand sanitiser, increased cleaning protocols, enforcing physical distancing, and contact tracing (logging everyone on-site each day)”.
People are more comfortable returning to work now, however, the focus has shifted to prevention. For employers, building owners and managers and cleaning professionals alike, this means keeping the built environment clean, focusing on upgrades that support health, and safety, and draw on more sustainable practices.
Part of this new movement requires more communication with anyone entering the built space. Cleaning equipment that is IoT connected and utilises fleet tracking software can help with increased communication and to alleviate concerns. Cleaning businesses that use equipment with fleet tracking software can easily share information with employers who are working to ease concerns of employees.
Fleet management software collects and stores data about the cleaning process, including where cleaning has occurred, for how long, and by whom. End users are able to track this data through online portals and even apps, and this allows them to see data in real-time and to report a confirmed clean. Having access to information that proves the cleaning has been done allows BSCs and property managers to share that information with clients or even building patrons that may have concerns over the level of cleanliness of the space.
Fleet tracking assists with transparency
The access to cleaning data is equally important because of the growing emphasis on the importance of transparency regarding building health. Since the cleaning data can be tracked by day, week and month, in real-time and from any location, end users can quickly and easily share information with clients, stakeholders or anyone requesting information.
This helps to create an atmosphere of accountability and trust, and for many who are reporting to an office every day for work, understanding the measures taken to keep the building healthy are important.
Many of today’s floor scrubbers and sweepers are equipped with fleet-tracking technology that allows cleaning professionals and property managers to collect and analyse these reports. For cleaning professionals and property managers, being able to share this information can help them build trust with their clients and retain and bid for future work. The more transparent a business can be with clients, the more likely they are able to generate a strong working relationship, thus affecting ROI.
Fleet tracking assists with increased productivity and efficiency
Time is important, especially in the cleaning industry. Return on investment is directly related to how much cleaning can be done in the least amount of time. Fleet-tracking software can help cleaning professionals and facilities managers to ensure they are meeting client expectations of consistent and responsive service.
For example, ICE Cobotics’ Clean Score, the newest feature of the i-Synergy fleet management software, allows managers to open the app and quickly see one score collected from multiple sites. The score reflects the health of cleaning progress taking place across the sites overseen by a manager. A colour-coded wheel categorises the sites based on productivity of floor-cleaning machines. If there are issues at any of the sites, the site will be categorised in yellow or red.
The manager can quickly click into the red and further click into specific sites to diagnose what is happening. A manager can immediately identify if there is an issue with a machine or if a team needs additional support.
Using Clean Score allows facilities managers to review routes and both time of day and length of time spent cleaning. With this information, end users are better able to give feedback to cleaning staff and make suggestions to improve processes. Utilising fleet-tracking software empowers managers to work more closely with their team. They can offer coaching and even implement further training, all of which can help cleaning teams be more efficient and productive. This can lead to better ROI through more consistent and efficient team members.
Fleet-tracking software assists with active maintenance
Fleet-tracking services allow end users to plan and prepare for necessary machine maintenance ahead of time. As more data is collected about the machine, managers can plan for and replace parts before they fail, thus creating a routine maintenance plan in the process.
For example, on Cobi 18, an autonomous floor-scrubber, end users can review the life of consumables in the app or portal. Tracking the use of the squeegee or the brushes in the app allows end users to be proactive in ordering consumables before they are completely worn down.
This not only helps to eliminate downtime for the cobot, but it also helps to make sure that cleaning is done well and to expectation, keeping the space healthier and cleaner. This can have a direct impact on the client that may be keeping an eye on building cleanliness.
A regular routine maintenance schedule will drastically cut down on machine downtime and can positively impact building cleanliness.
Fleet-management software is innovative and user friendly
Fleet-tracking software can be downloaded through an app or accessed on a desktop, making it easy to use. Differing platforms offer a variety of options, but in general, this technology is easy to use and does not require in depth training.
Most manufacturers supply training videos and have service technicians available to get users started if there are questions.
Luckily, most of the platforms have easy to decipher infographics and intuitive technology that makes using fleet-management systems simple. Being able to access this information from any wireless device, at any time, can save property managers and cleaning professionals from having to travel from building to building, instead allowing them time to focus on staff and developing better cleaning practices and strategies.
Using floor-cleaning machines with fleet tracking capabilities can have a direct impact on ROI for a business. From the data collected to the ability to manage teams and processes from remote locations, the impact can be far reaching, beyond just the floor cleaning itself.
Developing better processes, working more closely with teams, and staying on top of machine maintenance all affect the relationship with clients. Happier clients can mean more work and an improved ability to bid for future jobs.
ICE Cobotics is an industry-leading floor-cleaning equipment company specialising in fleet-tracking software and intelligent scrubbers and sweepers made available through subscription.