Evidence based cleaning

So many places of work still rely on outdated systems using paper schedules that can easily lead to mistakes and at the very least, duplication of work. The reality is that in the present day, or very soon in the future for some businesses, a revolution is around the corner making work much sleeker. 

"Evidence-based cleaning enables janitors to chronicle what they do in real-time throughout a shift using an app on a smartphone. The process begins when a janitor checks his or her smartphone before work to see what tasks they’ve been assigned — a refreshing change from an outdated process that required workers to go into a central office to check schedules and duties." 

Tracking Janitor Productivity With Apps
Contracting Profits Magazine


Evidence Based Cleaning

Cleaning something that is already clean is pointless and an obvious waste of money but it happens all the time because cleaning is usually done on a fixed rotational basis and not an ‘as needed’ basis.

In addition providing evidence to customers that something is actually clean usually involves additional error-prone processes, which adds cost to the business and significant hassle to the workers themselves.

Evidence cleaning is the use of modern connected technologies to remove the knowledge gap, reduce unnecessary cleaning and provide real time evidence that what was agreed to be done is being done, saving vast amounts of time and money in the process.

This can be accomplished by utilising the modern connected world of powerful mobile technology. Using mobile apps, devices and sensors, the evidence is collected automatically, and when fed into the squeegee platform the evidence is immediately available to the stakeholders to make decisions. This information can also be used to drive automated processes that can be implemented to remove the burdensome administration overhead of providing a cleaning services at scale.

What apps are available for evidence-based cleaning? 

This really is an exciting new field of technology that is only really just becoming viable due to the cost effectiveness of IoT devices and the increasing proliferation of connected devices in the industry. There are a few young tech companies such as Squeegee and FacilityApps as seen at Interclean. They are really leading innovation in this area, but it will be interesting over the next 12 months to see who gets an effective product to market for enterprises.

Squeegee have built a highly scalable platform which will act as an event bus for work scheduling and evidence data. We already have thousands of businesses relying on the platform day in and day out to plan and automate their work processes. This is an inexpensive solution at about £10 per user. Feedback has been tremendous, specifically around the ease of us and how much time in administration is saved.

The roadmap over the next few months will take this functionality into the enterprise sector and will introduce large scale integrations with IoT setups. To that end we have a number of really exciting proof of concepts going on with some early adopters including a couple of hospitals where this technology will prove most critical in saving costs and improving cleanliness where it is most vital.

What are the most important bits of data gathered from the data uncovered?

If you want to improve efficiency you can obviously use the data to analyse, identify and resolve those issues but this can actually have a negative impact on productivity and work ethic if used in the wrong way. We like the idea of being transparent and by doing so, empowering the worker. Most of us genuinely enjoy a sense of achievement with our work, being able to identify where we can improve, seeing our progress visually, and then being rewarded when we do. We feel that this is a much better use of this technology.

What are the greatest benefits of this technology?

The ability to offer a flexible solution to their customers and do that at scale. Standard manual or semi-automated processes rely on training, larger workforces and a great deal of time spent on administration. With this new technology, you will see a massive change in approach as a much more tailored and competitive solution can be provided along with a real time view of performance and greatly improved customer satisfaction. In addition the technology can be used to automate administrative and management tasks resulting in much bigger margins and the ability to “rinse and repeat” a successful service offering again and again.

How does having a digital task list help the cleaners themselves as opposed to what they’re doing now? 

Simply that paper is not dynamic, a digital task list can change according to your availability and progress, if you just have a piece of paper there is zero flexibility.  It is inefficient and impractical to record information on paper when this all needs to be fed back to different parties. There may be errors, misunderstandings and much more difficulty using paper especially if there is also a language barrier. Once using apps such as Squeegee which are so easy to use, they will wonder how they ever worked without it, they can just get on with their work.

How will this change their mentality as it pertains to work? 

Yes so long as first and foremost the technology has been designed around the user that has to live with it every day. We have built Squeegee to be intuitively user friendly because that is the point where the most friction can occur when something is new and unfamiliar. Very often with most solutions on the market you will see efficiency comes before usability and that can have a negative impact on the users.

Squeegee instantly feels familiar and shows visual progress to the user making it fun to use. Getting rid of administration is always seen as a good thing. If at the same time you can use the extra information to reward your workforce and make them feel valued and appreciated, this results in a motivated and happy team.

What’s the future for this technology?

The future is so exciting when it comes to automation and connected mobile technology being applied to business. I think we are seeing a massive growth in this area. There are so many “make-do” desktop office / printer based solutions that people still depend on but are now becoming a block in making a business scale. In a mobile, ‘connected anywhere’ world, we need mobile, ‘connected anywhere’ solutions which will bring with them new ways of working. We are so used to being connected in real time with our social lives using social media, it is only natural that workers will expect the same when it comes to interacting with their work. Massive strides are being taken in consumer area’s with automation in the home and the use of AI in things such as self driving cars but when it comes to running a business and removing the administrative costs and headaches, the technology has been overlooked. We see solutions such as the Squeegee platform really changing this and we are so excited to see what we can do with it next.


Excerpts of this interview can be seen in an article published in Contracting Profits Magazine on 6/9/18