By: Andrea Gomes | July 31, 2019
Reprinted with permission from OctoClean
With each breakthrough in product and technology development, our industry becomes better equipped to manage infection control and create new standards that reflect what we've learned.
One leader in improving commercial cleaning is the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices found in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.
IoT technology has become increasingly popular in homes with the use of devices like Nest thermostats and surveillance systems, Google Home, and other app controlled devices. As businesses begin to also implement IoT in their facilities, it impacts the commercial cleaning industry for the better.
It is every janitorial provider's dream to arrive on-site and have automated information about the maintenance required before walking through the facility. However, not every business has been quick to adopt IoT technology due to the expense and network security concerns. But with the risk comes reward. IoT technology can help a business reduce waste, improve maintenance control and create a healthier work environment.
Often times the easiest ways to save money for your business are the small details that are overlooked. For example, have you ever considered cutting costs by implementing efficient trash disposal? Internet-connected trash bins have the ability to communicate fill level, temperature and location with sanitation departments. This technology saves time, prevents unnecessary pick-ups and overall, reduces costs.
IoT technology can also help you monitor water usage and the use of other materials like hand soap and paper towels in restrooms. The information collected by these devices has the potential to help your janitorial provider better plan product orders and set budgets.
Equally important to consider is the waste of labor. IoT software can help you gage usage of restrooms to determine how frequently deep cleaning vs. spot cleaning is required throughout the week. The more systems that are connected the better data that can be gathered.
Improve Maintenance Control
There is nothing worse than running out of bathroom supplies. It is a major inconvenience to your customers and employees and doesn't reflect positively on your business. IoT dispensers prevent customer complaints by warning facilities of shortages before outages occurs.
The right IoT systems can also alert you to leaks, clogs and the over or underuse of materials and products. Discovering a leak days after it has occurred equals major dollar signs, not to mention the potential for mold to grow and slippery floors that can cause falls. With IoT, you and your janitorial provider can prevent injuries and shutdowns from happening.
Create a Healthier Workplace
By now we are all familiar with touchless technology. Most modern restrooms have automatic soap dispensers, faucets and toilets, but what about dispensers that remind you to wash your hands in the form of a human voice? Clean Hands-Safe Hands, a company that specializes in creating hand hygiene technology, has created soap and sanitizer dispensers that verbally remind clinicians to wash their hands when they enter an exam room.
The dispensers use bluetooth to identify badges worn by hospital staff. Staff members have an auto set amount of time to apply hand sanitizer or wash their hands. If they don't, they are reminded. Clean Hands-Safe Hands recently reported that their technology reduced healthcare acquired infections (HIAs) by 61.4% in a total of 10 hospitals.
This technology is not limited to healthcare facilities. Proper hand hygiene is crucial to preventing the spread of infection and sickness. This technology can be used in any facility to promote the health of customers and employees.
In the long run, IoT technology can help your business save money by not overspending on products and making janitorial cleaning move faster. The more connected you are, the more efficient your money saving will be. But the devices are a major investment. The possibilities for IoT technology will continue to grow and impact how we use everyday devices in commercial cleaning.
Although highly efficient in many ways there are some limitations to the software. Robots don't have the ability to look over a space and analyze how clean it is the way we can. They also can't notice areas that are not linked or communicating with the larger system. You need someone to supervise these processes and make sure they are accomplishing your facilities goals.