Tapping into the IoT for cleaning


A few years back, most of the processes in the cleaning industry were done manually. What came with manual methods was human error. Organisations ended up losing revenue because of these errors.


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February 28, 2022
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Tapping into the IoT for cleaning

 Organisations ended up losing revenue because of these errors. Fast forward to today’s world and most of the decisions are driven by smart technology, particularly IoT. IoT cleaning systems have revolutionised cleaning operations and how businesses work. They’ll continue to be a transformative technology in the years to come.

IoT cleaning technology uses devices that can communicate with one another over an internet connection. They help organisations make a lot of strategic and tactical decisions on a routine basis with accurate data. The best part about this technology is that you can access most of it from anywhere. All you need is a stable internet connection. For instance, you can see what’s happening at a job site, even if you’re miles away. This particular feature comes in handy for FM managers, housekeeping supervisors and even the senior management. 

IoT cleaning technology is not new. It has been around for a while, but recent breakthroughs will shape the future of the industry. The pandemic has accelerated its implementation in different industries such as food hygiene, healthcare, etc. Recent studies indicate that the number of IoT devices in use will rise from 75 billion to 100 billion in just the next 10 years, with many of those devices belonging to the cleaning industry. To keep up with the trend, it’s important for the cleaning industry to get ahead of the game now and understand what the future of IoT cleaning will look like, how it will affect your business, and what kind of goals you can set for your company in this area.

To understand more about IoT in cleaning and smart decision making, we spoke to  Mr. Salim Ali Hamad Al Harthi, GM of Oman Airports, Mr. Bhimrao Dhoble, Head of Soft Service at Aster DM Healthcare, Mr. Habib Ahmed, CEO of Esad Services, Saudi Arabia, Mr. Julian Khalil, Senior Director for Security and Soft Services, Farnek and Mr. Lav Agarwal, CEO of SmartClean, Singapore.

Here is an excerpt.

How does IoT work for commercial cleaning?

IoT for commercial cleaning works the same way it does for other industries. It connects devices, people and objects in a network and enables an easier way of data exchange and communication that leads to a completely new view of how the operations can be run. Now that we are living in a faster and better-connected world, the building or facility will itself tell us when it requires cleaning based on the data. The changes focus from planned activities to on-demand services. 

Aster DM Healthcare has been able to implement IoT technology across 24 pharmacies and 5 clinics. It has helped them monitor footfalls, energy conservations and make strategic decisions.

The application areas of IoT 

IoT provides useful data for any kind of facility. For instance, measuring the footfall will help healthcare facilities, airports, shopping malls, restaurants and hotels alike. It will help them in crowd management and in rearranging resources. 

For a commercial tower, it could mean understanding space and energy management. There could be some areas in the facility that could be put to better use, there could be areas that attract more crowd and thus need more frequent cleaning, while others don’t. A lot of data is generated through an IoT solution and every type of facility can actually benefit from it in its own unique way.

- So how is IoT being integrated into the cleaning industry?

- What are the advantages of IoT for commercial cleaning?

The collected data transitions how cleaning is done. It helps organisations move away from roster based cleaning to a data-driven model. Before IoT, organisations would clean at a certain time or when somebody would see an area being dirtied. The approach changes from reactive cleaning to proactive cleaning. The collected data is used to optimize processes. Some FM companies are using collected to create SLAs to determine if the cleaning tasks and work orders that are triggered are resolved or not. They are also able to determine the quality of cleaning, improvements in outcome and the difference IoT makes to user experience. 

With IoT, cleaning supervisors will be able to manage several devices and processes remotely. They do not have to visit a washroom to check if it is clean or not. For that matter, they don’t have to physically visit any facility to check its cleanliness.

IoT: Driving future savings

Many facility owners are still not convinced that this technology is worth their time and investment. However, before we jump to such conclusions, we need to consider the total value of IoT.  You’ll get better insights into your cleaning operations; you’ll bring more efficiency into your processes and that will save costs while increasing productivity. The results will be more appealing to both you and your clients in the long run so the initial cost of investment and the process of transition from a manual one to an IoT driven one is worth it. 

This technology is not just the future of the cleaning industry, it is also the present. If facility managers aren’t asking about this technology yet, they will be soon keen to learn more about it. Now is the time to take lead and reap the benefits of this incredible technology called IoT. 

This is an excerpt from cleaning technology talks, To access the full session,