The uptake of mobile technology in cleaning and facilities management
14 April 2021
As little as two years ago, the use of mobile technology in the cleaning and facilities management (FM) sectors was viewed, perhaps, as a supplemental tool for more familiar workforce management solutions. Team Software discuss how this technology has advanced.
ALTHOUGH NICE to have, activities like time and attendance, route monitoring and standards auditing were achievable through more localised desktop or manual methods, if not quite as efficiently. Fast forward to 2021 and the new landscape created by COVID has focused the minds of service providers on confronting a series of challenges, whose common denominator is they can all be solved effectively using mobile technology.
More effective engagement with front line staff
The need to broadcast promptly to staff on the evolving health and safety protocols linked to COVID means 100% implementation of safe working can no longer be guaranteed by relying on field management to communicate by traditional methods. Software portals integrated to staff databases are now coming into their own, with staff able to read important information in their own time on their smartphone. The facility for two-way communication means they can also access important documents, view payslips, check holiday entitlements and submit queries without needing to speak physically to a member of the head office team.
Safety, compliance and incident management
For many years, providers have discharged their duty of care towards lone workers by requiring staff to scan RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags to check in and out of buildings. This technology now extends, through the use of tags placed discreetly in different parts of the accommodation, to reassuring facilities managers that sensitive areas such as washrooms have been cleaned on a regular basis. Using smart form technology, on-site staff can also perform tasks such as confirming their health status, the completion of a recent COVID test or recording the management and resolution of incidents.
Staff scheduling and demand-based resource allocation
Staff scheduling has become a critical tool in the new world of building cleaning, where an agile and mobile workforce is required to deliver increasing volumes of specialist one-off or intermittent tasks associated with decontamination and deep cleaning. Mobile workforce management (WFM) software is particularly effective at managing this growing demand. Using their smartphones, specialist staff or teams can familiarise themselves with their weekly schedules, view relevant risk assessments method statements or personal protective equipment requirements, take photographs, and obtain client sign-off. Combined with GPS tracking, WFM systems also provide an insight into which parts of a building are absorbing your resources the most, enabling management to reallocate intelligently based on demand.
Integration as the way forward
It’s one thing to deploy mobile solutions to address specific challenges, but another to do it efficiently. Integrated management software systems harness the benefits of each individual application, whilst minimising duplication of data entry and making it possible to analyse information swiftly and automatically, leading to better-informed decision making. Combining workforce management solutions with client transparency and tight financial control, they’re increasingly becoming the preferred way for FM contractors to manage the complexity of life in the pandemic-constrained world.
Learn more about mobile technology for cleaning and facilities management at teamsoftware.com/cleaningmatters