Beacons Bring Visibility to Cleaning Service Staff Work

Cleaning and maintenance service provider Spotless is utilizing the system to manage its workers at malls in Australia.

Spotless provides janitorial services to malls and other customers. For some of its customers, whose facilities are located in high-traffic public areas, the janitorial services provided must be very intensive—in a food court, for instance, a cleaning person is expected to walk through and clean the area every five minutes. For bathrooms, the cleaning requirements may be set at every 20 minutes, in part to protect against “slip and fall” litigation. Without an automated system, a cleaning company has had to rely on staff reports—often manually written down on paper by the workers—regarding how many times services were provided in each area. Spotless tried using a solution requiring that employees tap a passive RFID tag built into a wand against a reader installed in each location, but found that if an employee forgot to tap his or her wand at the reader, the time that individual spent at that location was not recorded. It also created a disruption of work for staff members.

During the past year, the cleaning company conducted a pilot deployment of beacon solution at two malls (in New South Wales and in Victoria), where a total of 300 beacons was installed in places such as the food courts, in front of stores and in bathrooms. Spotless employees use an Android-based smartphone running an app. Spotless found the solution successful enough that it is now deploying the technology at all 40 of the malls it services throughout Australia, with the total quantity of installed beacons expected to reach 10,000.

A Spotless employee simply turns on the Bluetooth setting of the smartphone that Spotless provides to that worker, uses the app to sign in to her shift, and then goes about her work for that day. As she moves from one area to another, the beacon at that location transmits information to her smartphone, which sends data back to the server, via the app, indicating where she is at any given time, such as in a bathroom or hallway. Not only can that data then be analyzed for use in future training and deployment of staff members for specific jobs, but it can also be presented to Spotless as a digital record of which services were provided, as well as when, for how long and how often.

The software can identify, for instance, the average amount of time spent by all personnel at a given location, or just a specific staff member, or it can identify when a particular area is taking longer than expected to service. The firm is also developing a new version of the app that will be able to display an alert to an employee, letting him know if he is running late for a specific assignment, for example, or if he is spending more than the expected time at a location. He can also use the app to report any problem onsite that requires more labor or assistance from others.

Reference: http://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?13066/

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