We live in an interconnected world where anyone and anything can exchange information in real time and increasingly vast amounts.
One of the clearest examples of this is the Internet of Things – the myriad of gadgets that communicate with each other over “the cloud”.
According to global research analyst Gartner, around 20 billion such devices – excluding tablets and smartphones – will be in use by 2020. Gartner also predicts that around two thirds of enterprises – doubling the total in just three years – will have adopted IoT products by 2020. By then the global value of the IoT will be over $7 trillion according to some reports.
These concepts are now emerging in the professional cleaning sector and Diversey calls this the Internet of Clean. This provides a framework that remotely monitors equipment, machines, and operations through sensorgenerated data. Analysing this data enables insight into cleaning operations, dosing, compliance and machine performance.
Businesses are investing heavily in the IoT to integrate new and existing equipment and technologies with software applications. The amount of information that can be generated can be bewildering but used wisely it offers new levels of oversight and control. The aim is to produce business-class solutions that are robust and secure while delivering the insight and performance gains that justify the investment. There are already many examples across the hospitality sector including the use for cleaning audits. Devices including smartphones are used by teams to complete audits, follow instructions, confirm actions and provide feedback using text, images and video. Managers can see the status of any operation, where tasks have yet to be completed, and overall performance levels. They can assess success and compliance with service level agreements, provide evidence to customers and streamline their operations to improve productivity and profitability.
Internet of Clean solutions are also available for optimising resources. The information available through Internet of Clean technologies can help managers to benchmark and understand staff behaviour so that they can deploy teams more effectively and productively. With labour costs representing by far the biggest element of any cleaning operation this can yield significant benefits.
Teams can do more in the same time and focus on tasks that make the biggest difference to customers. Augmented reality developments allow feature-rich interactive content to be delivered direct to the user to complement conventional operating, maintenance and training guides. This not only promotes greater efficiency but reduces the need for time-consuming interventions to deal with routine issues.
These and other innovations are accessed over the Internet of Clean using smartphones, tablets and desktops. Users have a digital portal and intuitive dashboards where they can review data and trends. This quantifiable information offers valuable, real-time insight into their operations, delivered in easy-tointerpret KPIs. Operators can improve their qualitative standards while lowering the cost of cleaning and hygiene programmes.
In the majority of cases the services can be configured to send a text or email alert when predetermined conditions arise. This means that supervisors and managers can take action before an issue impacts on the customer or end user.