Technology In Restroom Maintenance

Data driven upkeep for facility restrooms helps to reduce costs related to labor and supplies.

Restroom Maintenance
Photo: Essity Professional Hygiene

By Paul Church
From the August 2018 Issue

Facility cleaning is becoming increasingly important as a matter of workplace engagement—and occupant satisfaction in all types of facilities. Facility management practices consistently play an important role in maintaining workplace hygiene, reducing presenteeism, and increasing employee engagement. Technology is playing an increasingly larger role in the workplace as well as other facility environments, something which now is also available in facility cleaning and, specifically, restroom maintenance. In this realm, there are intelligent hygiene solutions and data-driven cleaning that provide facility managers with the opportunity to track supply levels in restroom dispensers, frequency of staff maintenance, and other metrics.

As facility managers look to move away from manual processes, they can consider technology tools that help with restroom tasks include managing inventory costs and maintaining clean and hygienic facilities while efficiently managing the cleaning staff’s time. Given the competing priorities and challenges posed to facilities teams every day, a balanced—and in this case, technological—solution can help better manage their time and create a better facility environment.

Facility management software is one tool in the data-driven cleaning trend and is helping to transform how the industry approaches cleaning—away from conducting static rounds and toward proactive, need-based cleaning. In this scenario, real-time data from connected restroom devices (e.g., a soap dispenser) is displayed in an easy-to-use digitized cleaning plan application, directing cleaning teams when and where they are needed most.

By uncovering trends within a facility, such as specific areas with the most traffic, this technology tool allows staff to focus their efforts on areas with high priority cleaning needs as well as provide higher quality cleaning across the facility since employees know where to focus more of their time.

By using facility cleaning software, for instance, facility managers rely on real-time data that can prevent complaints before they are logged, more efficiently manage their staff, optimize inventory management, and leave a positive impression on building occupants and their guests.

Quantifying Data-Driven Approach

How much of an impact can data-driven cleaning have? Drawing on the Tork EasyCube software as an example, the Tork Impact Calculator gives facility decision-makers insight into the impact that data-driven cleaning can have on their facility. The metrics used in the Impact Calculator are derived from numerous case studies with facility customers.

According to this Impact Calculator, these customers together have documented a 77% drop in unnecessary dispenser checks. As a result, cleaning staffs focus efforts on immediate needs, leading to a reduction in time spent on menial tasks by 20%—all while increasing overall cleaning quality. Facility managers can use the calculator to determine working hours, per day, per cleaner, that can be redirected to other tasks.

Below are some example scenarios in which the Impact Calculator has demonstrated how facility managers can save money and time using smart restroom management software.

  • For a staff of five (5) cleaning personnel, each working eight (8) hours per day, operating 252 days per year, with 140 connected dispensers, Tork EasyCube technology enables facility managers to save 1,189.1 hours of labor per year and an estimated $14,269 in labor costs currently spent on route activity.
  • For a staff of 10 cleaning personnel, each working eight (8) hours per day, operating 252 days per year, with 200 dispensers in the facility, the technology enables facility managers to save 2,274.72 hours of labor per year to apply to more meaningful tasks and $27,297 in potential labor spent on checking areas that are not in need of attention.

Data-driven cleaning can be mutually beneficial for facility managers and building occupants. Integrating technology can help reduce stress among the cleaning staff and increase staff engagement because of their informed contributions to customer satisfaction—and occupants have a better experience as a result.

Church is new business concepts director, director of market development for Essity Professional Hygiene, formerly part of the SCA Group.

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