Data-driven tech to upend restroom maintenance

As facilities evolve and become more high tech, new systems have developed to help improve efficiency - especially when it comes to cleaning schedules.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Jimy Baynum

As facilities evolve and become more high tech, new systems have developed to help improve efficiency – especially when it comes to cleaning schedules. However, the next step in professional cleaning isn’t an automated machine, but rather a solution that helps to make the most out of the resources available.

Nearly every object inside a house or office – whether it be in a kitchen, living space, boardroom or bathroom – can connect to the internet. However, the value of this isn’t in the connectivity itself, but in the new data collected that can guide future actions to enhance your everyday life.

Real-time data provides information helpful in tracking patterns and progress, highlighting insights or impediments that could use improvement.

In high-traffic venues such as hospitals, universities, convention centers, malls and stadiums, which host thousands of visitors daily, data can help facility managers better service multiple remote locations. Connected devices can feed data to a dashboard, where staff can monitor real-time information about product levels or visitor traffic.

Real-time data is a powerful new tool which can facilitate better-informed and faster decision-making. This real-time data gives facility managers and their staff the opportunity to be proactive and do exactly what is needed when and where and handling a complex facility is transformed into a fact-based science. Staff can have their fingers on the pulse of each restroom and ensure that guests aren’t inconvenienced.

Data-driven technology for the 21st century restroom

In 2018, if you can have a connected life — from your home to your car, to your work, and to retail stores, why stop at restrooms? They are the most often-used facilities in a building. Facility management can harness the power of the Internet of Things to set a new standard for restroom cleaning routines – working simultaneously to lessen the load for maintenance staffers and enhance the guest experience.

Thanks to data, facility maintenance staff can work smarter, not harder, to provide a positive visitor experience. Technology, such as paper towel dispensers with level sensors, provide information to maintenance staff in real time. This allows facility managers to anticipate problems before they arise and attack issues head on.

By using actionable data managers can better prioritize which restrooms need cleanup or product refills, down to each individual stall.

With these product innovations, the cleaning routes of restroom maintenance staff can be determined by a more efficient, needs-based method, rather than a uniform schedule rooted in estimation.

Tech to meet occupants’ needs and uncover useful trends to save money

These digital improvements help facility managers measure the day-to-day usage of the restrooms that they oversee more precisely. Trendspotting allows facility managers to see how many people used a lobby restroom compared to a 17th floor one, and prioritize restocking accordingly.

Leveraging data also leads to greater financial success. The data captured helps facility managers better understand consumption patterns that dictate the volume and frequency of new orders, helping staff save money and eliminating unnecessary management headaches.

But this shift toward data-driven cleaning should not be mistaken for a move towards replacing humans with machines. Cleaning and facility management operations are too complex and unpredictable for an automated machine to handle. This is why data-driven cleaning becomes so important. The machines and humans work hand in hand, playing off one another’s strengths to maximize staff efficiency, build and protect reputation and empower decision makers.

James (Jimy) Baynum is VP of eCommerce at Essity Professional Hygiene, a leading global hygiene and health company.

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