Data informs the day-to-day responsibilities of facility managers, from tenant occupancy and supply needs, to the cost of monthly overhead. While facility management already leverages technology extensively in its operations, high-tech innovations aren’t yet being used fully in cleaning and washroom maintenance to help make processes smarter. But data is a powerful change driver and can enable better-informed, more efficient, and faster decisions — ones that building managers use to create atmospheres that customers deserve, while maximizing cleaning staff performance.
While the washroom isn’t the first place that comes to the mind of the average customer, it is the most often-used facility in any building. Customers expect a clean, fully stocked and enjoyable washroom experience, and since washrooms reflect on the entire business, every impression counts. Historically, facility cleaning and maintenance staff completed tasks such as refilling soap dispensers, restocking bath tissue and managing supply orders manually, room to room, stall by stall — sometimes hourly, depending on the facility’s size. Today, however, technology is playing a major role in overhauling the way that building and facility managers manage washroom maintenance.
Intelligent washroom solutions have become increasingly vital in helping building and facility managers effectively manage washroom upkeep. Some of these solutions use sensor-equipped dispensers to collect and transmit data around the clock, using wireless technology. By capturing refill levels in real-time and displaying it in a web portal, these numbers cut down on time-consuming tasks such as having cleaning staff visit each washroom to manually check product supply.
Here are five ways to positively improve business practices by incorporating smart technology in washrooms:
1. Prevent complaints
Stay informed of washroom traffic, with alerts of exactly when and where issues might arise, to prevent complaints before they happen.
2. Staff efficiently
Use data to make better staffing decisions with a needs-based cleaning approach. When the unexpected arises, quickly assign tasks to the cleaning staff. Have those staff address the situation and mark tasks as “complete” to confirm that all cleaning needs are met.
3. Optimize supplies
Accurately track how much inventory is being used to base purchasing decisions on actual usage rates, not estimates. This eliminates the need to run out for more supplies before the next shipment, or the risk of ordering more product than is needed or can be stored.
4. Impress guests
Impress customers with consistently clean and fully stocked washrooms. Seamless experiences can generate positive word of mouth for a venue, and improve its overall reputation as well as increase tenant recommendations.
5. Reduce waste
Reduce the time wasted having facility maintenance staff check each washroom and stall with accurate data on washroom stock and supply needs.
As facilities managers strive for greater efficiency in the face of increased demands, leveraging data through emerging technology can serve as the backbone to improving overall building performance, while benefiting both washroom guests and facility staff. Data has the power to alleviate facilities executives’ pain points by improving reliability and efficiency while managing and maintaining users’ seamless experiences.
Jimy Baynum, director of market development, North America for Essity Professional Hygiene Business.