Every day, we see companies in all industries finding creative ways to harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance productivity, increase customer satisfaction and grow revenue.

The commercial cleaning industry is no exception. Here are six ways the industry is cleaning up savings and productivity by using IoT technology:

Maximize pricing during high-demand periods

We all know how the law of supply and demand works, and smart companies are increasingly using “surge pricing” to maximize their profits. WASH Laundry, which provides coin-operated machines in apartments, residence halls and other multi-housing locations, has taken the IoT for a spin to increase its revenue. It realized that by connecting its machines to the Internet, it could collect and analyze data on price and machine use that would allow the company to adjust pricing in near-real time. The more traffic, the more they charge per machine. During lighter traffic periods, they lower the costs to capture more customers.

Do the dirty work

What if a machine could literally do the work for you? Intellibot Robotics LLC’s robotic floor cleaners, which are used in commercial settings such as schools, hospitals, airports, manufacturing facilities and offices, have multiple sensors which provide 360-degree visibility. This allows them to clean on their own and then they wirelessly send real-time performance reports on individual machines or entire fleets. This lets the owner know when the machine was started, what areas were cleaned, total cleaning time and if there were any problem areas, many of which can be remotely resolved.

Clean up the customer experience

One industrial cleaning solutions company found a creative way to use sensors and tracking capabilities to determine how often the bathrooms in its customer’s facilities were being used.Each time one of its “connected” soap dispensers is used in a bathroom facility, the dispenser wirelessly sends data to a cloud-based platform, tracking the exact time of usage. This allows the company’s clients to monitor and track when the bathrooms are seeing unusually high traffic – and thus needed attention. The cleaning services operator was then able to set alerts, such as “send a cleaner after every 50 pushes of a soap dispenser.” Let’s just hope that all of the patrons wash up, as they are supposed to!

Reduce operational costs

Before implementing connected devices in their bathrooms, client companies had cleaned their facilities based solely on a routine schedule-based system. But, with the sensors helping them track usage patterns, they found they could save money by adjusting their cleaning routine accordingly.

When the soap dispensers were not being used as frequently as usual, they could reduce staffing by delaying a follow-up cleaning service until it was needed. And, during times when the bathrooms saw more traffic than usual, they could restock supplies in a timely manner.

Now, equipped with data from connected soap dispensers and other connected equipment, cleaning operators can quickly make informed decisions to assess when cleaning services are needed based on actual usage. This real-time, evidence-based decision-making allows them to allocate resources as needed to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction, rather than following a set schedule.

Lower maintenance costs

How do you know if something is broken unless you check on it? That old model, investing significant staffing time in proactive site visits to conduct recon on cleaning equipment, may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to IoT. Equipment monitoring services allow companies to track when equipment is in need of maintenance, which alleviates the immense burden of visiting sites to check. For one customer alone, one company averaged four proactive site visits for cleaning equipment maintenance each year, spread throughout 300 stores. In addition to reducing site visits, they were able to teach customers how to maintain and fix minor equipment issues themselves, resulting in lower repair costs and less down time.

Offer all-around business intelligence

The more “things” that are connected, the more types of data can be collected and analyzed to improve business intelligence. Companies are able to track thousands of data points from connected cleaning and maintenance equipment in their facilities, and combine data from other IoT-enabled devices, including floor scrubbers, sanitizing dispensers and environmental systems. This not only helps with trend identification, such as days of the week when traffic increases, but it enables the company to plan its resources more intelligently, according to historical data.

Everyone knows that knowledge is power, and IoT-connected devices are giving forward-thinking companies the power to analyze data for better business decisions.

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Carl Krupitzer

Carl is CEO and co-founder of ThingLogix

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