October 13, 2020

4 Ways Data Analytics Better Your Cleaning Business

person analyzing data on computer screens and tablet in office

Today’s top companies regularly collect and review data about their customers to stay ahead of the competition. Understanding what drives a consumer to choose one product over another can be game-changing for companies that are paying attention and willing to make changes.

Collecting data is key when it comes to understanding a customer base and why they prefer what they prefer.

Data collection can help businesses determine what demographics are using their products, how products are being used, what they would like to see work better or differently, and more. All of this helps designers, manufacturers, and distributors zero in on what is important to their clients.

Being aware of consumer needs within markets is increasingly important as collecting data for the sake of “having data” will not entirely be beneficial. However, streamlining and collecting intentional data allows businesses to create growth plans with a clear trajectory.

According to Shilpa Aggarwal and Nimal Manuel writing for Mckinsey, “The best companies have shrugged off the excitement surrounding big data and adopted an approach that centers on clear business cases. Business strategy and proven use cases – individual instances of practical applications – guide investments and deployment at these companies.”

Basically, beyond just having the data tracking and collection software is the even bigger question of what to do with the information and how to be intentional with it.

Having some basic strategies can help businesses to develop their workforce and grow their businesses.

Why the Cleaning Industry Needs Data Analytics

The cleaning industry is one of the latest industries to move towards more intentional use of data analytics.

For designers and manufacturers of cleaning equipment, collecting customer use data can help them to better design cleaning equipment that targets pain points. For example, Building Service Contractors (BSCs) oversee cleaning staff in locations that sometimes span multiple states.

Manufacturers that have added fleet tracking software to cleaning equipment, like floor scrubbers, have made it easier for BSCs to log into portals to view equipment, examine its usage, and even troubleshoot remotely if there is a breakdown or maintenance alert, before traveling to multiple locations to do all of this in person.

In the long run, this saves BSC’s time and money and the manufacturer and/or distributor is one step closer to a stronger relationship with their client.

Data collection and analytics can continue to move the cleaning industry forward with the intentional use of data tracking technology, including how to use the data to improve business.

1) Data Analytics Helps to Measure Efficiency and Productivity

As the cleaning industry continues to develop and add technology to its repertoire of cleaning equipment it becomes easier to collect data as the work is being done.

Fleet tracking technology typically works through cloud-based systems that allow end users to view and manage an entire fleet from one location. Types of data collected run the gamut from start and stop times for each machine, to exact routes cleaned, to total run time during working shifts.

For example, Cobi 18 by ICE Cobotics is powered by lithium-ion battery technology, and stores machine routes and run times with i-SYNERGY.

The data can then be used to create workflow plans for cleaning staff. By knowing exact run times and machine users, managers can identify other areas in a space that need the specialized attention of cleaning staff, or more productive cleaning patterns.

The route tracking capabilities allow management or end users to work together with cleaning staff to develop efficient plans. By being able to view when a staff member is cleaning, a manager can look for inefficiencies.

For example, if run times happened from 8 am—9 am and then again from 11 am—12 pm, a facilities manager could work with the team to determine if that is the most effective use of time for that space.

By working with the cleaning team, monitoring the run times, and analyzing the space, more efficient and productive workflows can be implemented.

For BSCs, implementing this type of planning in multiple locations can have a positive result on a large scale.

2) Data Collection Leads to Better Customer Service with Confirmed Clean

This is a big one! As we continue to see businesses expand their “services” we continually hear more about customer service and what businesses are doing to meet the needs and expectations of clients.

Data collection and analysis are key to impacting customer service in the long run. By using cleaning equipment with data-collecting capabilities, building owners and BSCs can better understand how to meet client expectations.

Being able to speak to a 'confirmed clean' is one way to improve customer satisfaction because the data shows when the job is done. As consumers continue to demand “evidence of clean” this type of information will be imperative to share with them as proof a building meets health and safety expectations.

For example, through the i-Synergy platform, cleaning reports can be emailed directly to building managers or end-users. This data can then be shared with anyone using the building that wants proof of a clean and healthy space.

From another perspective, manufacturers and distributors of floor cleaning equipment can also use data to meet the needs of their clients, building owners, and BSCs.

Manufacturers who have access to the same data as the building owners, managers, and BSCs can troubleshoot problems, and provide service to the client in a much more immediate way than in the past.

Data analytics not only helps the manufacturers and distributors provide better service, but it also allows their clients to provide better service too; not to mention, they can confirm who cleaned the space—another way to show accountability for creating healthy spaces.

3) Data Analytics Helps with Preventative Maintenance

For BSCs and building managers, preventing machine downtime is key for an industry that struggles with increasing workloads.

By using data tracking software, managers and end users can closely monitor when a maintenance issue or breakdown occurs. Remote access allows end users to determine if a breakdown or malfunction is reoccurring and a sign of a larger issue, or a regular maintenance problem.

On top of that, subscription-based services, like that offered by ICE Cobotics, include technician service with their subscription plan.

Meaning, that over the leasing period, not only do building managers and BSCs have access to the data tracking portal, but so do service technicians at ICE Cobotics. This allows for any issues to be tracked by multiple users with a stake in the equipment.

Access to this data allows for virtual troubleshooting by the ICE Cobotics technical team before deploying a service technician into the field.

In some cases, the issue can be solved remotely, saving time for both parties. If not, the diagnostic process can help eliminate multiple trips by technicians because the cause of the breakdown could be determined remotely.

In addition, According to SAS Insights “Machine learning, a specific subset of AI that trains a machine how to learn, makes it possible to quickly and automatically produce models that can analyze bigger, more complex data and deliver faster, more accurate results – even on a very large scale. And by building precise models, an organization has a better chance of identifying profitable opportunities – or avoiding unknown risks.”

Over time, this data collection turns into valuable information that results in fixing bigger issues and improving equipment.

4) Data Analytics Results in Historical Data That Can Help Make Future Predictions

As noted above, for manufacturers and distributors, access to historical data helps determine malfunctions or pain points for equipment. Repeated and historical access to this information can result in updated designs of products as well as software releases that can fix glitches.

This data also helps designers and manufacturers to make continuous improvements to the equipment, making each generation of machines better.

In turn, users of the equipment see more updates and upgrades, making the technology better and easier to use, impacting the daily work of cleaning teams.

Beyond that, historical data helps BSCs quote other projects. They can collect data on how long it takes staff to scrub and vacuum floors and use that data to provide more accurate quotes to other clients.

ICE Cobotics is an industry-leading floor cleaning equipment provider. Data analytics technology is included with our subscription-based services at no extra cost along with maintenance and parts, and continuous software upgrades. For more information please reach out to our Client Care Team.

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