Your average student today may be responsible and community-minded, but as a group they can be (let’s face it) a challenge to clean up after. And since there’s always something happening on a college campus – special events, special activities, and even studying – well, let’s just say no weekly work schedule survives first contact with the student body.

Building efficiency around an ever-changing schedule isn’t easy, but that’s where technology comes in. The goal is to help your teams build efficiency by better aligning service to need. Technology helps in two big ways here: by supplying data to inform task scheduling and by improving communications about exception management.

Let’s tackle the exception management half. As the sanitized saying goes, stuff happens. Dealing with spills, accidents, and issues in a timely way has a huge effect on student and staff perception, while quick and targeted response also puts time back to your normal work schedule.

Say there’s a poet about to give a reading in one of the cozier, smaller lecture halls. This poet is a big get for the department. Unbeknownst to the tenured professor on her way to pick up this respected poet at the airport, an impromptu study group has just finished their review over a hasty, messy dinner in the same space.

How are the students that respect this poet – maybe an important voice for diversity in literature – going to feel if they arrive to find water bottles, take-out containers, crumbs, spills? Getting this cleaned up in time is key, and the best chances for that is a clear, easy way to get a message to a team that’s ready to receive it and respond.

That could mean a touchpad on the wall to timely take the request. It could mean software to route that request quickly so on-site management can find a team member, wherever they are, to handle it. Look into options that empower your community to communicate effectively and your cleaning teams to manage those needs efficiently, and you’ll see a measurable impact.

Gordon Buntrock is National Director of Service Delivery for education services at ABM and has more than 40 years of experience in the facility services industry. He joined ABM in July 2016.