Hand touches screen of a smartphone

Internet of Things technology allows building service contractors to capture usage data in restrooms, floor machines and practically every other product. Now, new app-based technology allows BSCs to monitor their own workforce.

Evidence-based cleaning enables janitors to chronicle what they do in real-time throughout a shift using an app on a smartphone. The process begins when a janitor checks his or her smartphone before work to see what tasks they’ve been assigned — a refreshing change from an outdated process that required workers to go into a central office to check schedules and duties. 

Once the worker arrives at their first site of the day, he or she will scan a NFC/RFID tag or QR code with the app on the smartphone against a sensor, which will then send, in real-time, the time-stamp of this action along with the GPS location of the scan. Throughout the shift, the janitor will swipe the app on the phone or scan a QR code sensor before entering and exiting each area involved in a task, or provide notification that he or she used the restroom or took a break.

If the janitor is too sick to work, he or she can inform the employer through the app, allowing them to re-assign the labor, says Susie Bishop, marketing manager for Hereford, United Kingdom-based software provider, Squeegee. Janitors could also submit a suggestion pertaining to their task list if he or she believes an alteration could lead to the work being completed more efficiently, she says.

If a janitor notices something off the list that requires attention, he or she can report the situation using the app and even forward a photo demonstrating the issue. The janitor could also estimate how much additional labor will have to be conducted. 

“All this makes it so much easier to charge for extra work not covered by the contract that otherwise easily would not be charged for,” says Stefan Backstrom, owner of Pancomp Distribution Americas, Forest, Virginia.

When the shift ends, the janitor will sign off by running the device against a scanner and if the worker missed a job, he or she will be notified. All the scans completed during the course of the shift is sent to a cloud server where the employer can view the information to use for reports, payroll, scheduling and planning.

It would be an understatement to say analytics drives the evidence-based cleaning movement.

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