How BSCs Should Approach AI
People handle change differently. For example, here at Trade Press Media Group, our offices are moving to a new and beautiful space. Some people can’t wait to enjoy the upgraded offerings while others grumble about packing up their offices.
I'm not sure where I stand on the general idea of change. I strive for growth and I love improvement, so you'd think I'd be for it, but change isn’t always positive. To say I'm cautiously optimistic of change is a more accurate assessment. At least, that’s how I feel about artificial intelligence, whose advancements are causing upheaval in a variety of industries.
In cleaning, AI isn't new, but it's evolving at lightning speed. Autonomous equipment offerings are expanding so quickly, a new machine is virtually out of date after its first use. Meanwhile, Internet of Things technology is spreading into new areas of facilities every day, almost becoming commonplace with its productivity advantages.
Embracing change is not easy, but I encourage BSCs to practice healthy yet cautious optimism when considering advancements such as AI technologies within their own programs. Consider it just another tool within your arsenal. Can autonomous equipment supplement your service offerings by tackling laborious tasks while staff tend to services that require human interaction? Can IoT streamline stocking to save on both product replacements and staff time?
I'm sympathetic as BSCs navigate through these changing conversations and the impact technology will have on their offerings because AI — specifically ChatGPT — is impacting my industry, too. A program that claims to write articles in seconds would naturally put writers immediately on the defense — the same way a robotic floor machine might threaten the job security of a janitor.
Although I don’t see ChatGPT replacing human writers and editors, I do believe it presents opportunities worth considering. It's another tool in the toolbox for research, source generation and exploring new angles to what might seem like age-old topics.
I'm not saying we should all blindly accept new technologies, but not all change is bad. What’s important is you explore all angles to determine where your operations might benefit from a little change. See our article on AI for suggestions on how to incorporate AI and what it means for your human team.
Corinne Zudonyi is the Editor-in-Chief of Contracting Profits and has been in the cleaning industry for 17 years. She also oversees CleanLink.com, Facility Cleaning Decisions magazine and Sanitary Maintenance magazine.