United Services Group began using this new IoT–enabled floor machines in July of 2016. Close to 10 percent of the locations United Services Group services now have these IoT-enabled units, says Choucrallah.

Currently the data generated by the telemetry system is only available to management-level employees, but Choucrallah believes that eventually United Services Group will share it with frontline workers.

“Right now the area managers who have been trained work hand in hand with our cleaners and walk through the process with them,” says Ker. “They tell them what is tracked and how the efficiency rates work. There are some parts of certain floors that don’t get washed for specific reasons, so we still need to improve the process internally to take that into consideration.”

Security And Worker Concerns

As Internet of Things technology becomes more ubiquitous, the question of data security has arisen more frequently.

The machines used by United Services Group have safeguards in place to address security concerns. The data is stored on servers protected by firewalls and is only accessible through a password-protected Web portal. United Services Group also closely monitors which employees have access to the data.

Another common concern for BSCs embracing IoT technology is how their frontline janitors will react to having their work more closely monitored.

“We have shared the technology with some of our frontline workers and have explained to them how it works,” says Choucrallah. “They do understand that they are being monitored, but we don’t feel that they are intimidated by the monitoring. We explained to them that this is important data we need to ensure we are providing high service levels to our clients.”

Although this type of monitoring is something new that employees must get used to, Choucrallah says the IoT technology should also give frontline workers more confidence in their work, since there is now data to back it up.

Ker agrees and says he has not had any negative feedback from United Services Group workers.

Return On Investment

During the delivery process of more than 100 units to 100-plus locations, which occurred in two phases, two of the IoT-enabled floor machines went missing.

Choucrallah says he went into the telemetry system and found them immediately. It turns out the machines were shipped to a customer’s facility and then quickly moved to a back room not typically used by United Services Group’s staff.

Since the machines’ geo-location abilities were what initially drew in United Services Group, the incident proved the value of the IoT system before the machines were used to clean a single floor.

Heather Larson is a freelance writer from Federal Way, Washington.

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Making Sense Of Floor Machine Usage Data