The two began brainstorming potential solutions and reaching out to “like-minded” people, a search that connected them to Dillon and one that resulted in the eventual founding of their company.

“We started building LaserClean around the idea of working the robots into the cleaning process,” says Hill. “Twenty years ago, robotics weren’t at the point where people were comfortable working with them, and they were not cost-effective. But this has changed because of enhancements in technology. Competition is starting to disrupt the delivery of service by combining technology and human skills. We formed this company to be part of that disruption.”

The first year was spent creating a business plan; they began reaching out to clients in the second year focusing on warehouses and K-12 facilities. As Manuel explains, they’re concentrating on markets most appropriate for robotic floor care, meaning those facilities where there are large expanses of unobstructed floor space. Currently, they’re servicing several warehouse clients and are in the process of bidding the school facilities. They’ll branch out into other markets as the technology advances, says Hill.

Their custodial team consists of 12 full- and part-time associates, assisted in large part by the robots and the other smart technologies the company offers. These associates are highly trained and certified in facility services, say both, explaining that they hire people who will help them integrate the technology into the processes.

“Because of their skill sets, they are more integrated into the company,” says Hill, referring to their associates. “The employees need to know how to run and maintain the equipment and how to work with it. There’s a different level of engagement, particularly because it’s more intellectually challenging than working with just a mop and bucket.”

They constantly do time and motion studies to tweak their process, having set up a lab where they test how to use the equipment and try out different configurations on the robots, says Manuel. This has created a culture of ongoing improvement, resulting in staff training that is changed and updated on a continual basis, further fostering associate engagement. They also have a propriety software program allowing them to measure the resources consumed; another fine-tuning measure that allows them to gain efficiencies and operate more cost-effectively. 

Building service contractors and users are also invited to use the lab to innovate and collaborate on ways to deliver better productivity, says Hill. He describes this as a facility where under-controlled conditions and utilizing scientific methods, new ways of working and measuring the work performed are explored. 


previous page of this article:
Business Uses Robotic Cleaning Technology To Empower Workers
next page of this article:
Improving Perceptions Of The Janitorial Industry