How IoT Is Changing The Future Of Cleaning
Contributed by Janitorial Manager
It wasn’t that long ago that many processes in the cleaning industry were manual tasks that were prone to error and lost revenue. All that has changed with the arrival of the so-called Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology. IoT cleaning systems have changed how cleaning operations and businesses work, and they’ll continue to do so in the years to come.
IoT cleaning technology refers to devices that can communicate with one another over an internet connection. IoT devices are somewhat common in households and businesses with things like thermostats, security cameras, and much more, all with their own IP addresses so they can connect to smartphones and computers to deliver data. The best part about this technology is that you can access most of it from anywhere you have an internet connection, so you can see what’s happening at a job site, for example, even if you’re miles away.
IoT cleaning technology has been around for a while, but recent breakthroughs will shape the future of the industry. Research indicates that the number of IoT devices in use will rise from 75 billion to 100 billion in just the next 10 years, with many of those devices belonging to the cleaning industry. That’s why it’s important to get ahead of the game now and understand what the future of IoT cleaning will look like, how it will affect your business, and what kind of goals you can set for your company in this area.
Here are eight benefits of IoT cleaning equipment that you need to know about:
1. Robotic cleaning equipment
One of the greatest innovations of IoT cleaning is robotic cleaning equipment. In households, this could be something as simple as a robotic vacuum cleaner, but plenty more devices in the custodial industry can now work autonomously. Not only that, many of them can collect data that can help improve efficiency, such as maintaining battery levels to cut down on equipment shutting off too soon, usage history, location tracking, and more. Robotic cleaning equipment not only cuts down on labor costs, but it also enhances safety in a world where a pandemic still lingers. Fewer people on the job site means a safer work environment for everyone.
2. Smart equipment
Another revolution in IoT cleaning is the use of smart equipment to serve customers’ needs better. A good example that’s already in practice is restroom sanitation equipment, such as paper towels and soap dispensers. With IoT technology, employees can be notified when inventory levels are low so that dispensers can be refilled without any interruption of service to the customer. In addition, some equipment can even be programmed to remind people to wash their hands before leaving a restroom. The equipment can capture data figures on usage, which you can then use to improve inventory management and replacement schedules.
3. Enhanced data
We’ve already mentioned some of the data benefits of IoT cleaning equipment, but the point is worth exploring further. In addition to tracking inventory and usage, some of this equipment can even help monitor foot traffic through a given area and calculate return on investment (ROI), which is likely to be significant. You can use data to analyze safety, health, and absenteeism reports, streamline processes, and minimize unnecessary spending.
4. Better sensors are on the way
One complaint about some robotic floor cleaning equipment is that the sensors aren’t good enough. That’s already started to change with new sensors that can better detect obstacles and areas that need to be cleaned. This new technology will also make the smart restroom model work better. The best news? The prices of such equipment is decreasing as newer, better technology comes into play, so even if you don’t have the cash to spring for the latest devices, you can at least get on board with the technology that’s been in use for the last few years.
5. Smart chemical dispensers
Most cleaning chemicals have to be mixed by hand, which leaves a lot of room for error and safety concerns. With smart chemical dispensers, those worries go away. Smart dispensers help reduce chemical dispensing labor as well as equipment maintenance, both of which will save your business money in addition to providing better, safer service. Of course, the smart equipment itself will still need to be maintained, but not nearly as often as the manual dispensers of old.
6. Better network availability
One of the significant benefits of smart equipment is that the information it collects and provides can typically be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This includes data connections. Previous data connections weren’t fast enough for this technology to work seamlessly. Still, with the advent of 5G technology and better overall data service from mobile providers, that’s becoming less and less of a concern.
7. Waste reduction
Did you know that an efficient trash receptacle can help significantly reduce your costs as well as the amount of waste produced? These machines can monitor fill levels and various other data points that can help reduce wasted bags and it can help lower costs in general. The same goes for other smart technology in restrooms, cutting back on wasted soap and supplies. And again, let’s not forget about the waste of labor that you can minimize when staff no longer has to go and check on dispensers and other equipment only to discover nothing needs to be done. With IoT cleaning equipment, that road bump disappears.
8. Overall value
If you’re still not convinced that this technology is worth the investment, consider the total value: You’ll get better insights into your operations; you’ll save on costs and resources while increasing productivity, the results will be more appealing to both you and your clients, and there will be fewer fires to put out since emergencies will occur less frequently. Overall, these points are enough to justify the cost of most IoT cleaning equipment.
It’s the future of the cleaning industry. If facility executives aren’t asking about these technologies yet, they will be soon. Now is the time to step into the future, so when it’s here, you’ll be ready.