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The appliance of science

Cleaning apps integrated with CAFM can improve the efficiency of the cleaning function, says Karl Greenfield, senior product specialist at FSI

Incorporating cleaning processes within the analytical and performance management capabilities of CAFM adds a new, scientific aspect to what can easily become a low skill, low status, haphazard activity within FM. From both staff and management perspectives, a cleaning app that sits within the organisation’s CAFM capabilities elevates the role of the cleaning function. It can offer a simple, friendly, intuitive interface for employees, while performance feedback and other data enables accurate reporting and helps to identify opportunities to improve efficiency and save costs.

A good app will work in mixed environments incorporating smartphones and tablets, including bring-your-own-device operations. Cleaning routes and timing schedules can be set up within the CAFM system. As performance data is accumulated, or circumstances change (such as space reconfigurations or change of use), routes can be reconfigured as needed. Most of the initial setup data should already be in place from legacy cleaning practices. Setting up the cleaning routes can take account of such factors as the usage of different spaces (rest room areas may need more attention than corridors).

The specific spaces to be cleaned on each route can be defined and physically marked by a choice of either printed QR code labels or NFC tags (the tags having greater physical robustness and are harder to duplicate). Cleaning staff can use their mobile device to scan the labels or tags at each space when they have completed the required processes.

A good app will offer real-time activity progress tracking and analysis. When an incident is reported to the helpdesk, the locations of all the operatives are known and the nearest cleaner can be assigned. The operative can be alerted via on-screen message, with an audible alarm or vibration sent to their mobile.

A cleaner may notice an issue that requires attention and can use the app to log it as a new incident, inputting details and supporting photographs where appropriate. Any unscheduled work carried out as a result may be chargeable, becoming an auditable item within CAFM. Clearly, in large-scale operations, where significant sums might accrue, it would be worth encouraging cleaners to recognise such opportunities.


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