Join the digital revolution and make your visitors feel safe

Clint Lavallee, CEO of Optiqo Inc. in Canada, whose parent company Optiqo AB, in Sweden, explains the reasons behind the recent breakthrough for Optiqo´s solutions in North America and the benefits of introducing the solutions to Europe.

In a span of less than a year, Optiqo has signed on 3 major airports, several hospitals in Canada and the US, as well as end user clients within the educational, restaurant and retail segments. (Read more about how Seattle Airport is utilizing Optiqo´s solutions).
Moreover, several major cleaning contractors in Canada and the US have realized the importance of acquiring Optiqo's technology from a standpoint of validating internal day to day operations and to share such information with their client.

Accelerated market demand due to Covid-19
With every global crisis, history has shown that there will be casualties as well as opportunities and this is no different for the commercial cleaning and facility management industries. The reality is that such industries will need to introduce new tools that will create a sense of transparency and validate that they are performing their daily tasks and site inspections on a routine basis that is consistent with their contractual obligations. Moreover, advising the public as to your cleaning routines and frequencies will require much more than a piece of paper on the wall. For companies that are thinking out of the box and having a "Fear of Missing Out" mentality, they have already started looking for validation solutions in order to enhance their service offering to their customers. However, for those that attempt to remain with the status quo and think that their clients will remain loyal, think again. Your clients will only wait for you for so long before taking their own initiative to find a validation tool on their own. According to Clint Lavallee, CEO of Optiqo Inc., this is what has transpired over the past 2 years but has accelerated since the pandemic.

Lessons Learned from North America
"When we introduced the Optiqo suite of solutions to the North American market just over 2 years ago, our strategy was to approach the cleaning companies in anticipation that they would benefit from a mobile based application that used the latest NFC technology to validate their cleaning routines of their custodial staff as well as offering a validated and customized inspection solution using the same mobile NFC features. The premise was that cleaning companies could verify in real time whether any or all locations were being cleaned properly, validated, and confirmed through follow up inspections. Moreover, all the data was accumulated through a standard mobile device and was accessible through automated reports and KPIs via Optiqo's web-based portal. In essence, the need to collect data manually, via employee task sheets, and somehow transpose that into real time actionable data was no longer required. Optiqo's solutions would do these tasks automatically."

However, with the exception of a few cleaning companies that saw the Optiqo solution as a great operational as well as a sales tool, most cleaning companies elected to remain with their existing outdated technologies or manual validation procedures since Optiqo's solutions were seen as a "nice to have". As such, Optiqo opted to approach the facilities directly and the results were impressive to say the least.

For most of Optiqo's end user clients, that was the driving force of looking outward for a consistent validation solution. Most have multiple contractors with different solutions and the client was forced to adjust to different data applications. By acquiring Optiqo's solutions these same clients mandated the cleaning contractors to use the Optiqo solution and all data collected was then retained by the client.

End-customer Benefits
"When looking at most commercial environments, Optiqo realized that the public was merely provided a paper log sheet, mainly in the restrooms, to advise its patrons when the area was last attended to. In the current digital age, most placed little or no credence on the reliability of this information. Moreover, from a custodial service provider or property management company, collecting data from multiple locations on a daily basis was next to impossible." As such, Optiqo introduced an IoT device that would make use of NFC technology whereby, cleaning staff would simply scan the device and an embedded digital display would identify the last time the premises were last attended to. Additionally, Optiqo integrated a customer feedback solution so as clients could advise the cleaning company or property management company of any anomalies tied to cleanliness, maintenance or even inventory replenishment.

Optimised Cleaning Frequency
Optiqo also integrated an electronic traffic sensor (PIR) so as t¬¬o identify how many people would frequent a specific location at any given time. As such, as opposed to scheduling cleaning frequencies based on an hourly basis, you could now determine the traffic threshold and adjust your cleaning protocols accordingly.

Sending a team to clean every hour in a high traffic area may not be sufficient during daily peak periods but may be too frequent in evening and night shifts. In essence, the PIR sensor would notify you of traffic thresholds being attained between cleaning frequencies but allow you to manage your resources more efficiently during slower down periods as well. Add to that the fact that all data, including employee registration scans, are embedded within the device and uploaded over an Optiqo mobile network, and you now have a solution that identifies the cleaning status of your environments, regardless of quantity or location.

Next Steps
So, what does the future hold, especially with the pandemic firmly in place on a global scale? According to Mr. Lavallee, for most cleaning companies, it is an opportunity.

"What was a nice to have last year is clearly becoming a need to have now. Most cleaning companies, especially medium and smaller enterprises, do not have an electronic solution that validates cleaning tasks and daily site inspections via mobile NFC technology. In fact, most companies rely on inspection only applications which are merely digitalized inspection applications without sufficient validation technologies. And most top tier custodial service solutions are based on in-house applications that are now outdated and require constant updating to keep up with the latest technology."

By looking at the Optiqo offering, every commercial cleaning company can have the latest technology to compete economically and operationally, regardless of size, and to offer a solution that provides an ability to offer higher service quality, at a lower cost and to minimize the impact on the environment by migrating to a complete paperless environment. Moreover, moving forward, real time data will be the key value driver for both operational excellence as well as customer satisfaction. In the current climate of Covid-19 and its impact on businesses, the public's perception to any and all public environments will be paramount. For companies that fail to react accordingly, they will indeed become casualties of this pandemic.

For companies that see the potential and realize that they will need to adjust, Optiqo encourages them to look at Optiqo as an ideal partner to assist in transforming your business. We are interested in working with you to introduce the Optiqo solutions to your facilities or those of your clients and increase your industry presence for years to come.

NFC Enabled Task Validation and Inspection Applications

Optiqo works with high traffic environments to improve and validate cleaning frequencies and tasks validation through NFC based mobile applications. Our solutions can chronologically document all cleaning tasks as well as create and follow up on mobile inspections. All data, regardless whether it is from one or multiple locations, can then be automatically uploaded to a live KPI Dashboard for real time analysis, providing the ability to take decisions more proactively.

Digital Bathroom Hygiene Monitor With Non-Touch Customer Feedback Application

Optiqo also provides solutions that digitally identify when an area was last cleaned. Moreover, with multiple locations, how can outdated log sheets be collected and reported in real time? Through the use of Optiqo's Hygiene Monitors, site cleaning transparency has led to increased reassurance on the part of the end user (public facing) that management is taking their cleanliness and hygiene seriously. Should your premises need attention, your clients can advise in real-time via their mobile device

Customized KPI Dashboard

All KPI data can be accessed via any web-enabled device. Moreover, you can track key data sets such as inspections, task validations, and deviations all at the click of a mouse. This can have a positive effect on cost savings related to cleaning supplies as well as reducing costs attributed to physical resource allocation.


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