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Specific software15th of October 2010
Dutch correspondent Anton Duisterwinkel discusses software dedicated to cleaning operations.
The Netherlands has a bit of a reputation when it comes to software development. Examples are games like Overlord and the gaming sites of Spil Games; the navigation software of Tom-Tom and accounting software. No less so in cleaning. Specific cleaning software has been developed for calculating quotations, for planning, for process control, for quality control and more.
It is impossible to list all software tools in this brief article - let’s just mention a few. Typical examples of software for cleaning companies are Intersoft of Nocore and ItsClean of AaRiverSide. Intersoft is a multilingual application available in modules for accountancy; salary records; calculation, quotation and billing; administration of supplies, etc. One of the newer options uses cleaning staff's mobile phones to register the actual hours worked in different locations. ItsClean is able to automatically bill cleaning work by email, reducing the workload for companies.
Masterkey-Plus, on the other hand, supplies software for the customer. Contract management and quality control are key issues. The quality control is based on the famous VSR quality measurement system which yields a statistically sound evaluation of cleaning quality. The quality is determined by checking a random selection of listed items that should have been cleaned. A quality inspector visually judges whether this item indeed was cleaned (with the proper method). This software is available on PDAs, so that the inspector can enter his findings and remarks directly into the software. Comparable software is delivered by Factos, Care4IT and Shape Automisation.
PDAs are also used in the Jonmaster Auditing System, which Diversey developed with the Dutch cleaning company Hectas Schoonhouden. This software is aimed at the process control of cleaning. An auditor checks whether the correct cleaning materials are present and the right methods are being used, for instance. Again data are entered into the PDA, sent to a central computer and processed automatically to provide very useful management information. The product won the 2006 ISSA/INTERCLEAN Innovation Award, as it introduced the concept of process control.
Safety is another driver for automation. The small window cleaning company IntExt Glasbewassing noticed with increasing business came more mistakes. Specific planning software was needed to ensure all jobs were done and all cleaners received proper safety instructions for each job. Owner Michiel de Reus ordered a small software company to develop dedicated and fool-proof software, and was very happy with the results. It saves time - and trouble.
A very recent development is the Bloe concept that was introduced at ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2010. In this system sensors in the sanitary rooms communicate their status to a central computer. These data can help to optimise cleaning efficiency and cleaning quality, as cleaning is only performed when actually needed. Again, this system comes with Dutch software inside. This example shows software is entering almost every aspect of cleaning. What’s next, one wonders.