European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2017 winner - SmartTask

5th of July 2018
European Cleaning & Hygiene Awards 2017 winner - SmartTask

The University of Wolverhampton in the UK teamed up with technology solutions partner SmartTask in 2015 to develop and implement an advanced employee scheduling and remote workforce management solution to gain effective visibility and control across its campus operations
and estate management. The project won the 2017 award for Best Use of Technology in a Cleaning Programme.

The advanced software solution at the University of Wolverhampton covers all reception desk, security, caretaking and cleaning teams to provide rota planning, proof of attendance, performance reporting and electronic auditing. It is being used across three main campuses which deliver over 500 undergraduate and postgraduate courses to around 20,000 students.

With a diverse range of teams spread across those three campuses, the University’s central facilities function faced a host of challenges in terms of administration and management. And ongoing cost pressures and budget constraints meant it was necessary to maximise the performance of available resources at all times to achieve the highest levels of productivity possible.

“The long-term objective was to implement a workforce management solution that would help deliver value for money services on behalf of the faculties and departments, while improving standards for students”, explained Sandy Shaw, campus operations manager, estates and facilities.

The University selected SmartTask, the employee scheduling and mobile workforce management solution, to overcome the scheduling difficulties it faced for its communications rota. “We developed SmartTask to provide cleaning operations with the tools they need to performance manage staff and improve employee accountability,” said Paul Ridden, ceo of SmartTask. “While trialling the software, however, it quickly became clear the system could support a wide range of applications that would provide effective visibility and control across campus.”

Following the initial pilot scheme, the University rolled out SmartTask to help support static- and demand-based resourcing. Proof of attendance monitoring is also enabling the central team to track any missed shifts with KPI analysis for employee performance management.

Meanwhile integrated inspections, incident reporting and smart forms are simplifying and streamlining auditing processes, risk assessments and compliance checks. This is not only reducing administrative time and effort in terms of storage, retrieval and reporting of information, but also allowing the central team to quickly identify and respond to problem areas.

The University is also using the Intelligent Rostering capabilities to schedule the 19-strong team, using a workflow algorithm to identify suitable staff based on availability, holidays, historical shift patterns and exact job requirements. Rosters are either via email or through the MySmartTask app, which staff can download to their personal smartphones.

The team of 25 in-house day cleaners is issued with NFC-enabled smartphones at the beginning of each shift, scanning start and end times using personal log-in cards to confirm attendance. This helps to quickly identify any missed shifts, so alternative arrangements can be made, while providing an accurate record of working hours for operational reporting and payroll.

Using the smartphones to access SmartTask, cleaners can then view an electronic list of their work schedule. RFID tags have been installed at 380 toilet facilities across three campuses. Cleaners simply have to scan the smartphone over the tags at each location to register the completion of work.

Meanwhile, supervisors are using electronic forms via SmartTask to undertake work audits and a number of checks. This includes chemical checks at all store rooms in line with Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.

“SmartTask is helping us take control of our remote teams, making sure they are operating safely in accordance with our precise operational requirements,” continued Sandy Shaw. “As a result we are delivering higher levels of compliant service by making the most of our workforce, while streamlining administrative and management processes to target cost, time and resource efficiencies.

“The flexibility of SmartTask, combined with the ongoing support of the team, has enabled us to implement a phased roll-out in-line with resource, time and funding availability within the facilities team. We are committed to continual improvement of the delivery of service and standards to our students and staff at the University of Wolverhampton. Without the support and benefit of SmartTask I simply could not have achieved that,” Shaw concluded.

And the SmartTask project at the University of Wolverhampton is already moving forward, explained Paul Ridden. “The next step is to create a customer portal that will provide stakeholders within the University with online access to relevant operational information. It will communicate key performance data against agreed SLAs, which will help provide both reassurance and peace of mind that the operation is working successfully and delivering value for money.

“The University will also shortly be adopting an updated version of the Intelligent Rostering system that offers an enhanced monthly overview to better display work schedules,” Ridden continued. “This will support the roll-out of the rota tool and replace an existing manual process. Which will further simplify the planning, as well as integrate the recording of staff absences and holiday requests into a single system.”


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