Connected cleaning: enhanced efficiency for building cleaning

26th of October 2015 Article by Markus Asch
Connected cleaning: enhanced efficiency for building cleaning

Markus Asch, vice chairman of the management board at cleaning equipment manufacturer Kärcher and president of EUnited Cleaning, writes his latest blog for the ECJ website. His theme: connected cleaning and the megatrend of networking.

"There is no longer anything new. Everything that can be invented has been invented". Charles H. Duell, commissioner of the US Patent and Trademark Office, ventured this daring prediction when he retired in 1899.

It would be an understatement to say that this was a gross misjudgement. In fact the opposite is the case: the number of patent applications being filed around the world is increasing every year. As such, it comes as little surprise that entire industries and branches time and again experience periods of major upheaval.

Building service contractors are no exception. In recent years, two factors have emerged as the driving force behind building cleaning. Number one: the development of new machines to mechanise cleaning operations carried out manually up to now, thereby enabling them to be performed more quickly and thoroughly than before.
And number two: improvements to existing machines.

However there is now another development beginning to make waves in our industry, whose potential is not yet clear: the megatrend of networking. It lies at the core of concepts such as the Internet of Things, smart buildings and machine to machine communication, and opens up a number of new possibilities for applying intelligent services in conjunction with building cleaning.

What could this mean in concrete terms? Here are a couple of examples to demonstrate its potential. Imagine a lift that knows how many people are entering and exiting on which floor. This information can be factored into cleaning planning, as it could help determine how often the coffee machine or water dispenser is used.

When booking the use of a meeting room, it is now common in many companies to arrange the catering options along with it. Conference and meeting rooms are only provided with electricity, heating and air conditioning when the rooms are marked as 'occupied' in the booking system. It is just as easy to arrange for building cleaning via the same system after the meeting is finished.

By incorporating weather forecasts into the planning process for outer shell maintenance activities (window cleaning, the cleaning of solar panels, care and maintenance of outside areas and green spaces), this enables these tasks to be carried out more efficiently and at reduced cost.

The result of such considerations will be a process that ensures timely cleaning and the availability of the appropriate equipment at any time. But how can we realise this potential? This is a question that I wish to address in my next blog post.

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