If there’s one thing that matters in the worlds of Logistics and Retail, it’s efficiency. You can’t afford any delay when margins are tight and an entire supply chain relies on you completing deliveries to deadline.
Fortunately, there have been many innovations that make it easier to process orders accurately and efficiently. From radio-frequency identification to GPS systems (and even the growing use of autonomous drones), technology is shaping the future of Retail and Logistics. The problem is that there’s one area that often gets left behind, cleaning.
While it’s easy to see the impact of updating the equipment and systems that drive your profit centre, you still have to provide your support service teams with the right tools for the job. After all, your overall operations are only going to become more and more inefficient if your cleaning team can’t complete their tasks effectively. So, here are five ways you can ensure the smooth running of your warehouses with the latest cleaning technology.
1. Window cleaning robots – they’re not just for skyscrapers
When it comes to commercial window cleaning, the focus often seems to be on the biggest, tallest and most impressive buildings. Robots designed to clean skyscrapers get a lot of attention in this area, which is kind of fair when you think about how many windows there are, and how dangerous it is for workers to take on the task. However, we’ll soon see products able to clean the windows (and other external surfaces) of a much wider range of building.
This is set to be a huge growth area for innovation and one you need to keep an eye on. Just imagine how much time your team could save by having a robot that can easily reach the hardest to clean areas of your buildings. They can set it to work and get on with other tasks in need of the human touch or that offer greater value to your operations.
2. Let a team of robot janitors take the floor
Have you ever thought about how much floor space you have in your buildings? Sure, you probably know the square footage, but do you know how that translates into the time taken to clean it? Your cleaning team does. And it’s worth understanding exactly how much person power it takes to get the job done properly (if indeed you have the resources to do that, and your team isn’t playing catch-up).
Chances are, there are other tasks your team can be doing other than cleaning your floor space on a loop. The solution is to introduce a robot division to your cleaning team. With a set of robot janitors automating the floor cleaning process - while bringing added versatility and consistency to the task- your cleaners are free to work more effectively by taking care of the jobs the robots can’t do.
3. Cut out waste with the Internet of Things (IoT)
It’s clear there are tasks in your warehouse that can be automated and taken over by robots, but that’s not the only thing your cleaning team can streamline with technology. You can also introduce systems that eliminate the time spent on checking whether work actually needs doing, helping your workers to operate more efficiently.
A good example is when it comes to waste and recycling collection. Many teams will have to go around each bin manually, giving it a visual check to see if it needs emptying (not to mention the issues caused by overflowing bins they didn’t catch in time). With smart sensors in place, you can identify exactly which bins need dealing with and when. Even better is the fact you can delve into the data the sensors collect, identifying patterns and adapting your team’s behaviour accordingly. It might sound like a marginal gain, but – over time – it’s one that can make a big difference.
4. Build smarter operations with Management & Mobility
Cleaning and maintaining large warehouse spaces is a big task. The sheer size of many buildings makes it a big deal in itself before you think about any of the detailing work that might be required. So, why are many logistics and retail companies still using manual processes to keep track of their cleaning team’s progress?
Under such a system, workers either have to return to a central location to log each completed task or mark down what they’ve done as they go along. The first solution is incredibly time consuming, while the second leaves teams with no clear idea of which tasks are completed and which are still outstanding.
The solution? Equip each worker with a smartphone linked to a central Management & Mobility system that keeps everyone up-to-date with the latest progress. Say one person has completed a section; they can log this on their phone, and the rest of the team can instantly see this reflected on their devices. Not only does this make your operations more efficient and accurate (eliminating repeated work), it helps to raise maintenance issues as and when they’re encountered.
5. High-pressure cleaning – it’s not all about the robots
Of course, there are plenty of jobs that robots can’t do – and that includes tasks like cleaning your vehicles and other heavy-duty equipment. This can be time-consuming and complex, so you want to make it as easy as possible for your people to get the job done effectively and efficiently.
The good news is that there are always innovations arriving in the world of high-pressure cleaning. What more would you expect from a market that’s set to hit $3bn in the next five years? From improved results to greater versatility, new high-pressure cleaning systems are constantly pushing the boundaries of what you can achieve.
5. Keep up with the latest innovations
The cleaning industry is on the move, that much may be clear. Driven by the opportunities that new technologies bring; great things are already happening in the industry. It is important to stay up-to-date on new ways to improve the work environment for your employees. The Interclean newsletter will inform you about what is happening in the industry.