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How Can Software for Laptops, Smartphones and Tablets Improve Business and Profitability for Cleaning Professionals? - Process Cleaning for Healthy Facilities™
Healthy Facilities™

How Can Software for Laptops, Smartphones and Tablets Improve Business and Profitability for Cleaning Professionals?

By Dennis Parker

1.           While technology in the form of laptops, netbooks, smartphones and tablets has made us more efficient and connected, how are these technologies helping facility service providers?
Online inspection, work order, reporting software systems tie together multiple locations and various departments, standardizing quality assurance inspections, work order follow-up, and automated reporting of performance of the scope of work. These systems provide periodic task scheduling that calendars frequency and extra work, as well as PM's on equipment, safety and trainings, and any other necessary planning and performance execution of the scope of work.
These systems professionalize communications between the company's customer service efforts, and the customers' understanding and perception of contract fulfillment with online oversight. You can show benchmark scores against current service performance, and show trends of continuous improvement.
These systems track and report regulatory compliance, manage programs such as "green" initiatives, document training and safety programs, conduct customer surveys, and automate any number of other data collection and audit tracking functions, reporting performance even worldwide.
These systems allow for optimization of the coordination of personnel, resources, and assets, maximizing the effectiveness of the organization. They act as a tickler file sending out action item/work orders by e-mail and text messages, alerting those involved as respondents to complaints or other scheduled tasks and events.
These systems also allow for customers and contractors to enter into a true partnership relationship with more customer oversight and contract disclosure by allowing the customer to view online submitted inspections, open action items/work orders, and run their own reports of the contractor's performance. They document complaints and operational improvement trends giving proof of sustainable acceptable levels of contractor performance.
The data collection can be entered from a number of different sources such as your laptop or desktop or be entered from handheld devices through the Internet.
The inspection system should be customizable allowing for changes in templates to be created at the customer level avoiding ongoing programing and additional fees. The system could be used for numerous data collection purposes, with multiple score values or score types achieving customer satisfaction in the required rating systems for each purpose, cleaning audits, safety, risk management, regulatory compliance and so forth.
The system will also calibrate instantaneous scores in the field upon inspection completion, giving the inspector immediate feedback. Inspections and score results can also be validated through the systems capability to upload from the handheld device, both pictures of deficiencies or corrections, and verifying signatures of the inspector and the customer-agreed-upon score values.
2.           What features of cleaning tracking and inspection software are most helpful in this regard?
Operational Efficiencies - These systems save inspection time, data input time, consolidation and report generating costs, and travel and vehicle expense. You can avoid or reduce fines by being proactively prepared for OSHA, MSDS, and Right to Know, HACCP, HAZMAT and other audits. They automate all maintenance inspections such as custodial, landscape, equipment, I.T. systems, roofs, and others.
New Services - These systems give contract service providers new service opportunities assisting customers with additional services consolidating management for the customer and increasing revenue streams for the service contractor. Service contractors can also manage sub-contractors efficiently through the system, making them of more value to the customer in their overall scope of services rendered, and reduction of cost.
New Customers and Improved Customer Retention - Companies that are leading their marketing efforts with technological advancements and advantages to their customers through these systems are winning greater contract opportunities from less sophisticated competitors, and experience higher customer retention rates. A few years ago these systems were cutting edge. Now some new additional features are considered cutting edge, but everyone is automating these operational issues to be competitively efficient. If you have not reviewed what is in the market lately in the way of new improvements and pricing structure, it is a good thing to take a fresh look.
Note: Such software is also making it easier to implement ISSA's Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools (PC4HS).
As one example, please see: http://www.cimsvektr.com/ 
For more information, visit: http://www.cimsvektr.com/ReferencesArticles.html

About Dennis Parker

Dennis Parker was a building service contractor for 14 years, a distributor sales representative (DSR), as well as a Distribution Center and Sales Manager/sales  trainer, and advisor for more than two decades.  Among other endeavors, he is a marketing and sales consultant for Nuvek LLC - The VEKTR® Web and Mobile Based Software Program for data collection, inspections/audits, follow up work orders, and reporting.  Dennis is ISSA - CIMS I.C.E Certified and he assists other I.C.E. Consultants and CIMS assessors by making the VEKTR® software system available to them at no charge to use in their management of client certification processes putting the project online and in real time.