Today’s facilities are capital-intensive tools used to drive better performance while supporting and enhancing overall business efficiency. Maximizing the value delivered through facility assets and services is paramount for senior leaders. But a large part of facility costs, particularly in maintenance, is tied to labor. It is this area where progressive facility managers are exploring innovation strategies.
At the ISSA 2018 trade show last year, we hosted an industry panel at which four of our customers shared their experiences evaluating and deploying the Neo commercial floor scrubbing robot. The cost and consistency of labor were highlighted as a key driver to automation.
“We have about 25,000 employees that work within our commercial cleaning business. Operating in North America, a cleaner now costs anywhere from $35,000-$45,000. The cost of labor is becoming very, very expensive. As well, the ability to get labor and get labor consistently is becoming more and more of a challenge. 12-15% of our workers don’t show up every day, so think about juggling that over millions and millions of square feet. Labor is one of the most significant drivers to automation we face today.”
As we state in our blog post, Why Robots Expand, Rather Than Replace, Jobs and Human Potential, we believe automation is a vital tool in helping facility operations teams improve efficiency, consistency and cleaning performance. In our experience, Neo is not deployed at facilities to replace cleaning staff but instead to work alongside them. Floor scrubbing automation releases time for operations teams to perform more important or time-consuming tasks during their shifts.
“Automation is really the next holy grail for us. In our business, it’s innovating or die. By having robots do repetitive, monotonous work, we can then have the humans do more important work, which is interfacing with our clients, being more intuitive, and it’s a huge part of our strategy going forward.”
Whether you’re managing a single facility or a multisite, vital considerations are multinational operations, recruitment challenges, sickness and absence. The Neo floor scrubbing robot can help keep a facility clean and it’s always ready for work. Additionally, it can do so on an increasingly-challenged budget. And, when it comes to performance, facility managers benefit from a dedicated web app for reports, called Avidbots Command Center plus a comprehensive suite of metrics that delivers breakthrough operational insight.
“We know every second that the robot runs and when it’s running, how long we can maximize the efficiency of that machine. If you have space and they’re available, you can run that robot 24 hours, so you can workload and you know where that machine has gone.”
By focusing on ways to make labor more efficient and productive, profitability gains can be realized and reinvested. A well-thought-out automation solution can reveal untapped operational efficiencies that enable facility managers to improve consistency, deliver higher standards and better customer experience.
Efficiency and productivity were just one of a host of topics discussed at our ISSA 2018 customer panel. Be sure to download our eBook, The Future of the Smart Building, to learn more about the trends shaping the future of facilities management.