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Innovation and Technology in the Facilities Maintenance Industry

InnovationAndTechnology.pngThe world has changed a lot since Marie and Alex Dinverno founded Prestige Maintenance USA back in the late 1970s. They had to manage the day-to-day operation of their growing cleaning company without the advantages of the technology that makes our jobs so much easier today.

These days, Marie and Alex’s son and daughter, Rachel Sanchez and Jason Dinverno, run the company using leading-edge innovations. PMUSA’s technology allows us to effectively manage customer work orders and staff — tasks that are paramount in the facilities maintenance industry.

Our chosen technology also allows us to work with customers more efficiently. After all, as companies move their operations online, it’s more important than ever for vendors to offer systems that integrate seamlessly for their customers.

2,500 eMPLOYEES, ONE SYSTEM

For the past four years, Prestige Maintenance USA has used EPAY Systems to manage our hourly workforce. The software tracks when employees punch in and out and from which location. This is especially important to PMUSA because many of our employees work in multiple locations and stores.

“We provide cleaning services to customers all over the country and have almost 2,500 employees companywide. At any given time, and at any given customer site, there can be as many as 12 employees working,” says Ron Stapleton, PMUSA’s Executive Director of Customer Retention and Development. “This technology enables us to see — at multiple layers of management — where everyone is, as well as when they clocked in.”

Frontline managers can pull up a dashboard from their mobile device and see all of their locations, as well as the status of all the employees they manage in real-time. The software also has the ability to generate automatic customer reports. This is an improvement over our old system, which was more tedious and required managers to take multiple steps to get the information they need.

THE IMPORTANCE OF RELIABILITY

In facility maintenance, having staff report on time is vital. Many customers have moved to early morning cleaning services in an effort to conserve energy, Stapleton says. There are also some “wet” cleaning processes that have to be completed before a store opens for business. When employees are late, the schedule tightens.

“When people are late, the window shrinks for us,” says Stapleton. “If we lose even a half an hour, we lose a lot of productive time.”

Our software allows managers to quickly resolve coverage issues before they become a problem for our customers. If an employee is more than 15 minutes late, for example, an alert is sent to their manager, who can then check to see if they are a no-show and make an alternate plan if necessary.

WORK ORDER EFFICIENCY

In addition to employee tracking software, PMUSA also uses a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) called CleanTelligent to manage employees, automatically generate work orders and optimize inspections.

With this innovative janitorial software, which PMUSA has been using for seven years, managers receive an e-mail alert when a customer submits a work order. There is no need for a dispatcher because orders are automatically routed through the software and directly sent to the field team. This is especially useful during emergency situations like the recent Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

“With the hurricane, we had work orders coming in for flooding, roof leaks and other emergencies that are not typically within our scope, but we were able to mobilize in advance and get there to help,” says Stapleton.

Many of PMUSA’s customers had to close their stores for multiple days after the storm. Because of good planning and the ability to receive instant alerts for work orders, PMUSA was able to step in and allocate resources all across the market — even to stores beyond our regular customer base.

“We were able to get back into the stores very early on and start the process of restoration,” says Stapleton. “We had the opportunity to shine because we were prepared.”

A MOBILE WORKFORCE 

Both the maintenance management and employee tracking software have mobile apps that push alerts and information to managers through their phones. CleanTelligent notifications can include document and photo attachments as well as alerts to let managers know when follow-ups to work orders are completed. The software also tracks frequency of projects and progress toward completion. (See our “5 Apps Every Facilities Manager Needs” post for more info on CT Mobile as well as other handy mobile apps.)

In addition to all this, the CMMS software functions as an inspection tool that can be customized to fit a customer’s scope of work. Many PMUSA customers have access to the system with their own login. They can easily upload photos with the mobile app to help them explain exactly what they need done — for example, photos to accompany a work order for carpet spot treatment.

“Our goal is for managers to have access to everything they need whether they are on site with a customer or in the car, driving between customer sites,” says Stapleton. “We are a mobile workforce. Our managers are in charge of as many as 15 locations — they are not sitting at a desk. They need to be able to pull reports and get what they need in real time so they can be more proactive and responsive to what our customers need.”

EVOLVING WITH INNOVATION

As technology evolves, so does the facilities maintenance industry. PMUSA is always in search of innovations that will improve efficiency and help us serve our customers better.

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