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Beacons Bring Visibility to Cleaning Service Staff Work

Spotless, an Australian cleaning-services company, is using Lighthouse's solution to track janitorial workers at shopping malls.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 01, 2015

Lighthouse, an Australian provider of a cloud-based software platform that integrates mobile apps with Bluetooth beacons, has opened an office in the United States in a bid to grow the customer base for its enterprise-based beacon solution. Cleaning and maintenance service provider Spotless is utilizing the system to manage its workers at malls in Australia.

Spotless provides janitorial services to malls and other customers. For some of its customers, whose facilities are located in high-traffic public areas, the janitorial services provided must be very intensive—in a food court, for instance, a cleaning person is expected to walk through and clean the area every five minutes. For bathrooms, the cleaning requirements may be set at every 20 minutes, in part to protect against "slip and fall" litigation. Without an automated system, a cleaning company has had to rely on staff reports—often manually written down on paper by the workers—regarding how many times services were provided in each area. Spotless tried using a solution requiring that employees tap a passive RFID tag built into a wand against a reader installed in each location, but found that if an employee forgot to tap his or her wand at the reader, the time that individual spent at that location was not recorded. It also created a disruption of work for staff members.

Lighthouse employees install a Bluvision Bluetooth in front of the Apple store at the Westfield Doncaster Shopping Center in Victoria.
During the past year, the cleaning company conducted a pilot deployment of Lighthouse's solution at two malls (in New South Wales and in Victoria), where Lighthouse installed a total of 300 beacons in places such as the food courts, in front of stores and in bathrooms, according to Michael Carne, Lighthouse's sales and partnership VP, who is based at the company's New York office. Spotless employees use an Android-based smartphone running an app that Lighthouse developed and then integrated with the Lighthouse software platform. Lighthouse is also providing Spotless with content-management and analytics software on its hosted server. Spotless found the solution successful enough that it is now deploying the technology at all 40 of the malls it services throughout Australia, with the total quantity of installed beacons expected to reach 10,000.

Two years ago, a Melbourne-based digital solutions developer called InLight launched Lighthouse, with an initial focus on providing software-management systems using GPS for location data, and more recently Bluetooth beacons. Lighthouse is piloting its technology at casinos and hotels for tracking the movements of security personnel, as well as pursuing customers in the cleaning and maintenance sector. Carne notes that while there is a lot of buzz around beacon solutions for retail and promotion applications, enterprise solutions also provide considerable benefit.


Devika Girish 2015-06-10 12:40:33 AM
Great read. In addition to removing the need for paper-based records by logging the presence of cleaning service staff and maintenance crews, beacons can also be used to measure dwell time to generate analytics on how long different activities take.This data can then be used to measure productivity or adjust schedules to maximize the productivity of your workforce. We have discussed in detail on how beacons can help enterprises with operational challenges here: http://blog.mobstac.com/2015/02/beacons-in-the-enterprise-7-ways-to-make-the-most-of-it/
Chris Turner 2015-07-29 05:27:39 PM
It is great to hear about the way these new technologies are being used around Australia. Especially considering that they help reduce waste and increase efficiency in operations. Good show, Lighthouse. Uniform programs, http://bit.ly/AUS072015Uni, often help with improving efficiency while reducing waste and cost, but adding in the technology of tracking employees, equipment, and items takes it to the next level!
Chris Turner 2015-07-30 05:14:27 PM
New System has been using RFID for a while with the rental program and had a good bit of success but it would be interesting to see how they could integrate RFID with bluetooth and the cloud could be a real, robust solution in their Seattle and Portland operations.

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