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U.K. University Expands NFC Solutions to Track Workforce at Three Campuses

The University of Wolverhampton uses Skillweb's SmartTask system to automatically track the work of personnel cleaning bathrooms, inspecting student housing rooms, servicing emergency equipment and more.
By Claire Swedberg
Jul 23, 2017

U.K four-year college University of Wolverhampton's Estates and Facilities department is expanding a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled workforce-management system from Skillweb known as SmartTask to all three of its campuses after completing a deployment for housekeeping and other staff members at its main campus. The system helps the college to manage and automate the tasks of its caretakers and coordinators as they clean or inspect dorm rooms, clean bathrooms, maintain emergency equipment, conduct security rounds and report for work at some locations.

The University of Wolverhampton consists of a city-center campus that serves as its main location, with second and third campuses in Walsall and Telford. Approximately 20,000 students are enrolled at the university, taking 380 undergraduate and post-graduate courses.

Since the technology was adopted, SmartTask has allowed the university to increase the productivity of its caretaking team that provides inspection, cleaning and maintenance services by 20 percent, says Sandy Shaw, the university's campus operations manager for estates and facilities. It also increases data accuracy by 70 percent, he adds.

That doesn't mean workers complete each room faster, Shaw notes. Rather, they capture more accurate information about each room, preventing the need for personnel to double-check repair work, cleanings and inspections.

In 2014, the university first began implementing the system for managing its cleaning team that serviced the school's 380 bathrooms. Twelve individuals worked at the main campus that began using the technology, while the college has now expanded the system to all 25 cleaning staff members on all three campuses.

By late 2015, Shaw says, his department began looking into other benefits the technology could bring to its main campus. "We found that it had so many advantages," he states, "we began looking into other uses for collating information in a central point."

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