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Artilce by Kim Ball featured in Inclean Magazine February/March 2010
INFORMATION technology, systems or management - we either love them or loathe them. Either way in this rapidly growing digital era they are tools we need learn to use and live.
Perth cleaning and supply companies have embraced the world of IT and are using it to improve, promote and grow their businesses.
All staff at Statewide Cleaning Supplies have iPhones as a tool for communication and the company has had great success using their website and online purchasing system.
Triumphant Property Services have installed a remote token service to manage their cleaning sites electronically with positive results and ALLClean Property Services Plus is achieving success with their rapid response crew.
The group have tokens permanently fixed at cleaning sites which display a six-digit code that changes every 60 seconds.
"When staff arrive at site they sms the code and the computer logs them in as being at work," Daniels said.
"This means accurate and paperless timesheets, increased time efficiency, and an easy mode of communication with staff on site.
"For example if we have instructions for a site on a particular day the system will send those instructions directly to our staff person when they log in.
"We have alerts programmed into the system which involves a detailed report being sent to my mobile if someone does not log in and staff skill sets are in the system to help us select the best person for the job."
Triumphant introduced the RTS 12 months ago as an effective way to digitally record timesheets. Timesheet information is automatically transferred to their accounting software to pay staff which according to Daniels enables them to guarantee the reliability of their service and in turn promote the business.
Daniels believes the system has also increased security of service and accountability of staff by eradicating the possibility of logging timesheets dishonestly or lying about being at work at the time of an injury.
"It has also improved safety for our staff, he said. "If something should happen to a staff person working alone on-site at 10pm on a Friday night, there is the potential they would not be found till Monday morning. With this system if that person is due to finish at 11pm and have not logged out the system will produce a message informing me and I can either call or go and find them.
Statewide have invested their marketing dollars into their IT systems, specifically their website, as a way to differentiate themselves from their competition.
Statewide General Manager Aaron Woodall said their greatest success had come from their online footy tipping competition.
"We run the competition entirely through our website," he explained. "It is a great because people involved are in contact with us twice a week during the competition i.e. March to December.
"They get reminder emails, we use the database to promote weekly specials, we give away weekly prizes and photographs of winners are posted on the website.
It's a free competition that we invite our clients, major suppliers and staff to participate in and has created a sense of friendly competition amongst industry peers.
"It is also telling us where people are going when they change jobs because they contact us to update their details so they continue to be included in the competition."
Woodall explained how important it was to have the Statewide's website managed in-house.
"A website needs to be more than just a glorified brochure, he insisted. "It has to be a living and breathing environment involving constant change. Having something interactive in the website, like the footy tipping competition, is vital. For us, this leads people to our online purchasing system and introduces them to the online environment in a subtle way."
As Statewide clients become more IT savvy, Woodall says their demand for information increases.
The group is working on new software to help extract data for clients from their system that is not labour intensive and software to compliment new and existing clients systems.
"Our clients are interested in what products are being used on all of their sites, how products are packaged, what consumption is like, pricing and the category the product comes under," Woodall explained.
"Giving people back their purchasing information in a format they can manipulate and use for their own benefit is something we are increasingly being asked for.
"We are working very closely with a lot of our main partners to share information we generate which helps them provide us with the resources we need to better service the market."
Contact cleaning group ALLClean Property Services Plus are getting results from an ingenious use of technology. The group have five full-time staff in fully equipped vans each fitted with GPS systems and satellite navigation all of which are connected to the office.
According to ALLClean General Manager Tony Russell this means they can tell where each rapid response crew member is located at any given time.
"It is a very handy tool to be able to respond quickly and efficiently to emergency response calls from clients," he shared.
"We provide emergency response work for corporate offices, defence housing, special projects and banks.
"We receive high priority call outs which need to be responded to within one to three hours like ATM machines that have been defaced and require cleaning before business trading commences.
"Recently we responded to a break-in call involving glass. The client called us because they couldn't allow staff in to the building safely until the glass was cleaned up. We were able to have staff on-site and remove the glass within 45 minutes."
The rapid response crew, managed by ALLClean Services Manager Vicki Thomas, have been on board for five years.
Russell admits the system is costly to operate because they are paying full-time wages to have people available however by effectively coupling crew members with other tasks they are making it work.
"Staff have a list of contracts to fulfil in a month and the rest of the time they are on tap so to speak," he said.
"It works really well for us; the response from clients has been very positive and has proven to be a valuable sales tool for potential clients to know they have this service available to them."
Source: Inclean Magazine V23, Issue 1, February/March 2010