Janitorial Consultant Tony Maione is keeping his finger on the technological pulse of the BSC industry.
As technology advances, new ways to solve industry-related problems such as workforce management, employee satisfaction and retention, client payment, on-site inspections and communication between team members is developing.
From phone apps to computer software, industry experts and technological consultants are constantly working on how to fix problems for BSCs of every size.
For Maione, technology is the fastest growing part of his consultant business. Keeping track of cleaning results and reports while also creating a platform for feedback that encourages improving relationships with clients is his center focus.
“The biggest hurdle is changing your mindset when you are developing technology,” Maione said. “We worked our way into it. You are providing one service. When you try to speed that service up [with technological advancements], you end up developing something that has a broader appeal.”
In developing a phone app to meet the needs of his clients, Maione had to understand that his expertise was not in technology development. He needed to develop a process that was competitive. To do so, he hired a technology consultant to work on their development team.
Bringing in experts from other industries was one of the crucial development moments for Maione in exploring the world of technology for BSCs. With this outside help, Maione was able to diversify his team.
“[The technology consultant] helped us recruit some top-tier people. The consultant also helped put in an agile work process. It’s a framework that helps technology development,” Maione said.
In addition to consulting experts, advanced internal communication was also key. With a development team of eight, frequent check-ins were a way to measure progress in developing new technology.
“We have a daily stand-up where the entire development team gets together to discuss what went right yesterday and what hurdles we have to overcome today,” Maione said. “Our development is very structured and disciplined. We listen to our customers and we constantly get their feedback. They help us develop.”
The big-picture goal for technology in this industry is to make things easier for BSCs that face unique challenges such as constantly managing different teams of people and shifting lists of clients.
With lots of changing variables in the industry, it was important for Maione to focus in on key issues he thought could be addressed by technological advancement.
For example, managing cleaning inspections is an industry issue for all types of BSCs. This timely task can become overwhelming for employees and team leaders with packed schedules. If it gets overlooked, quality can decrease and that can quickly lead to dissatisfied customers.
“We are always trying to figure out how to clean things faster and sometimes people ignore the fact that they have limited resources,” Maione said. “Cleaning inspections has to get faster.”
Technologies such as apps and other software are being developed and advanced to bridge that gap between how large your teams are and how big the tasks they need to complete are. Giving employees more time to do their tasks by alleviating some duties through technological advancements means that they have more time to focus on perfecting the tasks at hand.
Investing in technological advancements may not just improve employee performance, but could also improve feedback from clients, creating a common language that can be spoken between the business and the patron.
“I think the number one challenge is that many times contractors and their customers have a difficult time being on the same page on a quality level,” Maione said. "With [technological advancements], it puts them more on the same page and greatly improves their relationship.”
“If I’m a contractor and I’m cleaning a particular location, what happens is my customer might rely on anecdotal information like a missed trash can,” Maione said “With advanced tools, you can create inspection data you proactively track over time. It helps contractors retain clients at a higher rate and win more jobs.”
Tackling industry problems by developing technology means that BSCs can expedite time-consuming tasks and paperwork through digitizing their processes.
“Many contractors will say to me that their supervisors don’t have time to do inspections because they are so busy problem solving,” Maione said.
Through the use of apps and other mobile programs, a BSC is able to free-up time and resources that can then be allocated to improving performance quality.
“BSCs have a lot of options,” Maione said.
“If I were to put myself in their shoes, you want to select something that is the right fit for your organization.”
Tackling industry problems by developing technology means that bscs can expedite Time-consuming tasks.