Automation for the Cleaning Industry

Robotic solutions enable service providers to automate tasks and collect performance data to grow business

Automation for the Cleaning Industry Courtesy of SoftBank Robotics

The automation inflection point is rapidly approaching. Companies that fail to prepare will find themselves falling behind. For many industries, automation has proven itself as a way to go further with existing labor resources. The manufacturing and warehousing industries paved the way, by proving that efficiencies can be gained through thoughtful deployments. By incorporating automation—specifically robotics—into everyday workflows, service organizations can now join the movement and stretch their solutions further.

For most service industries, the struggle of rising labor costs, increased client requirements and maintaining margins continues. However, with a lack of true performance standards—and a constantly churning workforce—it’s tougher than ever to gain client trust while confirming reliable delivery of services. In spite of all this, hardworking service providers are fighting to measure and prove their differentiated offerings in the market on a daily basis.

Tackling these challenges can now be accomplished by automating routine and mundane tasks, collecting and delivering performance data, creating better jobs and improving the lives of employees and people around the world. This can all be achieved with a single deployment of automated technology.

Robotics and Automation

As organizations make the shift to automation many have turned to robotics to increase efficiency. Robotics have helped prove that automation helps augment the existing workforce while driving better business performance. As a specific example, humanoid robots are helping hospitality, retail, and educational organizations shift toward automation. The results include augmenting the work of sales representatives and support representatives while driving client and employee satisfaction.

One use case of humanoid robotics making automation deployments successful is in retail banking. By deploying humanoid robotics, a banking institution experienced 60% growth year over year in new business. The organization has seen improved customer satisfaction, an increase in employee engagement and retention, and grown their employee base to help manage the influx of new customers as a result of improved net promoter scores, which indicate a customer’s willingness to recommend a product or service to others. All of this has been achieved through a thoughtful deployment of robotics.

Robotics and the Cleaning Industry

Robotics companies are using their success to move into new industries that can benefit from the advantages of automation, such as the cleaning industry.

There has never been a more exciting time to be in commercial cleaning. With new skyscrapers emerging in almost every city, and a 40% increase of commercial square footage expected by 2050, according to the University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems, there are endless opportunities for organizations that want to grow. Although exciting, this also exacerbates a lot of the issues that the industry faces. Similar to most service industries, the cleaning industry is currently grappling with rising labor costs, labor shortage, and clients’ expectations that contracts deliver more services, at the same prices. So, the cleaning industry must embrace automation in order to prepare for the building boom that is upon us.

The most impactful automation deployments occur in industries with highly repetitive tasks. New robotic solutions, such as autonomous sweepers, enable janitorial teams to tackle some of their most time-consuming, repetitive tasks quicker and more efficiently. Time saved on labor can help the cleaning industry provide workers with more opportunities for advancement and allow them to start providing true cleaning performance data. This will ultimately improve client satisfaction.

The Benefits of Robotics for the Cleaning Industry

Robotics will help commercial cleaning companies bridge the physical and digital gap, bringing performance management and analytics to real-world tasks. By helping commercial cleaning companies perform better and deliver data to clients about cleaning performance, robotic solutions can give these service providers the advantage they need to grow existing contracts.

Imagine being able to:

  • Use machines to free up manual, redundant work
  • Better structure contracts so they’re a win-win for you and your clients
  • Use data to standardize the cleaning process
  • Capture and show performance every single time you clean
  • Broaden your scope of work, to see new opportunity with existing resources

By augmenting the existing workforce through the automation of repetitive tasks, janitorial teams can drive value through efficiency, consistency, and innovation. There is also the added benefit that proven performance data will help elevate and standardize the health and cleanliness of all properties.


Posted On October 14, 2019

Brady Watkins

Brady Watkins is the head of commercial automation at SoftBank Robotics America. He advises SoftBank partners in their automation-enabled business innovation, focusing on products and services for commercial management in sectors such as real estate, transportation, and retail. Watkins works across development, engineering, marketing, and customer success to tailor strategic connected robotics solutions to partner needs and business objectives. He’s an alumnus of University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.


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