The recent advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence show the unprecedented eagerness of businesses to adopt new technologies. Cleaning services are no exception - but how one is supposed to adopt AI?
Technologies like ChatGPT or Midjourney, are capable of creating text or images from only a prompt delivered by the user. This brings disruption to multiple industries.
According to Tidio data, the market for Artificial Intelligence-based solutions is estimated to reach half a trillion-dollar threshold by the end of 2023. Also, 90% of businesses have invested in AI-based technologies. It is not surprising, since technology improves the productivity of more than 80% of employees.
But how this wondrous technology works? And more importantly - how it can support the cleaning business?
What is artificial intelligence?
The term “Artificial intelligence (AI)” refers to the set of technologies that are used to emulate human intelligence in computers. It is possible due to the advancements in artificial neural networks and cloud computing. The former delivered the technological framework to emulate the learning process of living creatures. The latter provided the world with a platform rich enough in storage and computing power to make this vision reality.
What is machine learning?
Machine learning is currently the most popular type of Artificial Intelligence technique. It enables the machine to learn more humanly, by analyzing the data to find repeatable patterns. It is later used to shape the machine’s behavior.
The most sophisticated applications of artificial intelligence are based on machine learning. This includes computer vision, natural language processing, or shaping the controlling algorithms of autonomous cars,
How artificial intelligence will support cleaning services
Artificial Intelligence is a powerful technology with the potential to transform people’s daily lives to an extent comparable to the introduction of the steam engine or electricity. The impact on the daily operations of the cleaning company is distributed and decentralized, yet seen in multiple aspects of the business. The key areas that will be influenced include:
Cleaning services become increasingly mechanized, utilizing a set of sophisticated tech tools like automatic window cleaners, autonomous vehicles, industrial-scale floor cleaners, or sensors monitoring the state of the building during the cleaning is performed.
This increasingly sophisticated equipment requires regular maintenance and investment - starting from refilling the resources to replacing parts to software updates.
When combining the data from sensors with Artificial Intelligence, it is possible to predict the upcoming downtime and prevent it or reduce it to a minimum. According to the MarketsAndMarkets report, the predictive maintenance market will be worth up to $15.9 billion by 2026, showing how great interest it generates among companies from various industries.
Artificial Intelligence in facility management
What can be done in a scale of a particular machine, can be extrapolated to the building or a whole complex of buildings. Infusing the building with the Internet of Things sensors and data collectors enables the company to build smart facility management.
The data harvesting can be used to monitor the incidents in real time. For example, getting a notification about an abnormal flow of water can be a signal of a leak. There can be also sensors used in paper towel dispensers or similar devices, informing about the upcoming need for a change.
Last but not least, with the incoming threat of climate change and the increasing interest in building sustainable buildings. This is an interesting application of Artificial Intelligence both for real estate managers and cleaning companies. Delivering accurate and precise environmental impact monitoring comes as an interesting and increasingly important asset.
Resource usage optimization
The core of optimization is about delivering the same effect using fewer resources or a greater effect using the same amount of them. When it comes to cleaning services, Artificial Intelligence can support this goal in two ways:
Optimizing employee routes in facilities - one of the ways to improve the efficiency of cleaning services is to optimize employee routing. The more sophisticated the floor layout, the more challenging the task is, ultimately being reduced to a traveling salesman problem. This can be tackled by neural networks, that combine the route to be cleaned, the number of employees, and additional conditions (for example the need to return the equipment to a proper storage room) and deliver the optimal routing.
Optimizing media usage - cleaning services are also about media usage, be that water, electricity, or detergents. The application of AI can deliver great savings from tiny, local optimizations. Reducing Google’s cooling bill by 40% by applying the AI model is only a top-of-mind example.
Communication facilitation/Customer service
Cleaning services are close ones - the janitorial company is invited into the private space of the institution, can see desks and documents, or can meet employees during working hours. This creates the need to build communication skills. It can be a challenge, especially if the cleaning company workforce is composed of people with disabilities, foreigners, or includes both groups.
AI-based tools like ChatGPT or comparable solutions can facilitate contact, even if intercultural communication is involved.
Also, the Natural Language Processing tools come as support when customer support is required, ready to tirelessly answer questions or react to the needs of the client.
Running every business, including the cleaning company, is a good deal of planning and scheduling. Usually, it is a form of traveling salesman problem, seen above. Also, the company needs restocking in basic resources like detergents, paper towels, and tools. Artificial intelligence (AI) can support both goals, either delivering more optimized routes between clients and vendors, or analyzing the owned resources in the search for optimal stocking strategy.
Quality control in cleaning services can be challenging - clients and customers expect the highest quality possible, while the owner comes with little to no way to control the working outcome.
With artificial intelligence solutions paired with augmented reality solutions or sensors, the cleaning company can ensure the highest standards. It can also deliver proof of work done to the client
Computer vision systems can ensure that various areas or surfaces are properly cleaned, using desired equipment and detergents. Also, additional tech can be leveraged, for example, UV cameras, to spot hidden marks and further improve the quality of cleaning services, in hospitals.
Improved security and safety
Last but not least, cleaning services need to stick to strict policies regarding the safety of both employees and clients. And these can be complicated.
For example, the company may expect the employee to use different sets of cloth to clean various surfaces, be that floors and tables. Also, one may expect to use a fresh or sterile cloth to clean some areas. For example, it applies to an operating theater or a maternity ward.
The same goes for employee safety. There is a need to wear protective gloves, masks, or goggles, so the detergents cannot cause any harm. Also, AI can contextually remind about leaving signs about the wet floor or even detect it in real-time using the cameras in AR headset.
Artificial Intelligence comes as a business game-changer in every industry existing, including cleaning services. The key is to find a good use case to augment the workflow with the AI-powered solutions. If you wish to talk more about AI transforming cleaning services, don’t hesitate to contact us now!