robotics in facility management or robots in cleaning services

Robotics in Facilities Management Services

Published on : 2/9/22
  • Robotics in Facilities Management Services

    Once a part of sci-fi movies, robots have now become an indivisible part of daily lives. They can be found everywhere – mopping the floor in households, performing mechanical or high-risk technical jobs in industries, assisting doctors in hospitals, conducting online classes and corporate video-conferencing through telepresence, disarming bombs in defense units and even acting as explorers in outer space.

    Moreover, the recent pandemic brought forth safety protocols that in turn manifested the need for robots at every workplace too. In fact, now there is an inherent requirement to employ robots quite extensively in organisations as they signify smarter operations, improved cleanliness and hygiene. 

    How do robots support cleaning services?

    In addition to safety, use of robots is advantageous in many other ways, especially in the area of large facility management.

    • Increase consistency and reliability – The efficiency of cleaning staff differs a lot and hence there is inconsistency in the way the work is carried out. Additionally, there is a lot of attrition that presents the need for frequent hiring and training. Employing robots takes care of both the problems. Robots can carry out the same work every day, at every place quite consistently, without the cons of monotony creeping in. They are also quite robust and work for several days at a stretch without wearing out.
    • Are cost-effective – Robots turn out to be economical as they have good longevity. Efforts are also on to decrease the cost of manufacturing of robots with better technology interventions. This can ease the pressure on facility managers as they can meet enhanced cleaning requirements without increasing costs or overworking human teams.
    • Provide better data insights – Since robots are automated, it is much easier to collect data from them with reference to performance indicators like cleaning coverage, number of routes run, percentage of autonomous usage vs manual, etc. Visual reference points are also available through visual heat maps that can provide evidence of cleaning. These data insights enable facility managers to streamline their operations, provide transparency of working and ensure compliance with standard procedures. Pre-programming is possible which reduces the need for a managerial intervention, audit & inspection.
    • Do not replace humans – Robots are designed by humans to manage their work in a better way. They are operated by humans and work in tandem with humans to complete tasks efficiently; they cannot replace humans. In fact, by doing the monotonous and even dangerous tasks quickly and competently, robots allow humans to devote their time to strategic priorities instead.
    • Increase self-esteem – With robots taking over the menial tasks, the housekeeping staff is now put in charge of operating these robots, thus giving them a bigger and more important role to play, requiring a certain degree of skill and professionalism. This increases self-esteem of the staff that comes along with a better pay package.

    Potential areas of robot deployment in facilities management

    There is scope for robot implementation in several aspects of facilities management. To begin with, they can scrub, clean, mop floors, which becomes a huge advantage in large facilities like manufacturing plants, office campus, cafeterias, airports, to name a few. Robots can be used for washroom cleaning with great efficiency and consistency. Other tasks like painting walls and mowing the lawns too can be done by robots. Visitor management, food service and similar experience enhancement tasks can be proficiently handled by robots. They can be programmed to greet visitors, escort them to meeting rooms, serve them customized refreshments as well to ensure consumer delight.

    Thus, robots are no longer a temporary requirement in workplaces due to the pandemic. They are a part of new business thinking and technological disruption that will increase productivity and help solve complex challenges in the long run. They will help create a better everyday for everyone to build a better life for all. 

    How Sodexo is using robots successfully in facilities management

    The client base of Sodexo in India includes corporates, manufacturing units, healthcare institutions and educational institutions. Owing to its global footprint and technological innovations over the decades, Sodexo has successfully introduced robots in workplaces to maintain safety and hygiene and offer the highest degree of cleanliness. Robots help to clean entire facilities including washrooms at regular intervals and also on employee request. They help in preventive maintenance of technical equipment and also provide visitor management services.

    Thus, robots are no longer a temporary requirement in workplaces due to the pandemic. They are a part of new business thinking and technological disruption that will increase productivity and help solve complex facilities management challenges in the long run. They will help create a better everyday for everyone to build a better life for all.

    For more information on our facilities management services, click here or email us at Bdindia.IN.APAC@sodexo.com