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The environmental services (ES) industry is undergoing major changes as companies are adopting new technology to making cleaning and waste management jobs smarter, safer and easier. The ES industry had always been heavily reliant on manual labour, resulting in costly operations as progressive wage laws and a shortage of workers drove up wages. Fundamentally, the productivity of the ES industry was also capped by physical limits of a cleaner – of whom tend to be from the older generations.

 

With all the aforementioned problems, it was crucial for new technology to act as a disrupter in this traditional industry in order to propose new solutions to bring up the productivity and capabilities of the workforce.

 

In fact, tech solutions company are re-imagining who or what constitutes to be a part of the ‘workforce’. It is no longer limited to only being the cleaners, the managers and the supervisors where tech serves as a cleaning aid to help them carry out their tasks. Modern solutions see to tech being a part of the workforce themselves as they are able to take over some of the tasks from man, allowing the individual to focus on other higher-value tasks. The tech solutions are able to operate autonomously with minimal need of human intervention.

 

Here at IFSC, we know that manpower will always be an integral part of the environmental services industry and our solutions should not be looking at replacing human labour, but at how we can play an active role in supporting and maximising human labour at where it is most needed.

 

When developing our solutions, we worked on the ground with members of the ES industry, finding out their pain points and incorporating it into our solutions.

 

For example, cleaners raised important points about how they were unable to fulfil all the ad-hoc tasks because the bulk of their time will be spent mopping the floors. These are mindless and time-consuming tasks that needs to be carried out frequently to maintain the cleanliness of the buildings, yet completing it means the cleaners are unable to attend to other urgent tasks. Hence, we are proposing solutions to relieve cleaners from basic tasks of scrubbing, vacuuming and mopping with the ECOBOT, allowing the cleaners to have more time to focus on tasks such as sanitisation and taking out trash.

 

On a managerial level, the Simpple ecosystem assists managers and supervisors in workforce management and carrying out audits. Individuals at the managerial level find themselves dealing with large amount of paperwork and calls daily to keep track of the facility as well as manage their staff, and it means that it may be easy to overlook certain issues and not realise it till a member of the public raises it to the facility owner. That does not reflect well on the ES company and hence it is crucial for the implementation of solutions to help managers and supervisors have a clearer view of the facility’s operations.

Chapter Two:

Problems with the Environmental Services Industry