Frasers Property Retail’s new performance-based cleaning contract will incorporate Internet-of-Things to enhance cleaning operations. (Photo credit: Hong Ye Group)
As mall operators, we are committed to providing the best experience for our shoppers and this includes providing a clean and hygienic space for the community. The importance of hygiene and cleanliness came to the fore amid the COVID-19 outbreak and we have enhanced our cleaning operations to better safeguard the health and safety of our shoppers, tenants and staff. Over the past year, we stepped up our cleaning efforts and leveraged on technology to optimise our cleaning operations.
Some of these initiatives include the deployment of , known as Sunburst UV Bots in April 2020, and using to provide disinfection inside toilets, lift cars, nursing rooms and common areas under a phased roll-out schedule, to complement the existing manpower in upkeeping hygiene standards within the malls. With cleanliness and hygiene remaining as top priorities, it is important to leverage the right technological tools to improve efficiency and productivity.
Adopting a tech-enabled cleaning system
On 1 April, our malls embarked on a tech-enabled cleaning approach which incorporated the Internet-of-Things (IoT) to optimise cleaning operations and empower our cleaners. This includes the installation of sensors, feedback panels and other smart technologies, adding a layer of intelligence to our processes and streamlining our workflow.
IoT refers to a network of internet-connected devices that is able to collect and exchange data in real-time. The technology is ubiquitous in our everyday lives and can be found in a range of devices from motion sensors installed in smart lights to wearable healthcare devices. The possibilities and benefits of IoT are endless, and in leveraging it for our cleaning processes, we aim to empower the cleaners in our malls, optimise manpower allocation and improve the overall shopping experience. The new system will be implemented in phases, with pilot trials starting at six malls1.
To allow shoppers to provide timely feedback on the overall cleanliness of the space, feedback panels are installed near washroom entrances. This data collected is easily accessible by our operations team via a mobile application, giving them a real-time overview of the on-ground situation and allowing them to make further tweaks and improvements to optimise cleaning operations.
In addition, sensors are installed in soap and toilet roll dispensers, bins, and toilet floors. When the sensors detect low soap levels or wet floors, an automated alert will be triggered to alert the cleaners on duty to attend to the issue. In leveraging these smart technologies, we can ensure that our toilets are kept in tip-top condition for the comfort and safety of our shoppers.
Beyond improving efficiency, the new cleaning system also empowers cleaners by providing them with opportunities to upskill and work alongside technology. Cleaners can then be re-skilled to perform higher-value tasks such as managing various cleaning sites for quality control as opposed to cleaning one site on a fixed schedule. The allows our cleaners to perform their tasks more efficiently and in a timely manner.
Real-time data can be easily accessed through a mobile app, leading to greater operational synergies. (Photo credit: Hong Ye Group)
Moreover, the contract uses a unique model which offers an innovative and sustainable solution that addresses the manpower shortage facing the current cleaning labour force. Through the use of real time data, our cleaners will be able to use their time more efficiently. This has allowed us to tap on to greater operational synergies to better manage the workforce.
The health and safety of our staff, tenants and shoppers remains our utmost priority. We are continuously keeping abreast of the latest technologies and developments both within and beyond cleaning operations to ensure that the malls continue to remain safe spaces for the community. With technology accelerating the changes experienced within the retail industry, we remain committed to adopting relevant smart technologies to push new frontiers and safeguard the health and safety of our shoppers, tenants, and staff.
1The six malls involved in Phase 1 are namely Century Square, Changi City Point, Hougang Mall, Tampines 1, Tiong Bahru Plaza and White Sands.