If you haven’t already done it, then at some stage in the near future you’re going to have to introduce technology to your business.
In the increasingly digitised world where integrated information platforms provide keen data and results, failure to make the switch could see you left behind. A minute spent thinking about the changes to your local high street provides a stark reminder of the consequences facing businesses who fail to modernise.
Now, keeping this specific to the FM and cleaning industry sector, it is after all what I know about. Like FM and cleaning you have a choice of how you select your technology: what is right for you, your people and your business? So what type of technology are we talking about here?
Well, anything and everything from CRMs, accounting, payroll, timesheets, lone workers, management tools, vehicle tracking, time and attendance, low stock monitors… the list is ever growing.
You may go for a package deal offered by a single provider, for example choosing an FM company to deliver every service on your site. For some customers this will work well and provide a relatively good level of service across the board – a solid three-star service level with some things five-star and others closer to one or two. What we generally find is many of them are brilliant in one area, say M&E, but not great at self-delivering cleaning or are weak in security.
Just like FM companies (or any other service provider for that matter), often we find large “do it all” technology platforms excel in one or two areas, but contain weaknesses in others… “Clunky” is a term I often hear used to describe them.
The other option is to cherry pick individual platforms to suit your needs. You may wish to invest heavily in your accounts package as you deem this the most important part of your business where errors literally cost money. This option may require a higher investment as you will be dealing with several individual companies, so like the example above you’d be outsourcing to companies that offer cleaning, security, grounds keeping, M&E, catering etc. So there is a profit to pay to each company rather than the one overhead to the FM. However, you get the best (or the best that you require) in each specific area. The key thing when considering technology is to ensure that all platforms are open source, basically that they can speak to each other so data can flow freely (should you want it) from one platform to another.
At Make Life Easy we focus on one small but vitally important area of your FM or commercial cleaning business – management. If it happens on site then it should be collected, actioned upon then saved.
Our MAAPP makes life easy for your managers, enabling them to record and send actions from the site, capturing data on quality, new jobs, H&S, audits, accidents, near misses, alerts, training, additional sales, inductions, HR and even raise awareness of new sales opportunities to your sales team. This is all in real time and kept alive by customisable alerts and prompts to ensure the manager acts upon their own actions. A Backend Hub gives you and your office an overview of everything and can be easily navigated and sorted using a selection of filters. In addition, should you chose to, you can give your customers access to a client portal where they have an overview of their contracts or select individual sites, they also have the option to contact their manager (all with an a auditable digital trail) and be alerted to certain actions.
Whichever route you go down, think long term what is right for you now and in the future to ensure you are scalable.