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Softbank Robotics: data and insight
Management tools fulfil several solutions for businesses, which can range from helping to streamline operations and project planning, improve efficiency or support future growth of the business.
There are numerous management tools and systems already in operation – some commonly used management tools include Project Management systems, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems, Time Tracking and Attendance Systems, Performance Management Systems, Communication and Collaboration Tools, Knowledge Management Systems, Learning Management Systems (LMS), Inventory Management Systems.
For the cleaning sector, one benefit of technology and management tools is the data and insight they provide. Building secure and compliant data platforms are essential in a world that demands actionable data and intelligence on the spaces we live, work, travel, and otherwise go about our lives in. At a granular level, this world requires auditable routing and data assurance across multiple platforms. But on a wider level, it is a larger ecosystem of global properties and assets with multiple factors - access, air circulation, confirmed cleaning, daily sanitation, layouts, and more - that need to be coordinated with multiple other enterprise software applications.
With robotics and automation, there are management tools that can assist with day-to-day operations which leverage cloud-native, integrated software systems to create an ecosystem of physical edge devices, including robots, that are viewable, and easily understood, from a single viewpoint or dashboard. This is the actionable foundation for practical digital transformation: a digital transformation with tangible impact.
SoftBank Robotics EMEA has a range of data platforms where data is visible. This includes their autonomous vacuum cleaner, Whiz, and the data platform Whiz Connect. This secure and compliant platform ensuring data governance and data wellness are core elements of creating environments that allow for holistic health and safety in buildings as well as giving a front-line view of how the robot vacuum is operating – including routes operated, number of square metres cleaning and number of hours vacuumed. This allows actionable data, allows cleaning businesses to help provide a ROI of the vacuum cleaners in respect of the locations they are operating within.
So how can that help in a real-life scenario within the cleaning sector?
In March 2022, SoftBank Robotics partnered with independent polling firm OnePoll to survey 2,000 employers. Nearly half of those asked (46%) ranked labour sourcing higher than traditional barriers such as ‘cost margins’ (24%) and ‘demonstrating value’ (22%), with almost three in four respondents (73%) in total reporting that they ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ have difficulty sourcing labour. New robotic technologies can help provide solutions to the cleaning sector’s labour sourcing woes, however SoftBank’s research showed “a significant knowledge gap in its adoption". Despite 79% agreeing that real-time data for measuring cleaning services is important, one in three (30%) lack confidence or knowledge of what’s available.
Stefano Bensi, general manager of SoftBank Robotics EMEA, said: “There seems to be a paradox at play. Demand for cleaning services has never been higher at a time of a soaring labour crisis. Additionally, increasing employee expectations concerning cleanliness and hygiene have resulted in the cleaning profession experiencing both a challenge and an opportunity. Forward-thinking cleaning management teams are exploring several innovative strategies to stay relevant, including the adoption of cobotic technologies.”
What is clear is that technology must play a big role in our future - Data transparency, observability, and confirmation - whether in the inner workings of a data platform or the result of a robot’s action - are central to our new normal. And this new normal extends beyond the long-term health and safety considerations of the modern workplace into real estate, mining, telecommunications, construction, and more.
1st June 2023