The Institute of Real Estate Management interviewed Chris Wetmore on their Podcast “From the Front Lines’ to find out about Fleet Management:
1. What is Fleet Management?
“Managing multiple assets for a single client across multiple geographies can be challenging since it’s difficult to be everywhere all at once.
Fleet management programs, like i-Synergy, give you data at your fingertips that illustrate the health and performance of your fleet (of cleaning equipment.)
Fleet management within the cleaning equipment space has a couple of different meanings depending on whether the work is being performed by the property manager or contracted to another service provider.
More times than not, cleaning work is contracted, and fleet management programs can play a vital role of providing peace of mind through a confirmed clean and increased cleaning efficiencies.
Lastly, fleet management gives the property management company historical and real-time data for future planning in terms of maintenance costs, efficiency, and trends.”
2. How is ICE Robotics FM software unique from other cleaning equipment manufacturers or even other industries like HVAC?
“The uniqueness of ICE Robotics i-Synergy program is tied to a few key differentiators.
First off, how our solutions are acquired is a key difference.
With preservation of capital becoming key across all markets we intentionally brought our solutions to market under a monthly all-inclusive subscription instead of an ala carte capital model. Software upgrades, service visits, parts, training, and installations are all included in the model. The only thing the providers need to worry about is a limited number of consumables.
The other major differentiator is the software and access to data comes at no extra cost.
From a security perspective we have found that cellular connections are preferred across end using clients versus tapping into their internal networks, which many other vendors use and therefore charge for the connection and device. Our i–Synergy fleet management program is embedded into the lithium-ion batteries that power our cleaning equipment and comes with no additional costs for the life of the asset. It’s all part of the subscription service.”
3. How does fleet management programs benefit property managers?
“Clearly having data at your fingertips is key in managing facilities today. I-Synergy data is accessed through a portal that you can view on your phone through our app or from a computer.
Additionally, we continue to get repeated requests to build API’s (application programming interface) for property management firms to access this data through their own established workflow portals and systems.
Covid is driving everyone in the chain to re-write their protocols on what clean looks like. Building tenants have new needs and property management professionals are trying to balance costs, occupancy, and the impact from COVID on future operations.
I believe that in the not-too-distant future data pulled from these types of software programs will fuel a “building safety and occupancy metric monitor” that will be the first thing people see when they walk in any facility.
This will be visual to employees, customers, building occupants, and staff. Metrics such as measuring indoor air quality, time of last clean, route of last clean, frequencies, building occupancy load, and service metrics will all become increasingly more important as people work, shop, eat and get back to their lives as part of the new normal.
In the short run, these may be things PM’s can leverage to win new business, retain the clients they have or perhaps even charge a higher rate because of having these innovations on site.
Additionally, the efficiency of a “team clean” within a building or facility is greatly improved as the metrics and data will reinforce the site confirmed clean information to make the cleaning process more efficient.
Plus, when you layer these software innovations for a fleet of cleaning equipment on top of some of the latest trends in robotic equipment it really opens possibilities on how facilities are cleaned.
The last piece I would add is that fleet management programs can’t just be about data on its own. We have found that some customers prefer to view the data on their own within i-Synergy and others prefer to have the reports sent to them, which is why we offer both.
Our i-Synergy program includes notifications of machine issues and efficiencies from our tech team and weekly reports sent from our client care team. We have found a good healthy balance between the two to serve the needs of our customer base.”
4. Can you provide an example of how a customer has utilized fleet management to improve their business?
“This is a great question to answer because it really shows the true value of our i-Synergy fleet management in action.
We have an active client care department that offers management insights and a second line check of fleet operations for our clients that so desire.
Like most clients everyone is extremely busy and want to know not only what the problems are before they are problems, but that you have dispatched someone to fix the problem as well.
This is a typical experience of our i-Synergy clientele. An example of one of these notifications is products haven’t been properly charged prior to a shift, making the equipment unusable. Another example is the proactive malfunction alert for component failures. When this happens, we dispatch a tech with the part to repair the product with no operational impact to the client
In a unique circumstance we were even able to identify a worker who had not performed their cleaning task as scheduled first thing and who had not yet called in sick—much to the delight of the service provider. These are just small examples of what best in class fleet management programs can do.”