App technology sets to clean up the competition

The increased spotlight on hygiene and cleaning standards has led to a Hawke’s Bay based commercial cleaning business launching a world-first cleaning app.

Following two years of development and trials, The Clean Crew has launched an app guides its cleaning team through a job, with photography and video evidence verified by supervisors and available for the client.

The Clean Crew managing director Gary Singh said as the world grapples with a pandemic, there has been a increases spotlight on cleaning and hygiene standards and the app acts is a new tool that provides peace of mind for clients, their employees and customers.

The Clean Crew offers commercial cleaning services across Hawke’s Bay, Palmerston North and Nelson and has plans to expand into new regions in 2021.

Gary says the app, developed by Hamilton-based app developer Black Quadrant Technologies (BQT), has increased the consistency of cleaning tasks and vastly enhanced client retention.

A customer survey found that 93 percent rated their cleaning service highly and that any complaints are resolved within an hour.

However Gary wanted to raise the bar and believed that a mobile technology based audit tool was the answer.

“Never has it been so important that hygiene standards are a priority for businesses, to keep staff and the public safe.

“The commercial cleaning sector struggles to retain customers, and I wanted to ensure that we can stand by the quality of our work and the app offers us a way of showing our clients that the job has been done to their expectation time and again.

“It’s time technology is introduced to the cleaning sector for the labour component of the service. There’s a steady flow of new equipment and cleaning products but this is a world-first.

The bespoke app, called Convoy, gives instructions of each cleaning job, pre-programmed instructions, special requests, arrival and departure times and client feedback.

The cleaner takes photos of specific areas as they clean which are uploaded into the system in real time, providing visual proof that they have completed the job.

Gary says the next step will be to introduce image recognition powered Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that will enable the cleaner to audit their work in real time.

The cleaner will be able to scan the area, clicking pictures and recording video, that will be inputted to an AI engine, which analyses the cleanliness of the premise in real time.

Once the cleanliness is above a certain threshold, the job will be marked completed, with an update is sent to a quality supervisor for a visual test. A report of the clean is sent to the client.

“It will revolutionise the sector, eliminating any human error.

The Clean Crew client base includes health providers, food processors, schools and businesses that have significant contact with the public and is New Zealand’s first carbon zero certified cleaning company.

“We promise in our motto to bring quality and this is what we are there for – anyone can pick up a vacuum cleaner and clean but it is the quality of the service that goes along with it that is the important part.”

A recent study by Microsoft, in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific reported that AI technology will allow the rate of innovation in New Zealand to double and employee productivity gains are also expected to increase 1.5 times.

Only 51 percent of organisations in New Zealand have embarked on AI journeys, a move that will double their competitiveness in 2021.

The Clean Crew took out the innovation category at Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Awards in December 2020 with the judges commenting how the app has transformed how decisions are made within the business.