Most often, facility managers or housekeepers of FM companies knock on the doors of Clean India Journal seeking information about vendors supplying specific cleaning products. However, this call from an FM company was definitely not the same. The caller sounded desperate, as he was looking for information to meet a client’s requirement for automation and digitisation of facility management!
In the new era, clients who graduated in the DIY processes, also post-graduated in getting work done with lesser manpower and more automation & digitisation. The experiences gathered by the client over the last two years, experimenting with facility maintenance characterised by diminishing human intervention and rising ‘computerisation’, has kept the FM fraternity on its toes.
Previously, at the client end, the housekeepers or the facility heads required the purchase department to buy their cleaning supplies or manage their requirements. Even today, it is and it will be the purchase or procurement head who will make the decision on ‘what to buy within the budget allocated’. Many a time, vendors and suppliers have highlighted the ‘compromising’ decisions being taken to make a ‘budget-fitting’ purchase by the procurement team.
Today, however, the ‘experienced’ housekeeper or facility head at the client end is taking a call on headcount, automation, computerisation, mechanisation or robotisation… and also specifying the brand of the product to be procured. This is definitely a welcome change.
Perhaps housekeepers and facility heads have graduated with the required knowledge?
Well then, if that is the case, what was our caller actually looking at buying?
The caller wanted an interaction with industry experts who could put automation and digitisation in place and guide him on “what to buy”! Understandably, all such information is available at a tap on the keyboard. So what different solution was he seeking?
He needed recommendations on products and solutions that are effective and have quality but are not cost-intensive. This did sound ‘compromising’. But again, it was the client’s requirement and not the FM company’s. “The client is not prepared to incur expenses towards automation or digitization,” is the common refrain.
It is over one and a half decades and the underlying dogma of cleaning vis-à-vis cost still remains unchanged. The compromising factor determining what to buy to meet the client’s requirement is still governed by the costs involved – be it for a normal cleaning product or automation or digitisation.
And so the question remains: “What should I buy?”
Editor, Clean India Journal