28th February 2023

How IoT-enabled laundry systems facilitate cleaning staff retention

Even with much of the world over the worst of COVID-19, the pandemic has left a permanent legacy of incre...

Even with much of the world over the worst of COVID-19, the pandemic has left a permanent legacy of increased hygiene awareness, with the public now having greater expectations on cleaning standards. Quite simply, the old approach is no longer enough and a new standard has been established.

However, this is made more difficult due to the regrettable fact that the cleaning and hygiene industry continues to face the long-standing problem of staff retention, largely due to the repetitive, physically-demanding nature of the work. The care sector is particularly affected in this regard, with a staff turnover rate at around 30% and an ageing population meaning demand for workers continues to grow.

An area within the care industry where staff disenchantment is commonly high is the on-premise laundry, where inadequate dosing provision such as manual addition of detergent, softener and additives results in inadequate or excessive chemical levels within each load.

This leads to inconsistent wash results and the need for regular rewashing. As well as wasting chemical, water and electricity, this is an inefficient use of staff time and can cause the operative to become despondent at rewashing because of the limitations of the system rather than their own error. In addition, workers may be reprimanded which erodes their confidence and enjoyment of their job.

Faced with this challenge, care operators are increasingly turning to high-tech solutions in order to keep personnel engaged, satisfied and motivated without compromising on results.

SEKO’s fully-automated Wash Series laundry dosing systems – nominated as one of the year’s finest innovations in the Tomorrow’s Cleaning Awards 2022 – help to solve this challenge, with detergent dosing taken out of the operative’s hands entirely.

As well as protecting staff from exposure to harsh concentrated chemicals, this ensures that wash results are consistently successful which vastly reduces the need for rewashing. Meanwhile, employees gain the job satisfaction of completing the task first time and to a high standard.

The award-nominated Wash Series’ main benefit, however, is its compatibility with SekoWeb, a dedicated SEKO online user interface available as an iOS or Android app as well via PC web browser.

SekoWeb – which is compatible with an increasing number of SEKO systems – allows laundry operators to access live and historical chemical consumption data on demand 24/7 via smartphone, laptop or desktop computer, with the option to see results in terms of cost per load.

This, together with the ability to view the number of washes per day, means managers can use the figures to engage with staff and reward performance accordingly. This inclusive, collaborative approach helps to ensure operatives are motivated, fulfilled and that the laundry runs at maximum efficiency.

Another major benefit of the SekoWeb system is its ease of use, with an intuitive, multi-language interface meaning that if the regular cleaner is absent, their replacement can quickly be shown how to use the platform and carry out their duties without risk of error.

It’s clear that as the care sector continues its adjustment to a post-COVID world, managers should think “technology first” when making decisions to help retain staff as part of a well-functioning cleaning operation.