Alex Gavrilovic Explains the "sweet-spot"
subscribe for updates

News 3 Min Read 11 February 2021
11 February 2021 3 Min Read
News

Will robots make a clean sweep?

Alex Gavrilovic shares his views on robots in the cleaning industry

There’s a website called will robots take my job.com. On this website you can enter virtually any job and the website will assess, as a percentage, the likelihood of that role being taken over by a robot. So, just for fun we typed in “cleaner” and once it had qualified that this meant janitors and cleaners, (excluding maids and domestic housekeeping cleaners), the algorithm spat out the answer 67%.

That’s a quite scarily high number, but is it realistic? Q3 is at the forefront of using “tech” in delivery of commercial cleaning and FM services, so we asked Alex Gavrilovic Q3’s Solutions Director for his opinion. Alex has worked in the cleaning industry for some 25 years and is currently involved with deploying robots on a few of Q3’s contracts, so he knows a thing or two about this.

Alex explained, “Right now, robots are being used in two main areas, carpet vacuuming and wash-scrub-dry operations on hard-floors. In both cases, they really come into their own on large areas of flooring. So, deciding when and where to use robots, is very much reliant on our knowledge of the space and our experience and expertise of the ROI and productivity the machines will deliver in that space. We need to factor in the expanse and complexity of the area in which the robot will operate and the client’s specification, including frequency of cleaning.

“These ROI calculations have changed quite recently because like so much new technology, the cost of the robots has dropped significantly since they first arrived on the scene and leasing deals are available to avoid large-up front capital outlay. Productivity has also improved many-fold because of technical improvements in the equipment, such as speed and battery life.
“The hard surface cleaning robot machines are ideal for expansive areas such as airports, hospital corridors, distribution centres and shopping centres. They even come with cameras and sensors now and some models can talk to customers in a variety of languages. This really provides a “Wow!” factor in places like malls and airports, adding to the customer experience and reinforcing the perception of being in a place where people care.

“Of course, there’s also one more very important you simply cannot forget when deploying robots and that’s the human element. Robots are not yet truly autonomous, and the reality is that the robot is complementing the work of a human being in virtually every situation. There still needs to be a person there to undertake basic checks on the robot at the start of the shift, such as brushes, water levels etc and to take it to the start point. Humans also have to map the area in which the robot is operating and remap it if there are layout changes – which is inevitable in most operational situations. This means that right now, we are investing a lot into new training programmes to upskill many of our cleaners to become robot operators and technicians on major contracts.

“In reality, on a typical contract, the robot will still only be carrying out about a third of the cleaning activity with more complex areas such as washrooms and offices still being undertaken by humans. It’s true that you can get higher quality and greater consistency with robots and there certainly aren’t the number of HR issues, but that’s not the main consideration.”

As Alex has explained, there are upsides and downsides to using robots in commercial cleaning and the decision to use them is not straightforward. The cleaning company needs to make an informed judgment on when and when not to call on robot technology, which means that they aren’t going to completely take over the cleaning world anytime soon. Indeed, it will probably be a long time before they even attain the 67% figure predicted by willrobotstakemyjob.com.

Ironically, the same innovative, technology we currently see in robots makes them brilliant in some situations and yet almost useless in others. I expect that just like the Daleks, they will eventually crack the problem of going up stairs and then we’ll all be looking over our shoulder?

Stay Up To Date With Our Work

If you want to keep abreast of what’s happening and important developments at Q3 through our occasional news updates, please subscribe using the box below.

Related Articles

Here are some more news and opinion articles that may be of interest:

News
10 January 2024

Bidding to be the best!

Samson Adelekun joins Q3 as Bid Coordinator, working closely with our sales team on the development of PQQs and bid submissions. Based in London, Samson…

Read More
News
10 January 2024

Bidding to be the best!

Samson Adelekun joins Q3 as Bid Coordinator, working closely with our sales team on the development of PQQs and bid submissions. Based in London, Samson…

Read More
Daisy Logo
News
13 October 2023

DAISY blossoms at Q3

The new Q3s staff benefits programme proves to be a hit Recently, Q3 celebrated its fifth anniversary as an FM business having reached a turnover…

Read More
News
13 October 2023

DAISY blossoms at Q3

The new Q3s staff benefits programme proves to be a hit Recently, Q3 celebrated its fifth anniversary as an FM business having reached a turnover…

Read More
Q3 CEO, Martyn Freeman at one of the venues
News
21 September 2023

Red carpet reception for Q3

Q3 wins a new three-year contract with a high-end, boutique, entertainment destination chain [caption id="attachment_2289" align="alignleft" width="365"] Q3 CEO, Martyn Freeman at one of the…

Read More
News
21 September 2023

Red carpet reception for Q3

Q3 wins a new three-year contract with a high-end, boutique, entertainment destination chain [caption id="attachment_2289" align="alignleft" width="365"] Q3 CEO, Martyn Freeman at one of the…

Read More
Mark Hazelwood evaluate the IFM Model
News
7 September 2023

Using Facilio software to achieve technical excellence in IFM

Mark Hazelwood, the MD of our IFM business, talks about our partnership with Facilio and how it is helping to deliver a quality service to…

Read More
News
7 September 2023

Using Facilio software to achieve technical excellence in IFM

Mark Hazelwood, the MD of our IFM business, talks about our partnership with Facilio and how it is helping to deliver a quality service to…

Read More
Planet Mark Certification 2023 for Q3 Services.
News
6 September 2023

Net Zero progress for another year

Following an audit by the Planet Mark organisation, Q3 has recorded another significant year-on-year reduction in its [co2] emissions, putting the organisation well on target…

Read More
News
6 September 2023

Net Zero progress for another year

Following an audit by the Planet Mark organisation, Q3 has recorded another significant year-on-year reduction in its [co2] emissions, putting the organisation well on target…

Read More
Mark Hazelwood evaluate the IFM Model
News
3 August 2023

Rebooting the IFM model

How Q3 is reshaping its service to clients using technology and a customer-focused approach - a thought piece by Mark Hazelwood, Managing Director of Q3…

Read More
News
3 August 2023

Rebooting the IFM model

How Q3 is reshaping its service to clients using technology and a customer-focused approach - a thought piece by Mark Hazelwood, Managing Director of Q3…

Read More
Q3 secures Grosvenor Waterside contract
News
22 May 2023

Q3 secures prestigious Grosvenor Waterside contract

Showcasing Q3 hard services' latest prestigious new contract in Chelsea The Q3 hard services team has secured a new, high-end, residential maintenance contract with GWRC…

Read More
News
22 May 2023

Q3 secures prestigious Grosvenor Waterside contract

Showcasing Q3 hard services' latest prestigious new contract in Chelsea The Q3 hard services team has secured a new, high-end, residential maintenance contract with GWRC…

Read More
Q3's satellite applications catapult lift off
News
9 May 2023

Q3’s Satellite Applications Catapult lift off!

Another Integrated FM contract win for Q3 Q3 Services has secured a three-year, first-generation, multi-site, FM contract with Satellite Applications Catapult, one of a network…

Read More
News
9 May 2023

Q3’s Satellite Applications Catapult lift off!

Another Integrated FM contract win for Q3 Q3 Services has secured a three-year, first-generation, multi-site, FM contract with Satellite Applications Catapult, one of a network…

Read More
Q3 expands in the channel islands
News
19 April 2023

Q3 expands in the Channel islands

Q3 has acquired Millenium Cleaning Services, Jersey Q3 Services Channel Islands has acquired 100% capital in Millenium Cleaning Services Limited (MCS), based in Jersey. This…

Read More
News
19 April 2023

Q3 expands in the Channel islands

Q3 has acquired Millenium Cleaning Services, Jersey Q3 Services Channel Islands has acquired 100% capital in Millenium Cleaning Services Limited (MCS), based in Jersey. This…

Read More