Tech Trailblazer

The article appeared in InClean Magazine’s 2023 Industry Leader’s Forum issue.

How was 2022 for TEAM Software? What were the highlights? What were the challenges?

2022 was a standout year for TEAM Software in the ANZ region. First and foremost, we joined the WorkWave family via acquisition, strengthening our backing and ability to deliver on our vision of being the world’s leading software provider for cleaning, security and facilities management service providers. We’re looking forward to further integrating the businesses in 2023 and are working on the requirements to launch the first WorkWave product in the market to drive value for small business service providers.

The region continued to experience rapid growth, with many new customers joining the TEAM Software family and existing customers demonstrating their satisfaction with our products and services through adopting our other solutions. Alongside this growth, we’ve continued to build out our local team to ensure that we meet the growing demands of the market and, more importantly, our customers. 

One of the most exciting developments of 2022 has been the continued integration of our solutions – Templa, Timegate and Lighthouse. We now offer a fully integrated technology platform that helps consolidate solutions, drive efficiencies and act as a single source of truth for our customers — a distinct advantage when compared to the largely siloed solutions that are on offer in this market.

What are your main priorities for 2023?

One of our biggest priorities for 2023 is the launch of Timegate, our flagship workforce management solution. Timegate is used by 20 of the top 25 facilities management companies in the UK, and we are excited to be able to bring the market leader in workforce management to the ANZ market.

What do you expect to be the big trends in 2023? And, how can cleaning companies leverage these technologies for business growth?

I don’t expect many new technology trends to emerge in 2023, but rather a continuation of existing technology trends impacting the cleaning industry. Some of these include:

Client Transparency

More than ever, cleaning companies are offering a transparent service delivery model underpinned by technology. Technology is unlocking more granular data on service delivery which is then shared with clients. Market demand for a transparent service delivery model is high and we expect this trend to continue in 2023.

Data & Analytics

The best cleaning companies are using technology to drive strategic and operational insights into performance. Generally, cleaning companies are good at collecting data but often have trouble centralising the information in a meaningful, actionable way.In 2023, we expect more companies to invest in data and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions to make sense of their financial, HR, operational and compliance data.

IoT & demand-based service

IoT has been a buzzword for a long time now. Only now are we finally seeing sensor-based solutions for the cleaning industry come of age.

How is technology and the use of data transforming the cleaning industry?

When used effectively, technology and data drive a much deeper understanding of business performance and profitability at a granular level. The right technology and data can help managers understand profitability at a business level, contract level and even site level. It can help managers understand compliance with the agreed scope. For example, is the cleaning company delivering what was agreed upon based on the contract at every site? 

It can help identify areas of risk for a cleaning company, such as compliance with agreed rotation times or do our employees have the right skills and qualifications to work at a site.

Additionally, automating reporting through technology can eliminate the need to extract data from each system and manually analyse it to drive insights, saving valuable time and investment.

How is the cleaning industry evolving? And how can organisations best prepare themselves for the future?

When I started working in the cleaning industry almost ten years ago, cleaning companies often overlooked the benefits of technology. It was less common to find companies making significant technology investments to help scale their business, automate functions and drive efficiencies. 

Today, cleaning companies have realised the strategic benefits that technology can deliver, and there is a growing appetite to invest and innovate. The cleaning industry is finally catching up with other more mature service-based sectors.

With that in mind, cleaning companies must invest in technology and a team of skilled professionals to help build and execute strategy. Those with a clear plan and who make the right investments in technology will be the winners in the future.

What advice would you give to fellow leaders in the cleaning industry? / Is there a message that you would like to share with the industry?

My message to other leaders in the industry is simple. Invest in technology and people to support it. Make sure the solutions you choose are fit for purpose and integrated. Make sure you capture data that can drive meaningful insights into the performance of your business. 

Remember that the right investments into technology will help you scale your business, consolidate solutions and save costs, drive efficiency through automation and generate data and reports that inform decision-making.