When the quality of service relies on discipline, reliable solutions for time and employee management are essential. A case study of a cleaning company.
Founded in 2006, “Prime Cleaning” is a reputable cleaning company, offering a range of services from one-time cleanups to comprehensive cleaning solutions, equipment rental, and construction waste disposal.
The question of monitoring remotely working employees is crucial for any company, but in the cleaning industry, it takes the top spot. It’s unlikely that employees who are late or absent from work will rush to report this to the administration. It’s also improbable that cleaning done in half the expected time will be of high quality and completeness. For us, it’s evident that customer dissatisfaction and reputation losses directly impact the company’s future profitability.
We always aim to provide a guaranteed level of service to keep customers satisfied with the quality of the services provided. Due to the desire to minimize the notorious human factor and the risk of unforeseen situations, the question of implementing a personnel control system at the sites has become a pressing issue for us.
After studying the processes within the company, we concluded that we need a solution for employee control that not only tracks worked hours and monitors staff presence at work but also promptly notifies about delays or absences to facilitate quick plan adjustments. Ideally, this system should include a mechanism for tracking the volume of work performed.
Search for a Suitable Solution We needed an employee management system that could: Ensure adherence to work schedules at remote sites. Promptly detect and report labor discipline violations. Monitor the progress and quality of provided services. Document all violations for dispute resolution. Track actual working hours for fair compensation and payment scheduling.
The system had to be: Quick to implement and easy to operate. User-friendly, requiring minimal training. Affordable, with low equipment costs.
In summary, we needed a straightforward and convenient solution to help control employees at remote sites, manage tasks, and promptly inform about any violations, without requiring substantial resources for implementation and support.
We initially considered systems available in the Russian-speaking market because they are better suited to the specifics of work in CIS countries:
As a result, we opted for a solution from TARGPatrol. After testing the system in a free demo version, it became clear that it was the most suitable for our business’s specifics and would allow us to implement it with minimal changes to existing business processes. Additionally, this solution was more appealing in terms of cost-to-functionality ratio, with a subscription cost of $15 per employee per month.
Workflow Before implementing the new system, we attempted to outline our “ideal” business process:
Assign employees or groups of employees to specific locations where cleaning is required at designated times. All employees receive their work schedules in advance, so they always know where and when they need to be at their workplaces.
Before commencing work, an employee must notify that they have arrived at the location and are starting work. At this stage, it was crucial to find a solution that would prevent possible deception by employees.
In cases where an employee, due to any circumstances, doesn’t start work according to the schedule (the allowable lateness varies for each location), our HR specialist should receive an automatic notification of the violation. They need to promptly respond, clarifying the reasons for the delay with the employee, and if necessary, assign another worker to the location.
During the cleaning process, employees mark completed tasks on a pre-arranged checklist. Confirmation of the results should include a photo taken by the employee.
After completing the cleaning at a location, the employee must notify that the work is finished.
For this, we needed to create a company account on the system’s website and install the application from Google Play on smartphones. These devices are either fixed at the location and always remain there or are assigned to specific employees.
In the organization’s account, we entered the data of all employees, created work schedules for each, and added personal PIN codes used for identification in the application.
On our larger locations, such as factories or supermarkets, we established cleaning zones and assigned RFID tags to each. In the web version of the system, we created cleaning routes and linked them to employees. Before starting work, the employee opens the route patrol application on their device (from the same developer) and selects their route. They then come to the first cleaning zone and bring their smartphone close to the tag. After completing the cleaning in that zone, the employee scans the tag again and proceeds to the next zone.
Depending on the type of location, the tag may be attached to a checklist of tasks, photos with date and tag references, and more.
After completing the route, the data is uploaded to the system, displayed as reports showing the time worked in each zone, photographs, and text comments from employees.
In this way, regular Android smartphones have become data collection terminals for monitoring the actions/inactions of our employees at client locations.
Challenges Faced After Implementation After implementing the employee control system, employees acquired new responsibilities: now they needed to check in using the mobile application before and after work at the location, which may have initially caused some difficulties. This issue was resolved relatively simply: days when employees forgot to check in or deliberately skipped it were not counted as full workdays. Within the first few months, even the most “problematic” employees began following the routine.
Results of Implementing the Employee Control System As a result, we can affirm that implementing an employee control system in our organization has allowed us to:
Improve labor discipline. Thanks to the system’s implementation, our company’s staff has become more responsible in their approach to the work process and punctuality. Even the most “problematic” employees now arrive at the location on time for their cleaning duties.
Make swift personnel decisions. After implementing the notification system, our supervisory staff always knows if an employee is present at the location, when they started and finished work.
Enhance customer trust and loyalty. We can identify and resolve issues at the location without waiting for the customer to inform us. This guarantees the quality and regularity of services provided both for the location as a whole and for each specific zone within the location.
Reduce labor costs. With the system’s implementation, we can see the actual working hours of employees and assess the quality of work performed and other disciplinary infractions, so now they are paid only for the results of their work, which significantly impacted the payroll fund.