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Are you looking for software? 

Whether to computerize your operations for the first time, or replace an existing package that is inadequate:

Look at the functionality below and then ask yourself; can the software I'm contemplating (or already own) do this? Can it even come close?
Informed Platinum 
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Can your software do this?
Is your software inadequate?
Task Frequencies 

This module packs a lot of punch on one screen. Looking at it more closely, you'll see what we mean:

This particular operation is a higher educational facility that we loaded with a group of schedules for that purpose. We have groups covering many facility types, including healthcare, but the simplicity of this model lends itself well for illustration. In this case we selected a schedule task group, Classroom w/Hard Floor, which was customized to encompass both day cleaning, where some of the work is done, as well as on the night shift, where more work is done. Some people refer to these task groups as 'Area Types' or 'Space Categories', but we call them 'Schedules' since in our world they encompass both the tasks and their particular frequency settings.

You can see the particular tasks frequencies displayed in the columns below the shift 1 and shift 3 headings. Note that these shifts could be easily be relabeled Day and Night and would display as Day (5D) and Night (5D). The "5D" indicates these tasks are performed on a five-day work week. If the rooms were also cleaned on the weekend with a two-day shift, we can easily accomodate that with the spare shifts 4-7.

Starting at the very top, the "adjusted" productivity on the day (shift 1) is 5839 SF/Hour or 46,710 SF/Day. By "adjusted", we mean the productivity accounts for assumptions on how many minutes in the work day are actually available for cleaning. These adjustments can also factor in the paid time per day and also account for the length of the work week. For example, a frequency setting of "alternate days" means 130 service events per year on a 5-day shift, but changes to 52 events/year on a 2-day shift. The calculation accounts for the time each task takes as well as their frequency settings.

Moving down, the level controls show shift 1 has been set to one of the preset 5-levels of risk. At the very bottom of the graphic, you can see Level 4 preset for the Sweep or Dust-Mop Floors task 'Alternate Days', and this is shown in the shift 1 column next to the task. These presets are useful for getting a basic starting point, or analyzing operational changes, but most users set their own task frequencies and then click the 'Store' button located at the bottom of the level adjuster. To make it easier, although not shown, the Mass-Set Levels button (upper right) lets one set or store all frequency settings for all schedules at once.

Moving down, we see that a 20-bar 'LED" indicator graph shows the relative cost of each task. These were sorted by cost using the 'Task/Cost' sort toggle since it's most useful when optimizing a facility to cherry pick the most costly tasks first. The beauty of this is that it's dynamic, That means that as you change things, frequencies individually, frequencies with the level controls, task times with the task editor, the LED display updates instantly and shows gives you feedback. That, with the instant updating of the productivity read-out at the top (SF/Hour), you'll make more progress in day with the software than you could accomplish in a month without it and week with anything else on the market.

Clicking on the task itself, the software brings up the Task Editor shown in the lower left. Here, basic information about the task can be viewed modified if needed. For example, if a time study showed the task actually takes more or less than the 13.67 minutes (13 minutes and 40 seconds) per 1000 SF, it could be easily modified here. Or, perhaps we investigated changing this to a back-pack vacuum and cut the time by a third or more, these types of modifications are easily handled.

Finally, clicking on the task calculator button for a task brings up the "What If" Task Calculator. I found it amazing that cleaning the chalkboard took 15% of the total cleaning time for the 1200 SF model room, at least according to APPA. So, I set the calculator to 120,000 square feet (100 model rooms) and find that it would take about 1 FTE (or 1.14 FTEs if absenteeism is factored in) to do just the chalkboards. Something seems wrong here - well, first I looked at APPA's custodial staffing guidelines, 3rd edition and found that our customer modified this from the original 3.15 (still pretty generous) minutes. But even with this fixed, I found that the task still takes 3/4 of an FTE and way to much cash.

This is where some thought comes in - you can do this, or one of our many consultant/distributors can do this. First, I'd do a quick time study to see how much time its really taking per room. I'd look at the web and find some alternative processes (microfiber cloths with no water), squeegees, etc. If my burdened labor cost is $30k per year and I can save a half an FTE ($15k) with some process optimations - well my time or the consultant's time is well spent.

But in the big picture:

1. You can't optimize a process unless you understand it - and Platinum can go a long way to helping you understand what's going on.
2. Try to find anything on the market that packs anywhere near the punch of our software. You can drive a Fusion or you can drive a Corvette, and in many cases our machine costs the same or less.

Next we'll look at some other functions you've never seen before:

​For example, consider the load balance across your work assignments. Below is shown the graph view of our work assignment dashboard.

Work Assignment Load Balance
In the above, illustration, the work assignment dashboard was toggled to graph view to give a sense of the distribution of the work load across the assignments and associated employees. The List view of the same screen packs just as much punch as the Task Frequencies screen we discussed above. It allows one to click on a work assignment, employee or supervisory zone and bring up the appropriate editor with the object selected loaded.

​And finally, you're busy and don't have time to go through reports with columns of numbers to troubleshoot an issue. Below, we show the room viewer screen. It's obvious where the time is going and if there are any anomalies. For example, if a mistake was made in data entry and a room was put in with an extra zero added to the size - well, it would stick out like a sore thumb.

So, again, ask yourself, can my software do this?

Space Inventory Management - The Room View - And it's a Great View
It's worth more than its weigh in Gold
20th Anniversary Platinum Release Announcement
20th Anniversary Platinum Detailed Release Notes
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