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Why Your Company Needs a Robotics Cleaning Strategy

January 25, 2023 9:05 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in Innovation & Technology Robotic Cleaning Machines Industry News & Trends

Robotic cleaning strategy

Organizations across many industries—retail, industrial, education and healthcare—are facing a confluence of unprecedented pressures. Inflation remains at a 40-year high, despite some optimism and evidence that it’s easing in the U.S. Many analysts predict a recession is looming, though the timing and severity is uncertain.

Inventory shrinkage, especially for retailers and warehousing operations, further stresses the bottom line. Factor in margin contraction and there’s a perfect storm brewing that calls for increased flexibility to help mitigate these simultaneous pain points.

The Time for Transformation is Now

Uncertain times call for a new strategy that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics cleaning technology. Automatic floor scrubbers and AI have moved into the mainstream of modern cleaning strategies to navigate both internal and external pressures.

Once considered novel, floor cleaning robots are no longer something to think about moving toward in the distant future. For many retail and industrial organizations especially, robotic solutions are already working alongside employees to improve efficiency, overcome labor shortages and offset wage increases.

According to a 2021 survey conducted by RetailWire and Brain Corp, 25% of retailers already had in-store robotics projects underway, and nearly half indicated they will be involved in one in the next 18 months. That puts us to where we are today in 2023 as the autonomous floor cleaning robot is becoming the norm—rather than the exception—for a modern cleaning strategy designed to overcome the multitude of colliding internal and external pressures.

Robotics Impact on Inflation

Deploying robotics to perform some of the more routine cleaning tasks like floor scrubbing can mitigate the impact of inflationary periods. Rather than price hikes—which can drive customers away and revenue down—integrating autonomous cleaning into your strategy can improve cleaning efficiency and productivity.

Autonomous cleaning can solve a range of challenges—labor shortages, labor costs, high turnover, proof of cleaning, and safety concerns. Robotic cleaning equipment is also more thorough, deliberate, and efficient than human operators.

Relief During a Recession

Robotics cleaning strategy

Analysts believe there will be a recession in 2023 and, with it, a downsized workforce. With organizations already struggling with labor shortages may have to make do with even fewer workers. This makes deploying robotic cleaning solutions now a sound investment and wise strategy as you brace for what may come.

Having cleaning robots working alongside your workforce can fill the gap and ensure your facility maintains high standards for cleanliness, health, and safety no matter the economic climate.

Reducing Inventory Shrinkage

Especially in retail and warehousing, inventory shrinkage has emerged as a significant problem—and much of it is due to manual inventory management. Automated solutions, such as on-board inventory scanning robots that are integrated with robotic floor cleaning machines, make perfect sense to combat inventory shrinkage.

Robotic inventory scanning robots use computer vision and analytics technologies to capture high-quality inventory and store-mapping data. It collects real-time, on-shelf data and eliminates the need for cameras on shelves, drones, and other technologies that can be disruptive.

Combatting Margin Contraction

Inventory Scan

Many organizations have increased wages to keep the employees they have and help them fight the impact of inflation on their daily lives. But this may be cutting into your margins and causing them to contract. Deploying autonomous cleaning solutions can help your cleaning staff do more with fewer teammates. In addition, they free up staff to focus on cleaning high-touch areas of the facility—while robots handle floor scrubbing—increasing productivity and operational efficiency.

Robotic AI is the Here and Now

According to VentureBeat, investment in AI technologies is expected to surge in the near term. AI market share is expected to grow by $76 billion from 2020 to 2025, according to a market study by Technavio.

Furthermore, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) says it’s time to go all-in an AI. HBR conducted research over the last several years and identified 30 organizations that have jumped on the robotics train—and the following 10 actions they took to be successful.

  1. Know what you want to accomplish
  2. Work with an ecosystem of partners
  3. Master analytics
  4. Create a modular, flexible IT architecture
  5. Integrate AI into existing workflows
  6. Build solutions across the enterprise
  7. Create an AI governance and leadership structure
  8. Develop and staff centers of excellence
  9. Invest continually
  10. Always seek new sources of data

There is no denying the current and increasing pressures on businesses worldwide, making now the time to build your robotics/AI cleaning strategy. Investing in effective cleaning technologies like these will help you remain competitive as things evolve at an alarming rate.

No matter where you are on your robotics/AI roadmap, Tennant can help. Contact us today to talk with an expert and discuss getting started on a robotics/AI cleaning strategy today.


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