Spotless Group is looking at ways it can build the internet of things (IoT) into services it provides to facilities and venues nationwide.
The ASX-listed firm will run a hackathon next week at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to come up with ideas that work both for that venue, as well as others it services.
The company provides integrated facilities management services like catering and hospitality, cleaning, linen, maintenance, security and waste management.
It hopes to find IoT applications that “enhance the experience for customers within the context of venue and event management”, according to general manager of brand, innovation and technology, Julian Fogarty.
“That could look at helping to manage queues for food or restrooms, so perhaps there’s ways we can monitor current queues based on sensors and then automatically help redirect people who are attending a game to another café to get food or to another restroom,” Fogarty said.
“It’s really about trying to make a more tailored experience for customers [at venues].
“We also manage the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) across the whole venue so perhaps we could have more targeted sensors that look at attendee comfort and to make sure we’re doing it in the most environmentally optimal way.
“Also, [venue] customers are pretty keen to always have a cold beer, so we want to make sure the cooling equipment is running optimally.”
The company is using Startupbootcamp, a global network of industry startup accelerators, to help run the IoT hackathon at the MCG from November 21-22.
Participants will be pre-briefed on the kinds of challenges that Spotless Group wants to solve with IoT, and will then be provided with technology and access to internal subject matter experts to help crystallise their ideas and concepts.
“We really are focusing our efforts here on things that can improve customer experience,” Fogarty said.
“That’s not just our direct customer [the venue or facility owner] – it’s also their customers.
“What we do in our integrated facilities management offering ultimately underpins great experiences for people who come to the venues.”
Fogarty joined Spotless from KPMG Australia about ten months ago, and is leading the drive to incorporate innovation into Spotless’ culture – and perhaps more importantly, its contracts with customers.
The company is six months into that program of work, and is looking both internally and externally for ideas that can help it improve the way it does business.
Fogarty’s remit also covers Spotless’ digital strategy.
Spotless has been on a mobility drive in the past couple of years, in one case introducing a field force mobility app to better manage the 1.25 million-plus work orders raised by its customers each year.