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4xi Innovation Partners: Building Consumer Confidence for Re-entry


COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our lives, the world economy, the world of work, and commercial real estate is no exception. How do you build consumer confidence for re-entry to the physical space is the dilemma on many business leaders right now.


For the past year or so, every business essentially ran a forced experiment on working remotely. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, topics like hybrid work policies and flex spaces are reshaping how we think about the workplace. While the “future workplace” and how to manage it is still being defined, the vital role of how technology can play a part in providing this confidence is in the spotlight now, more than ever before.


Consumer confidence upon re-entry and beyond will be a critical factor. How safe the buildings, the environment, and the people around them are will be key pieces of information, as will the knowledge and proof points that the buildings are clean, sanitary, and safe. These factors are critical as business leaders and property owner reopen across the world.


A recent webinar by JLL Technologies on the impact of COVID on Facilities Management showed that in many cases, the spend increase for cleaning facilities is more than 50 percent. A similar observation was made by other market leaders in the facility management space. The industry is looking to new technological innovations for achieving data-driven, just-in-time cleaning and maintenance that can help mitigate these increasing costs, and make buildings safer for the occupants.


In a post-COVID world, many aspects of the traditional, fixed schedule-based cleaning processes will not be scalable. In fact, that is the core of the problem leading to the cost increase. Facilities will need data driven processes to tackle a multitude of new challenges, including:

1. High touch, high usage areas will need more frequent and deeper cleaning, making it critical to understand usage patterns within the building and how they change over time.

2. Cleaning crews previously trained to maintain a clean and fresh appearance for the facility while remaining “invisible” now need to do the exact opposite. Cleaning now must become extremely visible to building occupants, so that they feel reassured, comfortable, and safe.

3. Building occupants will start playing a key role in the cleaning and disinfection process. Cleaning processes and schedules, previously the purview of the facility maintenance company alone, will have a much broader scope, and visibility to consumers.

4. Due to increased need for deep cleaning in common areas like conference rooms, it is important to optimize the cleaning resources by using data-driven cleaning to keep the expenses in check. 

These are fundamental changes to the cleaning process in a post-COVID world, and they show how imperative open technology platforms with distributed, actionable recommendations will be to successfully execute these changes. Zan Compute is one such innovator, leading the way with IoT harvested data in various verticals including airports, commercial office spaces, campuses, health care facilities, and stadiums.

Given the diverse nature of cleaning requirements, most facilities employ a variety of point solutions to meet their needs. This, however, increases the risk of data silos which limit the potential of a data-driven cleaning process.

In order to truly move into a data-driven future, facilities will need open platforms that facilitate information flow across systems, and AI to aggregate and analyze the data for actionable recommendations.”

Zan Compute has structured their platform with a construct based on value creation – the 3 C’s: Create, Curate, and Circulate:

CREATE the source data on how a facility is being used. This can include a nearly infinite range of data points about a building, including:

- Digital records of tasks performed by the cleaning crew.
- Washroom sensors to monitor resource usage.
- Expected facility traffic information (classes, flights, events etc.).
- Sensors, for privacy-focused tracking, space occupancy, usage patterns.

CURATE the data to extract insights and recommendations. Zan Compute has machine learning algorithms that can fuse all the various data sources across a building to provide both just-in-time and longitudinal recommendations. For example:

 - Knowing when there ad-hoc incidents requiring immediate attention.
 - Where to invest in more frequent cleaning based on usage patterns. 
 - Leveraging data and Artificial Intelligence that drive efficiency.
 - Drive better service, and deliver significant savings simultaneously.

CIRCULATE recommendations to the right people, in the right places, at the right time. Getting the data in to the hands of decision-makers and service workers at the right time is a critical step to enable quick action and is ultimately crucial to understanding the realization of the value from the AI recommendations through the use of:

- Readily accessible dashboards for rapid access to data, and action.
- Tailored data views for different stakeholders in the organization.
- Straight to the actionable data without sifting through silos.
- Information and insights that is immediately translatable to action.

Zan Compute has shown savings of up to 30 percent in resource utilization and over 50 percent reduction in material wastage. In fact, their solution typically has an ROI of less than one year. 

"In response to the new requirements in a COVID-19 environment, Zan launched their 4th C: Cleansparency (Cleaning Transparency)."

For the first time Cleansparency closes the loop between building occupants and the cleaning crew. It not only allows the building occupants to provide feedback, but also captures detailed records of cleaning tasks performed in any given area and provides that information directly to building occupants. This two-way information flow is critical in the post COVID-19 world.


COVID-19 has undeniably affected every aspect of our personal and professional lives. Its has somehow stress tested the issues that existed before and accentuated them. It has forced us to think about even mundane, day-to-day things differently. The cleanliness and sanitary condition of the buildings we enter is no exception.


The past year or so has forces building owners, corporate real estate, and operators to track and act on these accentuated requirements in a more data-driven manner, thus accelerating the digital transformation in front of us today. Technology providers architecting this transformation must consider the need for open systems to share data, data analysis and AI, and how their solution can coexist within a technology ecosystem to provide value that is more than the sum of its parts. Such an ecosystem will not only allow for the ability to tackle the current challenges, but also provides a better tool chain to tackle future challenges, pandemics or otherwise.


How are you planning to building consumer confidence for re-entry to the physical space?


Please visit our Explorers Innovation Directory to learn more about Zan Compute and their facility maintenance platform or contact us at hello@4xiconsulting.com to set up an introductory call or demo.


Inspiring the future, together.

4xi Global Workplace Consulting & Solutions provides a range of services to support Corporations, Service Providers, Innovators, and Accelerators to navigate the world of work. Inspiring the future of work, together.

4xi is proud to be Chair of WORKTECH Academy for North America and a member of its Leadership Advisory Board. 4xi is a Global Ambassador for WORKTECH Academy.

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