| Managemant | Digitization
Transformation of a branch
The intelligent building
Digitization is already more than a slogan. Business models are changing; some disappearing
completely. No industry is immune. Even the cleaning industry. This interview focuses on the
significance of digitization for one building service provider.
Digitization is all the rage; everyone is talking about it.
There are many definitions of digitization – but what is it really?
One thing is certain: A paperless office is only a small fraction
of what is behind this concept. Harald Griebel is the Managing
for Technology, IT and Vehicle Fleets at the Dorfner Group
Nuremberg), one of Germany’s leading building service providers.
He discusses the concrete meaning of digitization in this sector as
well as the chances and challenges it provides.
rationell reinigen: Mr. Griebel, digitization is now unstoppable
in the world of building management. How does Dorfner define
Harald Griebel: In general, we distinguish different levels of
The technical level describes the digital conversion
of analog formats into digital ones, i.e. the development of the
letter into e-mail.
On the other hand, we understand the automated level as the automation
of manual activities. In the building cleaning sector, this
could mean the use of cleaning robots that would support cleaners
with their daily work, for example.
Then there is the transformation level, i.e. the conversion of
business models into new, maybe even disruptive
concepts with innovative value chains. The building
services industry still has a long way to go, but we have already
moved beyond pure thought experiments in several areas.
rationell reinigen: How do you use the technical opportunities
that digitization offers your company?
Harald Griebel: Just now, our administration and all our business
sectors are switching to a new ERP system (Enterprise Resource
Planning) that will help us avoid isolated solutions and create a
company-wide platform. Instead of different programs and files,
we will have one software solution that is faster, more transparent
and less prone to error. In addition, the system lets us optimally
link and evaluate differing processes.
rationell reinigen: Doesn’t this conversion involve great effort?
Harald Griebel: Yes and no. The biggest challenge we had in
the system was fully coordinating our internal
business processes. The advantage of this ERP system, however,
is that it adapts to our individual needs. Because it is based on a
classical menu structure found in well-known software solutions,
it is very easy to operate. In the longer term, this system will
our business processes.
rationell reinigen: Apart from the operation: What other advantages
will result from this new software system?
Harald Griebel: In general, we won’t need as many steps as before.
Information can even be provided without any action by the user –
precisely and promptly. For employees, mobile solutions like apps
or web clients are available for almost all activities.
rationell reinigen: How are you employing digitization in
Harald Griebel: In recent years, we have developed technologies
for all business areas that simplify our work and will also save
us money in the long run. This is due to increased performance –
without additional personnel. In addition, these technologies give
our customers real added value as well. At Dorfner Catering, for
example, we have developed a catering app exclusively for our
customers. It allows each user to create individual menus, provide
feedback on specific dishes and then prepare these meals at home.
A Dorfner employee at the Munich airport, where the “intelligent” sanitary
rooms are cleaned as needed aided by the Qmtouch (Mobiloclean)
system and the corresponding built-in sensors. Photo: rationell reinigen
52 GLOBAL CLEANING | ISSUE 2018