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Jason Petsch
Jason Petsch

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02 December 2019 | Jason Petsch

More FM companies should use data tracking technology, says Jason Petsch.

Your parcel arrives between 9am and 2pm so you limit fluid intake to avoid ill-timed bathroom breaks that make you miss the courier. The scenario is increasingly a concern of the past as delivery companies respond to customer dissatisfaction with rich data-tracking to plug the information gap. The result is customers who feel in control. But tracking capability is also essential for compliance. Let’s shift to the outdoor FM sector now. Company X contracts an outdoor FM firm to clear ice and snow from its site. But the company hears how a visitor at the site slipped and broke their leg – their lawyer has already been in touch about a personal liability claim.

But Company X knows their gritting contractor should have gritted the night before, thereby fulfilling the duty of care to keep the site safely accessible. So did the gritters grit or not? Was their job up to standard?

Company X would have benefited from having a contractor that uses data tracking. This technology already exists – recording a site visit from the moment a gritting vehicle enters a geofenced area, tracking the movement of gritting crews via apps – but few outdoor FM firms use it.

Say Company X’s contractor had this tech, it would have been able to provide the court with a ‘breadcrumb map’ showing to the minute the time spent by the gritting operative at the location of the accident. It could have also shared the quantities of grit distributed during the visit.

Embracing tech changes as seen in faster-moving industries is so obvious but it remains unusual for outdoor FM companies to do so. When expectations change – as they did in the courier market – this level of performance will become the default, especially in more risk-averse contexts.

Jason Petsch is CEO at GRITIT