Sprucing up Changi's toilets with technology

Sprucing up Changi's toilets with technology
Housekeeping officer Low Fe Padilla (above) using an interactive screen which lets her check for reported faults in the toilet at Changi Airport.

SINGAPORE - Smartphones and other high-tech gadgets seem to have invaded almost every part of our lives, so it is no surprise that they are even revolutionising Changi Airport's toilets.

Housekeeping supervisor Sumathi Sellapah, 45, is right on the frontline, helping to pioneer a new way of dealing with the old-world problem of keeping loos clean.

When she spots a leaking tap or a broken flush, she no longer needs to waste time looking for the contractor, but merely scans a QR code in the toilet and enters the fault into her work smartphone that has special software.

The phone then transmits a message to the contractor in an instant. This is just one small step to help raise productivity in a tight labour market.

Previously, inspections and faults were recorded in writing or through telephone calls.

The real-time inspection technology as well as an instant feedback system for passengers to rate airport staff and facilities were introduced three years ago to improve service standards.

There have been "quantifiable results" - cost savings, manpower reduction and better service, said Mr Foo Sek Min, Changi Airport Group's executive vice-president (corporate).

The airport has saved more than $2 million in costs annually and reduced the housekeeping and maintenance headcount by 69, or about 5 per cent so far, added Mr Foo.

Response time to faults has also improved, with almost all problems resolved within half an hour.

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