April 23, 2022

Millennium’s fleet of twenty-five Neos helps keep Australia’s premier shopping centers clean and sanitized

Millennium turns to automation for large retail spaces

Overseeing cleaning and facilities management for one of the largest shopping mall chains in Australia is no small task. Millennium, one of the primary companies leading this cleaning and facility management effort, is embracing automation to keep the properties safe and appealing for shoppers and tenants alike.

Neo goes shopping

In 2017, Millennium purchased and deployed fifteen Avidbots Neo autonomous floor scrubbing robots across eight premier shopping center locations. In line with its aggressive innovation stance, the retailer drove a relatively quick mass deployment.

As leaders within their respective industries that seek modern solutions, Millennium and the retailer felt comfortable that the robotic floor cleaners could solve a number of business challenges:

Labor allocation

With labor cutbacks in the wake of the pandemic, organizations are seeking ways to give their cleaning teams the tools to do their jobs more effectively. A single Neo unit can easily free cleaning staff from the five to six hours otherwise spent using an industrial scrubber every night. Those team members can then move to more detailed sanitizing of high-touch surfaces throughout the malls.

Competitive stance

As Australian companies absorb relatively high labor costs, they need to make sure their talent pools are getting results. Augmenting cleaning teams with the Avidbots Neo has helped Millennium reduce cleaning costs, not to mention it has given the facilities management firm a reputational boost from their use of Neo autonomous floor scrubbing robots.

Measurable, consistent, quality cleaning

The Neo autonomous floor scrubber offers the performance metrics to optimize the cleaning operation. With the proprietary Avidbots Command Center, a web based software, approved personnel can monitor, manage and track their Neo—or an entire fleet of Neos—remotely and in real time. Additionally, they can access highly detailed reports of every cleaning operation, including precise productivity metrics and sector-level coverage maps.

Removing an entire step in the maintenance process?

At each shopping center, additional time is regularly spent maintaining the sealed tiled floor. With the deployment of Neo, an entire step in the maintenance process can be removed. Typically, the cleaning team would sweep, scrub and then burnish. By using the 3M Scotch-Brite™Clean and Shine pad with Neo it gradually approaches burnish-quality results without the extra step. Not only is Neo delivering a truly autonomous clean and sanitization, it’s also burnishing the floor.

“Neo helps free up our people from hours of floor scrubbing allowing them to move on to more detailed sanitizing of high-touch surfaces throughout centres. Our experience over 4 years is that using Avidbots Neo makes us more productive, more cost-effective and makes our work easier. The software onboard the Avidbots Neo allows us to monitor, track and measure the performance of the contract for our clients. This year we are very excited to welcome the latest addition to our fleet, the Avidbots Neo 2.”

— Wayne Crewes, General Manager Integrated Services, Millennium

The “New Normal” drives innovation

Well before 2020, retail centers were turning to automation to create efficiencies and help staff do their jobs better. Across functions—security, utilities, operations and more—technology enables better decision making and use of resources. It’s common for sensors to alert cleaning personnel when waste receptacles and restrooms require service, improving the customer experience. This trend toward automated solutions has only accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic, driving a new focus on cleanliness, sterility and safety. Millennium and the premier retailer, as early adopters for such technologies, have outpaced the industry in the use of automation and, in many ways, were better prepared to service properties in a post-COVID environment.

With a sizable fleet of Avidbots Neos in the field for four years, Millennium had learned on the job, gaining valuable (and actionable) insights into putting Neo to optimal use. The information gleaned from rich datasets provided by the Avidbots Command Center have helped Millennium deploy in shopping centers of varying sizes and layouts. At this point, facilities professionals have the metrics-backed experience to swiftly deploy in new mall locations, and then to use the robot to its full potential.

Neo in action

  • Disc Cleaning Head Size
    • 26″ or 32″
  • Maximum Theoretical Coverage Speed
    • Up to 3,900 m2 / 42,000 ft2 per hour*
    • *Calculated maximum theoretical value.
  • Typical Cleaning Duration^
    • 5 – 6 hours (daily)
    • ^A cleaning session uses 1 battery charge and/or 1 cleaning solution tank.

A successful facilities partnership

Since Millennium premiered the first Avidbots Neo robots, the firm has expanded and upgraded the fleet. In those four years, Neo has continued to develop. Today, about forty percent of the Millennium fleet of twenty-five Neos deployed in retailer’s properties are a recent upgraded version of Neo, Neo 2. Aside from improvements in logic and design, the latest breed of the Avidbots Neo includes:

  • Industry-leading autonomy powered by the Avidbots AI Platform
  • Best-in-class technology integration with advanced diagnostics and Avidbots Real-Time Monitoring and Remote Assistance
  • Unmatched operational safety with state-of-the-art technology combined with e-stop buttons, bumpers, beacon and integrated signaling lights and a sound system that talks

Millennium continues to maintain their Neo fleet through the Avidbots Gold Plan Maintenance Pack, accessing local support, regular upkeep and on-site service when needed. Together, the retailer and their facility management partner, Millennium, are helping create inviting shopping environments while keeping retail businesses open—with a renewed stress on cleanliness and safety.

Avidbots Gold Maintenance Plan

Ideal for organizations needing a fixed, predictable cost for the upkeep and maintenance of their Avidbots Neo investment. Avidbots Neo’s Gold Plan includes:

  • 3 preventative maintenance visits each year
  • Extended warranty on Avidbots Neo hardware
  • Replacement of consumable parts including brushes, pads and squeegees

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