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Smart Technology at Sodexo, Looking into the Future

From major cities to regional and remote, Sodexo has operated across Australia for more than 30 years, providing workplaces with more than 100 integrated services. During that time, Sodexo has analysed how it interacts with remote sites operate, identifying pain points and how to overcome them through the use of smart technology.

“With people positioned in remote sites across the country, remote collaboration is a central part of our day- to-day operations. By using innovative technology, such as AMA’s XpertEye assisted reality solution, we’re able to optimise communication with our remote workers, keep our people safe, and build a more productive workplace.” Darren Hedley, Sodexo CEO Energy & Resources APAC

When critical assets experience an issue in a remote location it can have a serious impact on business continuity and safety if on-site technicians and operational management are not able to immediately diagnose and resolve the problem.

Due to the expense of placing skilled technicians or Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) at remote sites, a significant amount of time and money can be spent sending experts to the remote location each time a maintenance or health and safety support activity is required.

Before the introduction of new technology, many Sodexo teams were limited to capturing single snapshots of remote asset data when they would perform site visits once or twice a year. This limited the team’s insight into asset performance, and a heavy reliance and responsibility was placed solely on remote field workers on-site.

Sodexo recognised the need for a solution which would increase productivity and safety measures for Sodexo’s teams and clients, so our SMEs could instead focus on the more technical aspects of asset management and HSE.

By replacing tasks such as data reading and physical asset monitoring, Sodexo is enabling employees to focus on upskilling, professional development, and activities they actually enjoy.

SMART GLASSES, SMART SOLUTIONS

To counter these challenges, Sodexo piloted AMA’s XpertEye Assisted Reality (AR) technology solution for one of its largest mining contracts in Western Australia. In March 2020, Sodexo commenced the Smart Glasses pilot program, with 11 pairs of AR glasses (smart glasses), implemented across several sites.

The glasses allowed city-based workers to see through the eyes of on-site field workers, providing accurate and real-time insight into how sites were performing and whether off-site assistance was needed.

The technology also vastly improved safety and compliance by allowing technical experts to connect with local technicians and provide remote risk management, audits, and inspections, while building on-site HSE capability through technical support and training.

During the pilot, a single use of the smart glasses achieved the equivalent productivity savings of at least one return flight and up to 13 hours of labour. Taking this into consideration, the total investment in the pilot (including hardware costs and operational expenses) was recovered after only three months and 10 days. Using this modelling, Sodexo has the potential to achieve a 344 percent return on investment over 12 months and reduce travel-related costs by as much as 50 percent moving forward.

With travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this implementation could not be more timely. But beyond travel restrictions, the smart glasses have allowed Sodexo to predict problems before they arise and eliminate them before any lasting damage or issues can occur.

This technology is now an essential part of Sodexo’s services, particularly for site teams with fewer resources, and has accelerated Sodexo’s mission to build smart workplaces through digital innovation.

APPLYING SUCCESS ELSEWHERE

With the pilot successful, Sodexo identified 100 operational sites in Australia, which required remote HSE support. Sodexo has coordinated 20 pairs of the smart glasses to circulate on a regimented rotation across these sites (one pair will service five sites).

The smart glasses have also now been deployed across other segments of the business, including Healthcare, Education, Corporate projects. In total, Sodexo has 37 pairs of smart glasses in use across HSE and Facilities Management operations.

“By recognising how challenges can be solved with innovative technology, we apply a spirit of progress to everything we do and enable our FM solutions to operate at their best.” Paul Amato, Sodexo Director FM Platform

Sodexo’s use of the smart glasses technology represents a best practice safety model which has the potential to ensure the safety of facilities management practitioners long into the future.

SODEXO’S SAFER TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY

Following the overwhelming success of the Smart Glasses pilot program, Sodexo is continuing to invest in this technology and aims to deploy one pair across each of its sites in the future.

Looking to the future, such innovative technology sets the foundation for Sodexo’s technicians to monitor asset conditions remotely and intervene on-the-go at any site globally. By replacing tasks, such as data reading and physical asset monitoring,

Sodexo is enabling employees to focus on upskilling, professional development, and activities they actually enjoy.

These technologies pave the way for a more efficient workplace. Our Smart Glasses program has shown how introducing a new way of working can enable employees to focus on what they do best and have the opportunity to excel.

“An optimised workspace allows Sodexo to ensure a safe working environment, better processes and smarter solutions. At Sodexo, we continue to strive towards improving every facet of our business so our team can do what they do best.” Ria Smith, Sodexo Australia HSE Director

May 13, 2021

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