Direct Property Services
Direct Property Services provides quality, comprehensive cleaning solutions for commercial, corporate, industrial, and residential clients. Diligence and efficiency are central to the business philosophy and the family-run business prides itself on a specially trained and dedicated team of cleaning professionals who are committed to delivering best in class service, every time.
Continuing to build his fathers’ legacy, Emmanuel Giannakis took on the role of Managing Director at Direct Property Services in early 2017. To what was then a nearly 30-year-old business, mathematics graduate Manny brought fresh people management skills, an analytical brain and hunger for optimal business efficiency to operations.
As Director, Emmanuel must be across everything - alongside the actual services, products and materials used, staffing, account management, business development, analysis, as well as marketing and finance. To service their clients, the business works within a hierarchical structure; cleaners report into Site Supervisors, who are overseen by Area Managers, and the Area Managers report in turn, to Emmanuel.
Site Supervisors collect timesheet data from the cleaners, writing it up manually to be approved by the Area Manager on a piece of paper to be handed to Emmanuel. All shift timings and any notes are recorded on the same sheet, instead of individual cleaners having their own separate ones. These Supervisors perform cleaning duties whilst supervising their teams and dealing with clients from day-to-day. They are effectively the eyes and ears of the business at all times. For a large site that may have day and night shifts, the day Site Supervisor will hand over to the night Site Supervisor so that the service levels can be maintained.
Whilst busy working on large and complex sites, Site Supervisors were finding it difficult to be across all the workers at any one time. The cleaning teams were using WhatsApp to communicate with each other to know where to go and which tasks need to be done.
As anybody in the cleaning business knows - prospective briefs from clients aren’t always accurate to what the job actually looks like in reality. Occasionally, due to remote working requirements in
More often however, the opposite was found to be true. Cleaners were showing up for jobs that had been scoped out and quoted for, only to find that the time required to get on top of certain areas was far greater than anticipated. In this case, an “Add-on” invoice was issued to the client but the manual process of establishing what the extra work was and why it was necessary, was unreliable. Multiple lines of communication between Site Supervisors, Area Managers and cleaners across WhatsApp, phone calls, and paper notes were complex and error-prone. With invoices issued at the end of each month, cleaners had often forgotten specific details from shift to shift by then, and this lack of visibility, accuracy, and credibility made Emmanuel feel anxious and stressed each month at invoice time. COVID-19 also presented some serious concerns for the industry, the most obvious being traceability and visibility of staff from an OH&S standpoint. Until there is a vaccine, the importance of knowing where his workforce is at any given time weighed heavily on Emmanuels’ mind in the event of an outbreak. He began to look at digital solutions that would help alleviate risk, create a more accurate shift tracking system, and deliver greater efficiencies overall for his clients.
2020, or changes in staff scheduling, certain areas (particularly office spaces) had been hardly used between shifts, requiring a much lighter clean than previously predicted. Emmanuel began to wonder how this extra time could be managed better to save costs for his clients, or even used elsewhere on-site to provide greater efficiency and a better service.
"It was important for me and my team to find a platform that enables us to more easily connect with one another, and with our clients, from anywhere and at any time."
Emmanuel Giannakis, Managing Director at Direct Property Services Australia
Emmanuel was introduced to one of the founders of the award-winning temporary staffing platform Weploy via a mutual friend and member of the Club of United Business. An innovative approach to temporary recruitment - Weploy’s easy and user-friendly interface caught his eye, and he began to discuss his vision for a cleaning industry-specific variation of the software with the founders. Working closely with Emmanuel and his teams on a truly customer-led product, soon enough Weploy’s engineers had come up with TalentTap - a new software solution to help cleaning companies streamline their operations and track shifts with greater visibility.
With TalentTap, cleaning companies can communicate directly with staff in real-time via a user-friendly app on their smartphones. Scheduled tasks onsite are tracked and recorded digitally with an intuitive, GPS-tracked clock in and clock out feature which enables full visibility across workforces, for greater compliance and enhanced workplace safety. Notes and supporting evidence can be captured in-app for greater client trust. Automated timesheets ensure employees are paid correctly and on time, eliminating human error.
Researching existing tech solutions, Emmanuel and his teams trialled a couple of options, only to end up reverting back to WhatsApp, finding them difficult to adopt, clunky and unintuitive. Furthermore, discussing his challenges with his industry contacts, Emmanuel realised the challenges faced by Direct Property Services were not unusual. There was clearly a gap in the market for custom-built software for cleaning companies specifically, to help manage their workforces better, verify payment and invoicing processes, and ensure compliance across their operations.
Direct Property Services began using the software immediately, starting with one large and complex truck manufacturing client. The Area Managers and payroll teams are already reporting hours upon hours of time saved on their manual administrative tasks. The online client portal enables full visibility for the client and Emmanuel is able to deliver them with more accurate invoicing and digitally-tracked shift details. Coming from a background in mathematics, Emmanuel admits his favorite feature is the data analysis capabilities. In fact, using the task tracking feature he spotted a specific area at which his team members were clocking out sooner than usual. Communicating directly with the cleaners via the mobile app, he was able to reallocate that resource to a new site that the client was requesting an additional quote for, saving them $720 per week. Having access to insightful data at a glance means Emmanuel can forecast better and provide more accurate quotes for prospective clients too.
"Better workforce planning with TalentTap means I’m able to deliver optimal cost efficiency and guaranteed service excellence for my clients which is super important to me."
Recognising the power of the innovative new tech platform, governing industry body the Building Service Contractors Association of Australia has already partnered with TalentTap as part of their mission to help provide advice, guidance, and approved software solutions for its members, large and small. The future of work is here and for service-based businesses to keep up with their competitors in a rapidly shifting market, technological solutions that can drive efficiencies, deliver visibility and enable agility are essential to survive and thrive.
1/57-61 Alexandra Parade, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia