Related Stories

How Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan increased efficiency while meeting the highest cleanliness standards duringCOVID

Read Full Story

How Mero helped Colliers reduce consumables waste by 30% and speed up response time to priority issues by 5x.

95 St. Clair Ave
Company Size
Commercial Cleaning Partners
Impact Cleaning Services
Hallmark Housekeeping (other sites)
faster response time to priority issues
reduction in consumables waste

The challenge

Colliers needed to provide a premium tenant experience with a low-risk solution that provided quick ROI. They also wanted to understand building traffic and cleaning staff location, and more importantly, which actions to take based on this data.

The Outcome

Using Mero, Colliers has now complete visibility over consumable levels, building traffic, and cleaner location. Thanks to real-time alerts, cleaning staff are routed to handle priority issues and reduced pre-emptively throwing paper rolls - resulting in a 5x improvement in response time to priority issues and a 30% increase in runway of supplies in 6 months.

By allowing us to see in real-time what’s being consumed, building traffic and the movement flows of our employees, it allows us to make smarter decisions and understand site-by-site the unique challenges of each building and adapt our workflows to be more efficient.

George Boutsalis

Vice President at Impact Cleaning Services

It’s become an all-too-familiar story: A large property management organization with a long history of doing business with a cleaning company — and realizing — they didn't know how good of a job they were doing, what they could be doing better, and if they were being effective versus the competition.​​

Colliers, a global real estate services firm based in Canada, faced the situation like a champ.

Like so many others, they had long-standing relationships with commercial cleaning contractors and a base level of customer complaints.

Yet, no data to back their decisions on how to reduce consumables waste, improve response time, and allocate cleaning labor dynamically based on building traffic.

95 St. Clair Ave was no ordinary building though. The tenant is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada: Desjardins.

A high-priority client with high demands. Good enough wouldn't be enough. The Colliers team wanted to roll out a solution that would offer a higher-tier service without breaking the bank.
Mero presented itself as an obvious ROI-positive solution - something they could use to raise cleanliness standards while increasing their bottom line.

"Colliers wanted to see ROI fast, so we started with supply monitoring" specified Nathan Co-Founder at Mero.

The building had no previous smart building solution in place. There was no way of knowing which spaces have been cleaned and when, which were the busiest days/hours, and how much supply was being wasted.

It presented a considerable challenge for Colliers: how can you serve your tenants better and optimize cleaning without knowing exactly what's happening on-site?

Mero provided Colliers with the visibility on consumable levels, building traffic, and cleaning staff location it was missing.

The payoff is clearly visible in their results.

Since implementing Mero, the building saw a 5x improvement in response time to priority issues and a 30% increase in runway of supplies in 6 months.

The Mero-Colliers partnership was born out of a need to deliver a premium tenant experience for a flagship client and grew from one building to 12. It was thanks to proven results and a close partnership with the cleaning contractor, Impact Cleaning Services.

How the Mero-Colliers-Impact relationship began

Before implementing Mero, neither the Colliers nor Impact team had real-time visibility on supply levels, building traffic, and what tasks cleaners were completing on-site.

As a result, neither team could pinpoint where they could improve, and that was something they wanted to correct.
The Colliers team saw Mero as a way for their cleaning contractor to provide more transparency and Impact embraced it as a way to stand out from the competition.

And so Colliers became one of the best examples of a property manager connecting all parties together.

"The most critical item when it comes to executing on Mero is having a property manager and cleaner relationship to be as open and transparent as possible and allowing us to be that bridge between the two," shared Nathan.

This started on the right foot since Mero and Impact already had a good relationship.

Per Nathan, "What really helped make things smoother was that Impact had already embraced Mero. The site manager we trained was aware of Mero and understood how Mero would fit in their workflow,".

With Mero's sensor & analytics platform, all parties now know for sure what's happening on-site so they can improve their workflows:
  • What tasks have been completed and when
  • Building traffic and peak times
  • Consumable levels
  • Best time to refill without waste
As George shared, "By allowing us in seeing in real-time what’s being consumed, building traffic and the movement flows of our employees, it allows us to make smarter decisions and understand site-by-site the unique challenges of each building and adapt our workflows to be more efficient and effective and more thorough and leave less room for ambiguity”.

He explains further the importance of real-time data to build trust and let property managers make more educated decisions.

It sounds amazing. But adoption at Colliers wasn’t quite smooth sailing from day one.

Growing into a 2-way partnership

Partnerships are a 2-way street and require open dialogue and transparency. This communication took trial and error at the beginning.

The tides turned quickly as the Colliers team saw Mero pivot by creating more opportunities for feedback and engagement as a consultative partner.

"The key part came when the Colliers team gave us feedback on what is of use to them. That's when they could feel they were getting more value and we had the feedback to unlock this new value for them", said Nathan.

George echoes that sentiment: "Just like with any partnership, there’s going to be ebb and flows where you’re not getting what you need but you need to communicate that. Mero’s technology is great for the industry but the key is that you are committed to it for the long run and work as partners”.

Mero's customer success team got rid of templatized reports. Something that would work for one building wouldn't necessarily work for another.

Instead, its team framed questions like this during quarterly reviews: we provided x value here, is this of use to you? And is this something you want to us build more of?

"Framing it a little differently made it more approachable", added Nathan.

Mero also started to focus on custom KPIs.

These include:
  • Average refill percentage: a marker of supply savings
  • Corrected visits: a marker of labor savings
  • Response time: determines how effective the alerting system 
is and how well the training is working.
  • Total visit length and total aggregate number of visits: 
determine how often cleaners are actually responding to Mero alerts

Transparency and data-backed decisions are the new reality

Gone are the days of assumptions, guessing, and pen and paper logs.

Mero's data-driven insights now drive every facet of Colliers’ cleaning operations.

Cleaning staff's ability to receive alerts routing them to the highest-priority issues has led them to respond faster.

Mero has enabled cleaners to know which areas need attention immediately and which are lower priority. Cleaning staff can now prioritize important tasks and eliminate downtime and wandering.

Before Mero, cleaners followed strict routines. If they entered a washroom and a paper roll was half full, it would be pre-emptively thrown out and replaced - increasing consumables waste.

With Mero, cleaners received alerts to refill at the optimal time so supplies are always stocked without waste.

With the help of Mero, the teams at Collier and Impact have also become better aligned. Mero’s automated work logs provide both with detailed history of cleaningsessions - allowing them to verify the scope of work and define cleaning mandates.
As the Mero-Colliers partnership grows, the property management team is digging into more ways to take advantage of Mero's data and insights. Specifically, they are beginning to use Mero's occupancy data to know when the buildings are getting busier and how many tenants are returning back to work.

The future of Mero + Colliers: Roadmap for 10x ROI

The success at 95 St. Clair Ave provides other Collier buildings a blueprint to adopt and maximize Mero's cleaning insights.

Building relationships across Colliers’ other commercial cleaning vendors including Hallmark Housekeeping is a really important aspect of this approach.

"Just like with Impact, we knew that getting buy-in early on from commercial cleaners is key to making this work," shares Nathan.

He adds: "Our goal is to provide the same value in hundreds of other Colliers sites while working in conjunction with multiple cleaning companies in a streamlined fashion. That will be the marker of how scalable and flexible the Mero solution is.

"Although there's no single way to expand relationships with customers, Mero adopts a bottoms-up approach. They start by working closely with the operations team and curating their feedback. Then getting buy-in with general managers and showcasing how one building's results can be replicated and multiplied across entire building portfolios.
"This is the ROI for one building, now multiply that by 3 or even 10 buildings".Mero also works with VPs of innovation who have in-depth knowledge of how its solution can fit with other smart building solutions and further expand into other buildings.
Read The Commercial Real Estate Roles Responsible for Launching Mero
This is the best approach for property managers because they get a low-risk way to test out Mero’s solutions before scaling it.

"We are always open to doing pilots because not every property manager operates the exact same way. They all have different ways of doing business and implementing solutions. " shared Nathan.
When it comes to driving 10x ROI, there’s also room for creativity. Mero applies learnings and refines its approach with every new deployment.

But when the property manager or general manager is engaged, thinks outside the box and finds new ways that the Mero team has not even thought of, that's when results go from 3x to 10x ROI.

New use cases for occupancy data can include:
  • Rescheduling cleaning staff
  • Renegotiating contracts based on usage
  • Working on different security routes
“Property managers can start to gain significant ROI because of how many things can really do with this data. It doesn't just stop at cleaning,” explained Nathan. "Most people are not even thinking of this so it's a huge competitive advantage for savvy property managers who challenge the status quo”.

Keep exploring stories like this one

Ready to see
Mero in action?
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.