Concepta and Clean the World Partner to Create a Dynamic Online Portal for Hospitality Customers

What happens to the soap after a guest checks out of their hotel? This question posed by frequent business traveler, Shawn Seipler, inspired a green movement. He embraced the opportunity to turn one man’s trash into another’s life-saving treasure.

Clean the World is the result of that vision. It’s mission: “recycling soap to save lives.”

Concepta became a partner in that mission by providing a new automated system for interaction with their hotel partners. This automation means Clean the World can now bring on thousands more hospitality partners and improve customer service at the same time.

Responsible Profit

Clean the World has paved the way for another unique movement. In 2014, they became Florida’s first Benefits Corporation (B-Corp). A social enterprise with a charitable mission and an environmentally-conscious corporate ethos. Where many non-profits struggle with donation-based funding, this business model ensures stable funding to all their charitable programs. And business is thriving.

Complex social and environmental climates leave no shortage of need for Clean the World’s services. For a decade, the organization has provided bars of soap to the communities of developing nations. This has resulted in a 60% reduction of the death rate of children under the age of five due to hygiene-related illnesses. In addition, Clean the World’s foundation provides hygiene supplies for emergency response. When disaster strikes, whether home or abroad, victims are recipients of their hygiene kits.

Clean the World funds their mission through their hospitality partners, who pay to have hygiene products collected and recycled, and thousands of generous donors and corporations that support Clean the World’s programs. By partnering with Clean the World, businesses earn a reputation of corporate social responsibility.

Today, over 8,000 hotels participate in Clean the World’s recycling program. Participation results in a reduction of their negative environmental impact and allows them to spotlight their company's humanitarian side. Housekeepers around the world collect hygiene amenities from over 1.1 million hotel rooms daily and contribute to the diversion of over 20 million pounds of hotel waste from landfills. Combined, these efforts ease both an environmental concern and a humanitarian crisis.

It’s more than a philanthropic gesture, of course. Customer experience and hotel reputation are critical brand differentiators for travelers, especially with rates leveled by bargain apps.

“People want to know that their money is going back to a worthy cause,” explains Sandra Beauchamp, CTW’s Vice President of Marketing, Products, & Technology. “They’re starting to choose hotels based on the give-back programs they have.” Clean the World’s data is a major marketing boost for hospitality partners, who can share measurable results to share with their guests.

How It Works

The collection process is simple. The housekeeping teams gather the leftover hygiene items after a guest checks and deposit them into dedicated bins. When the bins fill up, the hotels submit a request for pickup. The bins are then swapped for empty ones and the full bins get shipped back to a Clean the World facility.

Teams of volunteers help sort the collected hygiene products. Clean the World recruits these volunteers from local businesses and organizations that emphasize volunteering as a morale boost and team-building event.

The sorted soap is then ground down, treated with a proven disinfecting process, and reformed into brand new bars. Bottles such as shampoo, conditioner, and body wash get recycled or sent to an Energy from Waste facility.

Volunteers and businesses also support Clean the World by assembling hygiene kits containing soap, shampoo, conditioner, socks, and toothbrush and toothpaste. The kits are distributed with the help of NGOs, both domestically as well as in 127 countries around the world. Hygiene kits find their way to shelters, refugee camps, schools, deployed soldiers and more.

Popularity Problems

Proof that their methods benefit all stakeholders while contributing to a cleaner environment has won Clean the World international acclaim. This has attracted the interest of many more prospective hospitality partners.

That’s great from a profit standpoint, but with substantial growth came an increased need for a tool that would help with logistics. A manual system for requesting bins, printing shipping labels and viewing impact statements would no longer suffice. They needed a tool that would create a good customer experience while streamlining logistics.

Their previous model required reliance on direct contact. A staffer had to address every request, even for a routine shipping label. This was easy to do when Clean the World was small, but as they grew it became progressively unmanageable.

Over time, the hassle experienced by hotel partners could have translated into less frequent impact updates. Room attendants, unable to see the results of their efforts, could have stopped taking the extra step of collecting the toiletries.

That’s dangerous for a program that relies on internal buy-in. If the team isn’t on board and there’s no visible impact to motivate them, the hospitality partner might lose interest in the program altogether.

Clean the World needed a better way to facilitate shipments and demonstrate impact to their growing network of partners.

The Search For The Right Developer

As enthusiastic supporters of technology, Clean the World started looking for a development partner to address the issue instead of considering a more analog solution.

“We went through a very extensive vetting process. We had 15 that we were looking at and we narrowed it down to 8, then compared them across the board,” Beauchamp said of the decision process.

Their requirements were simple but non-negotiable. As a B Corp, Clean the World needed a responsive developer with a clean reputation, someone who wouldn’t damage the brand they’ve worked hard to build. They wanted a partner with a portfolio of similarly high-volume projects that demonstrated quality and flexibility.

Also important was the potential for long-term collaboration. “We didn’t look at this as one project. We have a lot of technologies we want to do going forward, so we want someone we can grow with,” says Rob Keefe, Manager of Products and Business Development at Clean the World.

Based on these requirements, the team settled on fellow Orlando business Concepta. Proximity tipped the balance in Concepta’s favor. Their downtown office gives the team a physical location to meet and talk over issues.

Programming Around Bottlenecks

After identifying the main bottlenecks in Clean the World’s process, Concepta went to work on an ambitious solution. They designed a digital platform that provides hospitality partners real-time, round-the-clock, direct access to Clean the World’s services.

Requesting new bins is now an automated process that generates shipping labels and orders new bins on demand. The need for frequent direct contact has been eliminated. Hotel staff can simply sign in, print labels, and schedule the exact bins they need.

Most exciting is the responsive Impact Portal. Partners can pull up live, site-specific metrics illustrating exactly how much they’ve accomplished. The feature was one of Clean the World’s priorities, says Beauchamp.

“A big part of our service is the impact statements. Hotels want to know their impact: how much waste they’ve diverted, and how many bars of soap have been distributed because of their hard work. We want to show room attendants the results of their efforts, so we can make a huge difference in the lives of the people we serve. Soap really does save lives!”

Results That Shine

The online portal went live December 4, 2018, and the impact has been transformative. Where once 10 people were responsible for adding new partners manually, onboarding is now an efficiently automated process. In one day, Clean the World onboarded over 4,000 hotels - a feat which would have been impossible under the old system.

“It’s a turnkey process,” Beauchamp explains. “They get started faster, they can send their soap in faster, and we can process and get it out faster.”

She adds that the impact statements are a huge success with hospitality partners. “It’s like a competition now. They say, ‘I want to get to 1,000 bars!’ or ‘Let’s do a million by the end of the year!’ Knowing how many bars they’ve shipped, how much waste they’ve diverted, that keeps them invested.”

In a year’s time, Clean the World’s online portal has nearly 20,000 users, with more than 60,000 sessions logged so far. The self-service option has been a big hit. Users are spending a consistent average of 5 minutes on the portal per visit, which surprised the CTW team. “I expected that at first, because we have training videos on there. But we’ve maintained a 5-minute average visit. That’s great! It means people are staying involved and engaged.”

Freed from tedious tasks, Clean the World can focus their efforts on higher quality customer service. “We still get calls, but they’re more technical,” Beauchamp says. “The nice thing is that now it’s quality conversations we’re having with our clients.”

Next Steps

Concepta and Clean the World plan to use the portal to automate even more processes. Today, hospitality partners are able to upgrade their accounts through the portal. For example, some only use the soap recycling program. They’ll are now able to upgrade to bottled amenities right within the app.

There’s also an in-app retail store in the works. The store would offer shirts for crew members, recognition items for top performers, marketing materials, and other products to help hospitality partners make the most of Clean the World’s services.

Beauchamp has also anticipated a need for the dashboard to be customizable on an individual level. Hospitality partners will be able to adjust what they see and arrange things to fit into their unique workflows.

For now, the portal is living up to Clean the World’s high expectations. Beauchamp was enthusiastic about the wider benefits it provides to hospitality partners. “Of course, they can get an answer more quickly, cut down the time to service, but it’s also a chance to see the exciting things Clean the World is doing. They’re able to see their dollars being utilized in a meaningful way. Clean the World partners are able to engage with us better than ever before. Any time there’s a hygiene crisis, we respond, and our partners are a part of that story.”

Founder and CEO Shawn Seipler says, “The development of the portal has been an instrumental component of the onboarding process. Partners can see their real-time impact and Clean the World can allocate more resources to our mission: recycling soap to save lives.”

That’s the real impact of the portal: more resources being diverted from landfills and sent where they’re most needed. It’s a win for Clean the World, a win for the hotels and resorts involved, and a win for the planet.

Kingdom Strollers: How Technology Helped Make Strollers Big Business In Orlando

Kingdom Strollers started out of a condo in central Florida as a small family business in 2010. It is now a well-oiled, data machine, looking to implement business intelligence solutions next for features like up-selling opportunities on insurance, beverages and other add-ons and better visualization in forecasting inventory levels. Their investment in technology made them an industry leader in Orlando tourism.

SMB/SMEs have many start-up costs that are a priority. Investing in digital and business intelligence tools seems like something that can be developed later, yet delaying the launch of complementary technology can actually be the reason a business rapidly stagnates.

From a rented 6,700 square-foot space to a newly built, 16-000 square foot warehouse they can call their own, Kingdom Strollers can clearly see the return on investment from digitizing the business.

Kingdom Strollers, a stroller and crib rental company serving tourists and one of only a few Disney-preferred providers, has seen its revenue grow 40 percent year over year since working with Concepta on custom web development. This included adding abilities such as inventory tracking, online booking, delivery updates and travel agent referral tracking to its website.

The owner, Matthew Wilhite, knows the world of stroller rentals is not a glamorous one. The investment in technology made the company considerably more “attractive” though.

There is a lot of tracking involved with one simple order, from checking an inventory constantly in flux, to ensuring on-time delivery and knowing the exact stroller location drop-off. One major pain point for the company was constant updates to an order, all previously done through countless phone calls and changes to the master spreadsheet. Now, the order and update process is managed through the website—a win for the company and the customers.

Many small-to-medium size businesses struggle to update their processes as their business grows, not realizing that custom options for automation, insights and analytics are affordable. Kingdom Strollers prioritized the digital transformation of the business early.

How Anago’s Mobile Sales Platform Boosts Efficiency

success-story-anago

Anago is a company on the rise. The well-respected commercial cleaning services company consistently ranks among INC magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.

They service the hospitality industry, medical offices, retail locations, religious centers, and even handle event cleanup.

The company is also one of the most prominent franchisors in the country, appearing 68th on Entrepreneur.com’s Franchise 500 List.

Anago branches have opened throughout the United States as well as internationally.

With success, though, came some scaling challenges that made sales and data transparency a hassle.

Systemic Bottlenecks and Opaque Data

Anago suffered from a long sales cycle. Because they serve such a wide range of customer types, they can’t base quotes on square footage and tasks required.

An in-person visit is required where a sales representative meets with a site manager to walk through the location.

After the walk-through the representative would collect information from the site manager, then return to the office and build a quote.

This involved a great deal of back and forth communication to sort out inaccurate information and debate services. The quote was then emailed to the prospective client.

If the client accepted, there was another in-person visit or complex email exchange to get the contract signed.

The system had a lot of flaws. Anago had a hard time communicating quickly with clients, and it was too easy for human error to drag down the quote process.

Tracking data like closing ratios took up a lot of labor hours without satisfactory results.

Also, every layer of complication created another place for prospects to call out of the sales cycle.

Anago needed a more effective process.

Shifting Forms to The Field

As a company known for incorporating advanced methods into their cleaning style, it’s no surprise that Anago wanted a technology-based solution.

They partnered with Concepta to build a management system that connects the office with their sales team in the field.

Representatives can now build quotes in the field, search and generate reports, add notes and further information to proposals, and update existing clients who are interested in additional services.

Prospective clients get their quote immediately, and if it’s agreeable they can sign and submit the contract via iPad.

To address the need for data transparency, Concepta designed the system to integrate with Anago’s CRM and customer apps.

Clients can send instant messages to their sales rep or the office. If there’s an issue, either party can upload pictures to make sure everyone is on the same page.

A Future-Focused Solution

Using the new system closes many of the gaps where clients dropped out of the sales cycle.

50% of proposals are now done through the field app, freeing agents from multiple trips back to the office.

The improved customer experience is winning over clients, who appreciate better communication and faster responses from their sales contact.

Anago’s franchise program benefits, as well. The new high-tech process holds major appeal for future franchise owners, and the company’s value has risen accordingly.

Overall, it’s a system that will keep generating ROI through increased efficiency and higher franchise sales for years to come.

Mobile App Development Company in Orlando

Concepta is one of Orlando’s most renowned mobile development agencies.

We have over a decade of experience helping their partners overcome business challenges, grow revenue, and improve their processes.

For Anago, Concepta created a solution to support all those three goals.

You’ve seen what we did for Anago – now find out what we can do for you! Schedule your free consultation today!

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Kaluah Tours: Building a Dynamic Customer Service Solution

kaluah-tours-concepta

Kaluah Tours is an agency that has been creating and managing international vacations for clients across Latin America for almost twenty years.

Tourism has been good to Kaluah Tours – and vice versa. They have a reputation for outstanding customer service, with satisfied travelers coming back time and again.

Scattered Customer Service

For a while, though, living up to their own high standards was putting a strain on the company. Multiple tours going different places, all with their own complications, gave rise to a flood of customer service issues. Nearly every problem called for rapid responses to avoid ruining someone’s vacation.

Kaluah’s outdated support system stood in the way of responsive action. Every customer inquiry and technical support request went to the same central email address. The inbox was managed by a handful of different employees. Worse, there was no consistent tracking system in place. An email might be answered by three different people or fall through the cracks entirely.

The rest of their digital infrastructure was in good shape, though. Kaluah didn’t want to scrap a system that was 90% effective to fix the 10% that was causing trouble. This is becoming a common problem for companies – trying to find solutions that fit into their existing infrastructure.

Streamlining Support

Concepta sat down with Kaluah’s team to explore a better way of handling customer communication. They looked at other internal processes, then put together a tool that could seamlessly connect to those systems.

The solution they built revolves around a custom form-based system that gathers information about each request. Customers can specify the exact nature and urgency of their issue. That information is used to direct requests to the appropriate office.

At the same time a ticket is created that tracks the request. Every request is assigned to a specific department, and with tracked tickets everyone can see what progress has been made.

A Solution That Fits

Because Concepta prioritized compatibility from the start, the new system fits smoothly into the existing management software. Leaders can take a bird’s eye view of open tickets or tweak their dashboard settings to provide a closer view of support in real time.

Using this system, Kaluah can provide faster, more personalized customer service to their clients. At the same time they’ve reduced their overhead by cutting out duplicated efforts and reorganizing the support process. Better yet, they were able to keep the parts of their infrastructure which did work.

The result? Kahlua now has leaner, more effective operations with a lower investment.

Is your company struggling with outdated processes? Set up a free consultation to find out how Concepta can efficiently- and economically- modernize your infrastructure to meet modern challenges.

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