Smarter, tech-based contracting for cleaning efficiency and cost reduction

Technology has permeated just about every facet of everyday life. Is it any surprise that sensors powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) have a hand in ensuring how clean a mall toilet is, and whether it has sufficient supplies of toilet rolls and soap?

As part of its sustainability goals set at the beginning of 2021, Frasers Property Retail looked to digitalisation to support sustainable operations and mall management. One of its tasks was the implementation of IoT sensors in toilets, and this was executed successfully with the help of outcome-based contracting (OBC), an initiative spearheaded by the National Environment Agency (NEA).

OBC encourages the adoption of technology to improve productivity and enhance processes to deliver desired outcomes, instead of taking a headcount approach when it comes to cleaning services. From a long-term perspective, OBC can help manage rising costs, making the initial investment worthwhile.

“As opposed to traditional data that is computed monthly, the IoT-enabled scoring system provides real-time updates, allowing us to adopt a responsive approach for the cleaning and maintenance of toilets,” shared Ms Molly Lim, deputy chief operating officer, Frasers Property Retail. “With the adoption of this technology, response time and shoppers’ satisfaction are expected to improve. Over time, we will be able to derive insights from the data to look into pre-emptive measures and more efficient use of our resources.”

Smarter, tech-based contracting for cleaning efficiency and cost reduction

To help organisations make the switch to OBC successfully, NEA provides help and support in the form of online guides and complimentary consultations.


Frasers Property Retail and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) are two organisations that have benefitted from NEA’s expertise. Despite their diverse needs and backgrounds, both organisations were driven by an interest in utilising technology and innovation to optimise their manpower needs and maintain high cleanliness standards.

Mr Andrew Ang, deputy director of Estates and Facilities Management at TP, said that NEA provided different perspectives that were useful to his team. “NEA provided inputs regarding tender documents, explained to us how the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) could help vendors that were participating in our tender, and gave guidance on evaluating and assessing tender proposals,” he said.

For Frasers Property Retail, the conversations with NEA also led to valuable insights for Frasers’ own team. Said Ms Lim: “The NEA team offered in-depth examples to better illustrate the overarching goal of OBC. This guided us in shaping the contract that we put out for vendors – with the outcome as the key priority.”