DGS Robotic Vacuum Team. Some homes now use robotic vacuums. Those are fine for household use. But they are not tough enough for a multi-story building with miles of hallways, lobbies and office space. Instead, DGS is now using a commercial robot at the 301 W. Preston Street Building. It is made by a company called SoftBank Robotics. Its autonomous robot, called the Whiz, uses sophisticated sensors to make its way across the floor and around obstacles. It can clean both carpeted and hard floors. The robot works nonstop for up to three hours on one rechargeable battery. When the battery runs down, swapping it out with another rechargeable battery keeps it going. All this is part of a pilot project to see if housekeeping staff can be freed up to do more important work, such as sanitizing high-touch surfaces. But a robot is only a machine. It still needs human support. Those who provide it are Maintenance Mechanics Casey Doy and Ken Britcher, overseen by Building Manager Gregory Brown. They had never worked with a robot before, but quickly learned how to program it and keep it running. They are leading us into an exciting future.
Michael Cavanaugh. Due to reorganization of our department, the Office of State Procurement (OSP) has just turned one year old. During this time of change comes new processes, which of course means new technology. For OSP, one of the new technologies is the eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), our new procurement system. eMMA is still in its infancy, which means all users have had the same limited amount of time to learn the system as we also work in it to get our important work completed. Basically, we are all learning on the job. Moreover, with a new system like this, there are constant modifications, rollouts, and glitches, etc. However, Michael Cavanaugh, despite just learning the new system himself, has taken it upon himself to not only teach others but even go as far as to update the training manuals to facilitate the proper use of the new system for other members of his team. Michael also was the architect of our new SOP training manuals. He reviewed a multitude of older documents, parsed them down and edited them down to create a new SOP document for the Construction division in OSP. He worked with his management team to define the policies and procedures and captured them in an easy to view document to ensure consistency throughout our department.
Jesse Beavers started with DGS in January 2020, he has shot, edited, and produced 15 videos with many other videos still in production. Most notably were the Maryland Strong Partnership Spotlight videos. These videos highlighted Maryland businesses who are helping to produce PPE for the State to help fight the coronavirus. People do not realize how much time and effort goes into creating a 2-minute video. First a shot list or script needs to be developed, events need to be filmed, scenes may need to be reshot, additional footage needs to be captured, all the footage needs to be gone through. Editing scenes together can be a very tedious and time consuming, but Jesse has the eye for seamless transitions and quality shots. Jesse’s videos have not only increased DGS’s social media presence, but it has helped spread the word about the many functions of DGS. Jesse’s videos have provided DGS another platform to reach the general public about the great work done by DGS.