What pays the bills?
The most recent panic for Building Service Contractors (BSC) is having enough of the stuff that pays the bills – Cleaning.
The Covid19 pandemic has closed some businesses, reduced the hours of operation of others, moved workers to remote work locations, (working from home) and one last straw for the camel…. the employees to do the actual cleaning are, for any number of reasons, “unavailable“. Everyone of these are business killers for the BSC.
Setting priorities, mapping out a strategy to acquire new business, maximizing profits from existing contracts, a customer and / or employee retention program, these may seem to be the most critical things we can do today. Which of these activities though will result in the most return on investment (ROI)?
Conventional thinking is to put time into door knocking, get more contracts. We are going to suggest a different approach.
Customer and employee retention or satisfaction are our preferred first priority. The two can be tied to doing a better job with less effort. Doing more with less became a slogan toward the end of the last century as companies tried to reduce costs by having less staff and multi-tasking the remaining people. Shall we just say it didn’t work so well for the employees. Doing a better job with less effort is a different approach. Moving toward an improved process, having the right tools for the job and a shift in mindset to where everyone is important are what the rest of this article is about to discuss. Read more or leave now because from here on we are going to get our hands dirty.
We remember the first time we hired a BSC for our business location. We had in mind a budget and were considering having them in 3 times a week. Bud of Bud’s Cleaning did what every good client care person should do. He asked the budget and said he could do a great job for what we suggested. Except he wouldn’t do just 3 times per week. He would do the place 5 times per week for the same amount. Bud explained it would take his team 40 minutes to clean, to his standards, each visit if they came 3 times. It would take only 20 minutes per visit if they came 5 times per week, and, the place would look great everyday.
Our staff loved coming in to work to a clean spot every day. Bud’s team had less to do each day because they removed only one day of dirt each visit. As a result our store looked great everyday, plus, our overall maintenance costs went down! We didn’t get as many carpet cleanings, the wax on the floor lasted longer, the staffroom and washrooms… there was the true crowd pleaser.
Do you see the value in a changed process? Cleaner meant better customer satisfaction and more often meant better job satisfaction.
If we were to hire Bud’s Cleaning today we would suggest he look at changing some of his equipment. Bud had corded canister vacuums, mops and buckets, his team used cotton cloths and chemistry that not only burned their nose hairs it took the colour out of our counter tops.
Here is where we answer the question, what pays the bills? Productivity pays the bills. Just remember, productivity without quality is just work.
Increasing productivity only matters if the customer is happy with the results. Quality Control matters. Here are a couple of areas where quality and productivity can be increased.
- If you are doing a lot of mopping, stop it! The mop is known for spreading, not removing contaminants. Cleaning is the art of removing and safely disposing of unwanted material. Removal leads to better visual results and also has the added benefit of being a more hygienic. “Cleaning For Appearances” is so passé. We want to “Clean For Health”. Now that we have that out of the way, how does productivity increase if we stop mopping? Answer: There is equipment available that is up to 70% faster than a mop and actually removes the soils left behind by the mop. This same equipment is also up to 30% more efficient than an auto scrubber. Look at the Kaivac ™ product line to see how your team can benefit from increased productivity.
- Still using corded upright vacuums? Drop the cord, put the unit on the employee’s back and improve vacuuming efficiency – time and quality – by up to 300%. Visit ProTeam ™ vacuums and their GoFree or FreeFlex products.
- Chemistry should be a concern. Training for safe use, the mixing multiple formulas and residual odours. Never mind the cost of stocking multiple brands and multiple strengths. Lots to discuss here. Let’s just say, you need to review and streamline your chemicals. Typically we find that we can reduce the list of chemistry back to 2 or 3. Perhaps consider making your own chemistry. It can be less costly than you might think. Cleaning and sanitizing or disinfecting for Covid adds another layer of concern. But what if that extra layer can be handled by modifying your chemistry choice? A product such as Anolyte, hypochlorous acid and the corresponding Catholyte might be worthy of your attention. Visit Radical Waters ™ or Sanera Canada ™ for more information.
Enjoy working toward being more productive. Let us know how it works out. Or if you would like to talk with one of our client care group please call or email us. Thanks for your interest in IHS Depot