Posts

How You Can Use Data to Reduce the Threat of Outsourcing

Like it or not, we live in an age where data rules. So much, in fact, that the term “big data” has become more than just a buzzword, it’s central to the way businesses operate. Each day, billions of data bytes are collected as businesses track what we’re buying, where we’re going, what we’re watching and how we’re using the internet. Businesses use this data to better target their advertising and products with the ultimate goal of growing sales.

On the operational side, organizations also amass vast data banks related to all aspects of their business. This includes information about their supply chain, logistics, inventory and labor. This data is regularly analyzed to increase efficiencies, identify opportunities and improve margins.

Organizations that fail to produce data related to their cleaning operation run the risk of being outsourced.

That’s why when cleaning professionals neglect to collect and track data related to their operations, they ultimately fail. This failure can result in significant downsizing—or outsourcing.

Here’s a scenario we see too often:

Jim has managed a cleaning department for more than 15 years. Over this period, much of the cleanable square footage has remained the same, so Jim has maintained the same number employees to clean that space. While he’s had a few cuts, his budget has also remained largely unchanged over the years. He makes purchases based on recommendations from his distributor sales rep and previous purchase histories.

Enter Robert. Robert is the new CEO of the business where Jim works. In his first two weeks on the job, Robert meets with all the department managers to get a better understanding of the business. He asks Jim questions like, “How much time and chemical does it take for your team to clean the cafeteria?” and, “How would changing cleaning frequencies impact cleanliness?”

Jim broadly answers the questions, providing estimations based on his experience. But Jim can’t tell Robert that it takes two people on his team 42 minutes to clean the cafeteria using .5 ounces of all purpose cleaner concentrate. Jim doesn’t have this data. 

We all know how the scenario plays out. Not long after the meeting ends, Jim’s department is outsourced to a contract cleaning company who promises more for less. While the quality of cleaning plummets, it takes Robert and his executive team to realize the impact cleanliness has on both their customers’ experience and the productivity of the workers in their headquarter offices.

Developing Data through Workloading

Workloading your operations can product significant data related to your cleaning program, and it doesn’t require assistance from a consultant or someone who claims to know a secret formula. You can do it yourself. In fact, we’ve just wrapped up a crowd-sourced workloading project that includes 99 common (and benchmarked!) workloading times along with formulas you can use to workload your operations. Feel free to check out the booklet here, which will soon be released in a comprehensive do-it-yourself kit. But more on that later.

Really, the key to workloading is just understanding and working through a few relatively simple steps:

  1. Complete a thorough inventory of the space to be cleaned. Rather than using the gross square footage of the building, it’s best to walkthrough the building and manually calculate the cleanable square footage. This will help ensure the accuracy of the data and avoid skewed figures.
  2. List the cleaning tasks to take place. You should break down tasks into three categories, including daily, detail and project. Sample tasks may include empty trash, dust all horizontal surfaces, vacuuming, spot clean glass, etc.
  3. Calculate the time necessary to perform the tasks. There are thousands of variables that can impact cleaning times, but unless plan on conducting your own time and motion study, you can start with the times provided in the 612 Cleaning Times Booklet.
  4. Begin workloading the data. Begin by developing a chart that identifies the frequencies, tasks and the time performed for each task. For example, a daily task, such as dusting, may be performed 260 times per year where scrubbing flowers may be done once a month, or 12 times a year.

Next, allocate the amount of time for each task to the appropriate square footage. Then, add non-surface items per unit to be cleaned. In your final step, you should calculate the time for each task and multiply multiply that by the frequency. This number should offer a clear picture of the amount of time and labor required to clean your facility.

Ultimately, the formula is to take the task and multiply it by the time (required to perform the task), then multiply that number by the frequency. The final calculated number is your basic workload.

TASK x TIME x FREQUENCY = WORKLOAD

This piece of data is just one of several you should have in your pocket should “Robert” show up at your business and schedule a meeting.

Click here to receive your copy of our DIY Workloading Guide and stay tuned for more information our complete DIY Workloading Kit, coming soon!

SaveSave

Understanding Cleaning Times and Work Assignments Seminar

[twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”]

[fbshare type=”button”]

[linkedin_share style=”none” float=”left”]


 
 
Cleaning times and work assignments are one of the most important, yet misunderstood concepts in managing a profitable cleaning program. In this half-day workshop, John Walker, author of ISSA’s Cleaning Times series, will teach you how to use the 540 Cleaning Times to identify productivity strengths and weaknesses.

Workshop Details

  • This workshop will be taking place at ISSA/Interclean North America 2012 on Tuesday, October 16th at 1:30pm – 5:30pm @ McCormick Place. 
  • Separate registration is required: $149.
  • This workshop is not included in the ISSA Convention seminar fee.

To register for this workshop, just click on the button below:

[button link=”http://schedule.issa.com/event/2d28fd90d8eb0a21c7364ac9ea92fed4#.UFn2OkKLEqZ” color=”teal” window=”yes”]Register Now[/button]

 

Are Dirty Schools Making Kids Sick?

[fbshare type=”button”]

[twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”]

[linkedin_share style=”none”]

 

Two seemingly unrelated events were the subject of news stories in the early weeks of 2012. The first occurred on January 12, when the Vermont Senate gave final approval to Senate bill #92, a bill that requires public schools and “approved independent schools” to ensure that only environmentally preferable cleaning products are used to clean the schools. The bill will now make its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature which will transform the bill into law. Vermont’s state owned and leased buildings have already transitioned to “green” cleaning products as a result of the Clean State Program created by an executive order signed by Governor Douglas in 2004.

Banning Germ Killers in Schools

But the perhaps, unintended consequence of this legislation action goes further. It bans disinfectants and sanitizers in public schools. Is this really the lengths Vermont want to go to be “green”? If so it joins the states like California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Neveda, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. It is relevant to note that this legislation has been driven not by the medical community and public health experts but by state procurement officers and purchasing agents in league with the janitorial supply industry.

The Vermont bill allows for the use of disinfectants only when:

  1. Blood, body fluids or fecal soiling is present on any surface; (ignoring that most diseases are spread by invisible germs called pathogenic microorganisms and not visible accumulations listed in the Vermont legislation).
  2.  The State makes a case specific determination that failure to use a disinfectant would create a risk to public health and safety (like MRSA, Avian Flu, SARS, Whooping cough, measles, and the common cold).

Two days later, on Saturday January 14, Dr. Sanjay Gupta CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, aired a report in his series on Toxic America about the sorry, environmental health of schools in the United States. More schools than ever are making kids and school staff sick. While it’s tough to estimate how many toxic schools are in America, most research shows that at least a third or more of U.S. Schools have issues like mold, dust and other indoor air problems serious enough to cause respiratory illnesses like asthma in students and staff. Healthy Schools Network reports that as many as 55 million U.S. children may be attending public and private K-12 schools where poor air quality, hazardous chemicals and other unhealthy conditions can make everyone sick.

The U.S. EPA estimates that at least half of all schools in this country have indoor air quality problems caused by toxic chemical and pesticide use, chemical spills, mold infestations, asbestos, radon, lead in paint and drinking water, heavy metals and persistent toxics, such as mercury, CCA and PCBs.

Other highlights of Dr. Gupta’s story included:

  • A story about a woman who claims school air sickened her son for 53 days last school year
  • New York study finds correlation between building maintenance and illness
  • Studies estimate one-third of U.S. schools have mold, dust and other indoor air problems
  • Connecticut school so plagued with mold officials decided to tear it down

Now the Rest of the Story

Missing from both the Vermont and Dr. Gupta’s story was the recognition of the importance of cleaning and sanitation. There was no recognition that a proven process of cleaning and disinfections leads to improved health, comfort and educational performance.

In 2007, Michael Berry, PhD, wrote a booklet Healthy Schools are Clean, Dry and Productive. Largely ignored, this essay provides leadership for both the “school is making my kids sick” and the “green cleaning” groups. Berry points out that the “importance of a healthy school environment in enhancing the learning process is described in many studies. There is a direct connection between environmental quality, comfort, health and well-being, positive attitudes and behavior, and higher levels of education performance. The quality of the school environment shapes attitudes of students, teachers and staff. Attitudes affect teaching and learning behavior. Behavior affects performance. Educational performance determines future outcomes of individuals and society as a whole.”

Berry wrote:

We need to recognize that the main causes of environmentally related illness in schools are water, food sources for the various bio-pollutants, non-existent or ineffective cleaning, and poor ventilation. We should guard against becoming myopic when it comes to assessing environmental risk in school environments. Too often, we spend a large amount of time looking at air quality alone, especially in recent times with regard to mold. This narrow focus is necessary but by no means sufficient to protect the health of our children and their teachers and the quality of our school environments.

Should the states be banning disinfectants and sanitizers?

To protect health in schools, we need to take a close look at total exposure, and not solely focus on the air route of exposure. Bacteria that come from direct contact with other humans and surfaces cause over 80% of environmentally related illness. The main routes of exposure are dermal and ingestion, not air. Even air poses its most serious threats by delivering bacteria and viruses to sensitive receptors. Sufficiently concentrated airborne mold spore and other airborne allergens, such as cockroach antigen, frequently trigger allergic reactions in sensitized individuals, particularly asthmatics.

Disinfectant and sanitizers are by definition toxic. We use them to “kill” pathogens before they make humans sick. The purchasing agents and cleaning chemical supply marketing organizations who promote the complete ban on poisons and toxins in schools don’t understand what Paracelsus, the father of toxicology, declared in the 14th century “The dose makes the poison.” Using sanitizers are fundamental to food preparation, dishwashing and serving meals. Disinfection of potential cross-contamination points in lavatories, and other common touch points in schools are basic to proper cleaning and school hygiene.

Trainers should expect and be prepared to discuss the risk/benefit analysis of proper cleaning and sanitation. (OS1) has an unequalled dedication to environmental issues. But it also values the benefits associated with properly killing pathogenic microorganisms in the public facilities entrusted to us. The State of Vermont and Dr. Gupta should know about the following scientific studies on the importance of cleaning:

  • Frank Porter Graham Study
  • Alexander Krilov Study

They should also be promoting the benefits and the reported results by workers and patrons in (OS1) facilities like Dixon Middle School and University of Michigan. In 2012, the (OS1) user group will be focusing on three areas to “Protect Yourself” in facilities. They are:

  1. The reduction of asthma-type symptoms due to the performance level of (OS1) that provides negligible dust following the UNC cleaning protocol.
  2. Focus on proper use and application of germicidal chemicals.
  3. The opportunity to dramatically reduce humidity in schools by strategically using portable air drying equipment.

These three strategies are a messaging opportunity for the (OS1) trainers, (OS1) support manufacturers (particularly ProTeam, PortionPac & Dri-Eaz) and the Simon Institute.

The Future is in the Details: Workloading Workshop

New arrivals at the ManageMen Store

(OS1) Area Survey Booklet

A compact booklet designed to simplify collecting information necessary to workload cleaning operations to Job Cards. Designed to record key facility data including building designations, use, traffic, layout, density, surfaces and room counts. May be used to record building up to 14 stories tall or with multiple buildings in a campus-type setting. Makes it easy to transfer data to (OS1) PinPoint or manual work-loading systems.

(OS1)ian – Advanced Light Duty Terms

Instead of spending a fortune hiring translators and cutting down trees to print training materials in twenty different languages, ManageMen decided to create a curriculum for cleaning workers to learn a new professional vocabuarly. The new language is known as “(OS1)ian”. (OS1) Coaches and Trainers teach everyone on the cleaning team, even those who already speak English, the new language together. This new product provides (OS1) Coaches a method of expanding the terminology for their Light Duty Specialists. It includes 29 additional terms that any (OS1) Light Duty Specialist needs to know in order to perform their job.

ManageMen will be teaching how to use these booklets at the new (OS1) Workloading Workshop, November 2-4, 2011 in Salt Lake City.

The Official (OS1) Mug

Complement your coffee addiction with the Official (OS1) Mug. Great for team recognition gifts or training prizes. Microwave safe and Dishwasher safe. 100% Ceramic.

MSDS Verification of Training Kit

The MSDS Verification of Training pack contains materials that is used to verify that MSDS training has been conducted and the information has been properly transferred to the cleaning worker. This pack includes individual student examinations that require employees to fill in answers to worker safety related information in their own words. In addition, there is also a verification of training form to be signed and dated by both the student and instructor. An MSDS “Beyond Compliance” recognition pin and a personalized ID Card with key safety topic check off boxes is also included.

Protect Yourself Verification of Training Kit

The Protect Yourself Verification of Training pack contains materials that can be used to verify that bloodborne pathogen and bodily substance training has been conducted and that the information has been properly transferred to the cleaning worker. This pack includes individual student examinations that require employees to fill in answers to worker safety related information in their own words. In addition, there is also a verification of training form to be signed and dated by both the student and instructor. A Protect Yourself training recognition pin and a personalized ID Card with key safety topic check off boxes is also included.

[button link=”http://managemen.com/ecommerce/os1-featured-products.html” color=”purple” window=”yes”]Go to the ManageMen Store[/button]

 

 

Save the date…(OS1) Workloading Workshop

OK, (OS1) Users…Mark you calendars! We are going to be doing the very first ever (OS1) Workloading Workshop, November 2-4, 2011 in Salt Lake City. We are still hammering out a few of the details, so stay tuned and check back for updates.

John Walker on ISSA TV

This year was the first year, in a while, that our team had visited the annual ISSA tradeshow. While we were there, our very own John Walker, was asked by ISSA to talk about workloading and the 540 Cleaning Times book for an ISSA Educatuional Quick Clip video. In his video, John presents five ways to determine effective workloading solutions. To watch that video, please click here.

To order your very own copy of ISSA’s 540 Cleaning Times book, please click here.