Service based businesses like cleaning companies have always struggled with their field management. When I speak to most cleaning companies, there biggest pain point is employees. Up to recently, managing teams in the field was spreadsheets, tick lists, forms and communication books etc. While these have served many businesses well, your competitors are embracing mobile technology to deliver even better results. The 3 things successful cleaning businesses do well with with Mobile technology are manage their Time and Attendance, Train & Instruct their staff and use mobile tools to improve their workforces sense of team.
Manage Time and Attendance
Collecting Time sheets has not only been painful in the past, but is time consuming and inaccurate. Time Sheets are generated and reported by the cleaners who benefit most from reporting more hours than they actually work. Even the most honest would naturally round hours up. Why? To reduce their own administration time from recording any kind of accurate Time & Attendance themselves. To be honest, it’s not anyones fault either, because the solutions just were not available like they are now.
In business circles, we may all of heard the story about how an Airline removed Olives from there Salads for massive savings. While I thought that this may just be an urban myth, this particular exploit is covered in a book called Corporate Creativity: how innovation and improvement actually happen By Alan G. Robinson, Sam Sternpage 107. There is many debate, around the actual savings but I think it’s more about the opportunity to SAVE on only what you MEASURE.
We’ve become an Industry hell bent on screwing Cleaning Chemical and Paper Suppliers down to the last cent. These expenses only represent between 3-6% of our total cost of sale. Labour represents approx 80%. Which means for many cleaning businesses, 80% of the costs aren’t being measured accurately. Imagine though, if you could get insights on these quickly and easily with an accurate Time and Attendance solution like freshOps. The savings could be massive.
Train & Instruct
We work in what is one of the most transient industries around. The resources, time, effort and money involved in training, inducting and showing new staff what, when, how and why is a ridiculous. Innovative cleaning businesses are looking at ways to side step these issues. They are embracing solutions that can deliver Inductions, Training and Task Management to their mobile workforce in the field. It’s no good having operations manuals and standard operating procedures sitting in folders in head office, where a cleaner never visits.
Tools like Go1 deliver a full Learning Management System. Go1 can deliver Training & Courses seamlessly to mobile devices. It’s a great tool if you have large amount of courses etc that you may want to deliver to your team. For smaller teams however, freshOps’ Site Notes, Site Induction, Task Scheduling and Standard Operating Procedures allow for a quick a simple solution. Ensuring important information gets to your team in the field straight onto their moibile device.
Improve Team Work
When you speak to most cleaners, feeling part of a team is something that doesn’t really jump to mind when you ask them about why they enjoy working for a particular cleaning company. However, in most industries, teamwork, shared vision and missions are some of the most importance benefits to employees. Remuneration, just does not drive most employees. So how do we create a TEAM, when our workforce is a mix of casual, part time employees and sub-contractors. Especially when they often are lone workers.
Feeling part of team is all about communication. I was really impressed with a client we spoke to recently, who each week records a Weekly Digest and Update Video. He simply records the video on a Monday morning, and uploads it to their Website and then emails the link to his entire workforce. They then encourage their workforce to comment and chat using the comments section of the website. I was blown away with the amount of engagement it creates across his team.
Tools like Slack, Voxer, and coming soon freshOps Team Chat help spread the news, communicate with your mobile work force and create a sense of team. These tools allow you to Share Video, Updates Procedures, News and engage with your entire work force at once. Tools like Slack are killing email when it comes to team communication.
So whether your a team of 5 or 500, mobile technology can most definitely improve the management of your workforce. For innovative cleaning businesses, these type of tools are becoming vital and are creating a point of difference that their competitors can’t compete with.