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28 Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Having a Process Will Improve Cleaning Efficiencies Finding ways to improve worker pro-

ductivity and cleaning efficiencies has always been a concern in the professional cleaning industry. However, the downturn in the economy, especially in the United States, has made improving cleaning effi- ciencies of even greater importance. As facility managers look for ways to trim costs—or at least keep them from ris- ing—they often focus on cleaning, which is one of their biggest expenditures. Of course, if facility managers are ex- amining ways to keep their cleaning costs in line, it means cleaning contractors are in turn being pressured to improve clean- ing efficiencies not only to keep their pres- ent clients but to win new ones. And this pressure extends to one more critical is- sue: with current and new customers, they must still generate a reasonable profit to make having the account worthwhile. It’s not easy, but improving cleaning ef- ficiencies can be accomplished; indeed, it can be argued that it must be accom- plished. Further, there are ways to increase efficiencies that can also help improve the cleaning performance of workers and protect and even improve the health of the facilities cleaned. One system that looks promising has been coined “Process Cleaning.” Process Cleaning

Process Cleaning is a cleaning system developed by Rex Morrison,


the housekeeping trainer and supervi- sor for Washoe County Public Schools in Reno, Nevada (U.S.), and because of it, the Washoe County School District is one of few districts in the U.S. to achieve ISO 9001 certification.* Morrison developed the system more than a decade ago and— possibly because it was first implemented in schools—many schools throughout North America were among the first to implement it. As he evaluated the cleaning workers under his supervision, Morrison noted that few cleaned the same way. There was no system or methodology in place. Because of this, some cleaning workers were able to perform their tasks more effectively and efficiently than others. In some cases, ar- eas of the schools that should have been cleaned were not; similarly, some areas of the schools received too much cleaning at- tention—time and energy that could best have been used somewhere else. In Process Cleaning, workers are as- signed specific areas to clean within the facility. While the emphasis is convention- al Zone Cleaning, it incorporates some of the processes developed and used when Specialist Cleaning is performed.** With Process Cleaning, tasks are di- vided into four parts and performed in this order: 1.

Primary or general clean-

ing (cleaning tasks regularly performed throughout the facility other than restroom cleaning) 2. Vacuuming 3. 4.

Restroom sanitation Deep cleaning

The order in which the cleaning tasks are performed is of key importance. Mor- rison designed Process Cleaning to be

highly systematic, allowing no time for workers to start and stop a task or inter- rupt their cleaning duties to start a new cleaning project. “[When this happens], cleaning workers lose time, motivation, and concentration, all of which slow down the cleaning process.” Emphasis on Details

It is this systematic approach to clean- ing that helps improve cleaning efficiency,

• Work begins at the door. Glass is cleaned, the door handle is disinfected, and nearby high-touch points such as light switches are cleaned.

• Next, desks and working sur-

faces are cleaned and disinfected, as are phones and any electronics on these sur- faces.

• Trash collection follows, along


Improve Cleaning the Kaivac Way - Booth 639

cleaning effectiveness, and worker pro- ductivity. All cleaning workers are follow- ing the same system so that cleaning work is performed more uniformly and all areas of the facility are cleaned when and as re- quired. These steps, following a cleaning work- er as he or she performs duties using a Process Cleaning method, help describe the system:

• The worker locks the door after entering the room to help prevent inter-

with moving any large debris on floor surfaces that cannot be removed by vac- uuming.

• Vacuuming begins. Morrison recommends using backpack vacuum cleaners and suggests that for ergonom- ic reasons and to ensure a continuous flow, rooms be divided in two: right- handed workers vacuum the left half of the room first and then turn around and vacuum the right side—the opposite for left-handed workers.

• Restrooms are next. While he no

longer recommends it, if conventional methods are used, Morrison suggests using microfiber cleaning cloths, adher- ing to proper dwell times, and cleaning from top surfaces to the floor. Soap and paper are restocked.

• The final step, deep cleaning, re- fers to tasks that do not need to be per- formed regularly and can vary each day; examples include high and low dusting/ vacuuming not performed daily but on specific days or more thorough cleaning of tile and grout, etc. Speeding Up Restroom Cleaning When Morrison first developed Process Cleaning,

virtually all restrooms were Kaivac Vacum

ruptions and ensure that all concentra- tion is placed on the job at hand.

cleaned using mops, buckets, sprayers, and cleaning cloths. The only way to speed up the process was to systemize it, employ a top-down cleaning method, and eliminate worker distractions. However, in recent years he has become an advocate of spray- and-vac, also known as no-touch cleaning, as well as dispense-and-vac cleaning sys- tems.

These systems are designed for one-

worker use, first injecting chemicals onto surfaces to be cleaned. After necessary dwell time, the worker rinses the areas,

which loosens and removes soils. The worker then vacuums the same areas using the built-in wet/vac on these technologies so that the restroom contaminants are re- moved leaving the restroom dry and ready for use when cleaning ends. According to ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association, as well as Morri- son’s studies, each fixture in a restroom takes about three minutes to clean using conventional cleaning methods. With the spray-and-vac/dispense-and-vac systems, “you’re getting one-minute-per-porcelain- fixture efficiency…which is why it fits so well in Process Cleaning—it speeds up cleaning efficiencies measurably.” Bottom-Line Results Studies on the effectiveness of Process Cleaning and how it can improve cleaning effiency and improve worker productivity are limited at this time. But according to Allen Rathey, President of The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) when workers perform cleaning tasks using a process, “cleaning becomes a habit and the speed will follow.” Further, he believes it does not require workers to work harder, “but keeps them in a state of flow. If you can create a state of flow, workers get in the grove and complete tasks quicker.” However, Morrison has done his own more detailed studies as to how Process Cleaning has improved cleaning efficien- cies in his school district. According to Morrison, before Process Cleaning was implemented, his workers struggled to clean the industry-recommended standard of 22,000 square feet per shift per person. With Process Cleaning in place, they now clean closer to 30,000 square feet per shift. The greater coverage means that the dis- trict does not need to hire more cleaning workers and workers now have the time to place more attention on certain intensive cleaning tasks such as carpet extraction and floor refinishing. The bottom line is that the school district reports it is saving more than $200,000 annually on cleaning costs.

Is Process Cleaning for you? Can it be implemented in facilities other than schools? One of the best things about Process Cleaning is that it does just as its name implies. It adds a process, a system, a methodology to cleaning that is often lacking. Because of this, it can be incor- porated into virtually any facility, and if Rathey is correct, it puts a flow into clean- ing that makes cleaning faster, which can definitely improve the bottom line. Matt Morrison is communications man- ager for Kaivac, developers of the no- touch cleaning™ and the OmniFlex™ cleaning systems.

* ISO 9001 is the internationally recog- nized standard for the quality management of businesses and organizations **With Zone Cleaning, one cleaning

worker is assigned a specific area where he or she does most if not all of the clean- ing tasks necessary to keep the area clean. Specialist Cleaning requires several people to work together to clean areas of a facility with each one performing a spe- cific task: cleaning restrooms, vacuuming, collecting trash, etc. n

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