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You never know what the future holds, with this in mind, Richard Rowlands Community Practice Expert (Cleaning) - Eurest Services (FM), part of The Compass Group, shares his advice on future-proofing and why it pays to be prepared.

The whole world is tightening their belts as economic downturns, inflation and natural disasters have both direct and indirect effects on the way we go about our lives. But what does this mean for the cleaning industry in the UK? By taking The Compass Group’s advice, it could actually be a fantastic opportunity to change, evolve and innovate.

Take a lean approach Every minute of cleaning operative downtime is worth about 10p, so the more cleaners doing nothing or repeating a task (if it’s clean, why clean it?) add up to a tidy sum of money to a business. So, if you have 4,000 cleaners in your ranks this could be £400 per lost minute. Look at the cleaning rooms, adopt the 6S principles of good practice, and spring clean the deadwood out of the cupboards as they add no value to you or the client.

Less is more Do we need to have so much equipment, chemicals and consumables unused in the cleaner’s cupboards? Probably not. A more cost effective method of cleaning is to buy machines with many functions as the more functions a machine has, the more effective it will inevitably be as an investment. It may

seem obvious, but using 16 chemicals, when three will do an equally successful job, will free up a lot of time and money.

Innovate not Stagnate Innovation can be something new to a contract, not just the industry. Always look to put successful products, systems and processes into a contract and always look at what is becoming available. Is microfibre the norm? Not really, but it is fast becoming the best way forwards for cost efficiency, return on investment and future-proofing your cleaning operation against external forces. Green approaches with ionised water devices such as the Activeion Ionator are also making the big players sit up and take note so do your research and find out exactly what is if that’s making your industry buzz.

Supporting the Client Work with the client and be trusted by them. What can we support? Daytime cleaning improves productivity and reduces energy needs this satisfying CSR targets. Water management systems in the washrooms reduce both water consumption and sewage costs facing the clients. State of the art Dry Mixed Recycling (DMR) processes improve

FEATURE 58 | TOMORROW’S CLEANING | The future of our cleaning industry

productivity as less bins need to be changed - it improves recycling - and is simply good practice. Will there be problems with the price of good paper in the future? Is it hand towels or hand dryers that would best suit your client? Work with them, they will respect you more.

Don’t become a victim of change Try not to see change that is out of your control as being your fault. Rather, look at what you can do to move you and your teams to a better place, because change is constant. What you can do, however, is try to forecast pending changes. For example, the price of cotton is going vertical, so in this case you need to find out about the alternative to cotton-based product, such as Kentucky mops, in terms of how effective they are, how they are rated within the industry and how much they cost.

Taking all of this into account - are you ready for the future?

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