In our August Newsletter, we wrote on the challenges we have faced over the past few years in our journey to become more consistent in the quality of the cleaning services that we deliver daily and the systems which we employ along the way. We mentioned the factors that most, if not all cleaning companies face on daily basis, these factors affect the performance any cleaning company, which can limit or improve the company’s client satisfaction hence their reputation.
In this second series of our report, we will like to talk about the progress we have achieved so far on point 4 (supplying adequate cleaning supplies) of the factors that affect the quality of service provided by any cleaning company
Supplying adequate cleaning supplies
At Green Heart Clean we have a culture of not buying cheap cleaning products, this is because of our ethos from day 1, which is to deliver every cleaning we do through an eco-friendly method that does not cost the earth. To show that we did not dabble into being an eco-conscious company just to have a fantastic unique selling point (USP), we first saw the needs for an eco-friendly cleaning when we realised how much water is wasted by carwashes. We started as a mobile waterless car wash in Peterborough as of December 2009. Since then we gradually grew into a commercial and domestic property cleaning business. At this point, we did not realise that eco-friendly cleaning products cost more than the average cheap and cheerful cleaning solutions used by the majority of our competitors. Today, in 2018 we still believe this is the best way to go because day in and day out, we are seeing more reasons why the environment’s wellbeing is our responsibility. In nearly 10 years, we have adjusted to paying the market rate for the higher priced environmentally friendly cleaning products but what we are still working on how we deliver product to our client’s site on time for our cleaners to use.
Items like bin bags cannot be allowed to run out otherwise, the cleaner might feel the need to bring some from their homes, which is very unfair on them. Alternatively, some cleaners will tip various bins into 1 and leave the stains but empty bin liner to be reused. Neither options are beneficial, but we never intend to withhold rightful product from the cleaner, sometimes, the cleaners themselves might forget to inform their manager that the supplies are running low and by the time the news gets to their managers, there is not enough time to send the supplies over.
Other reasons why the cleaning supplies can be rationed can be a result of not having a dedicated stock room manager who controls the cleaning supplies of items held by the stock room and ensures that the stocks are topped up as needed. For a very long time, our stock room was easy to manage because we only had 1 cleaning manager who knew where everything was. But as we have grown bigger and our supplies usage has increased 3-fold in the last 3 years, we found ourselves losing track of what we have in the stock room and for a long time, we resorted to emergency ordering of stock when staff made requests for more cleaning supplies. To fix this issue here are a few steps we have taken:
- Dedicated staff: We have a lovely new staff member who has made our stock room her office, she is also part of our cleaning team so she knows what goes inside and outside the stock room. She comes to the office once a week to wash used microfibre cloths, tidy up the stock room and takes note of what we need to order in and items that need to go out to our various contract cleaning sites. This progress enables us to develop and maintain a consistent stock control system, which should in time improve to meet our future stock demands. Our stock room manager will also oversee the placing of cleaning material orders when they run low, so she will not need to wait for any of the managers or the accounts to place orders. This means we can have all the needed stock in the office quicker.
- Stock ordering: We have been able to look at our various suppliers and identify the products that they specialise in, we also shopped around for where we can receive the best value for our money when purchasing each of our mainly used products and we are very pleased to have narrow down the list of our suppliers in the process. We also decided to partner with suppliers who are very happy to support our operations by delivering our frequently used cleaning materials to our stock room on time and at an industry competitive price. With the best suppliers in place, we have one less issue in our way of delivering the needed cleaning supplies to all our staff.
- Stock estimation: We have calculated an estimated quantity of stock required to clean each of our sites every month. This estimation will be subject to improvement, but it has helped us to figure out all the items we need to deliver to each of our sites every month. This is perhaps the biggest improvement so far because our cleaners usually send a list of what they need each month, but sometimes odd items might be forgotten and missed off the order. Our estimated stock delivery will prevent this scenario and any other disruption from happening.
So far, consistency in our product supply chain to the sites we are contracted to clean is still a work in progress, we will continue to ensure that any issues we identify along the way are ironed out so that this system can work as designed.