Championing collaborative, continuous improvement

17th of July 2018 Article by Phil Smith
Championing collaborative, continuous improvement

Phil Smith, group sales director at Templewood Services/LCC Support Services, highlights the importance of exchanging ideas to transform the provision of cleaning services.

What would you nominate as the greatest invention or breakthrough of recent times? Despite the fact we are only early into the 21st century we have seen several key advancements including electric cars, Skype, 4G mobile phone technology, and artificial intelligence (AI). The answer is subjective, but what is clear is that we are constantly looking for ways to improve our lives - at home and at work.

There are many products, processes, services, technologies and business models that are transforming the cleaning sector. In order to encourage new trends and continuously improve, partnerships need to be created between service providers, clients, existing and potential supply partners to exchange ideas and embrace change.

Transformative technologies

Technology is helping to transform many aspects of cleaning service provision. For example, the latest telemetry tracked machinery, robotics, web-based solutions and smart apps are helping to reduce administration time and increase efficiency for operational staff. Transparency of information for client reporting, compliance and customer care is also improved.

There is increased buzz around the Internet of Things - the network of devices and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity which is enabling data collection. This data can be used to improve the delivery of cleaning services, for example, by helping cleaning operatives to prioritise rooms with high footfall or to provide information on washroom dispenser usage and estimated refill replacement dates.

Attitudes and behaviours

Making changes does not need to be complicated. In some instances it is represented by a different way to do business more efficiently, through fresh attitudes and approaches. Fair pay and on-going training, for example, help to build the right environment for innovation.

The individual being trained will gain confidence from learning new and important skills and from the investment that has been given to them. Their increased knowledge will help to reinforce best practice and help them achieve their full potential in the workplace. At the same time, clients benefit from having a reliable, professional and motivated workforce.

A sustainable approach

Changing the way we work can also make a positive environmental impact. The latest environmentally friendly cleaning products and systems are efficient, cost effective and minimise the economic impact of health problems. Reviewing energy consumption, carbon auditing, and increased recycling can also bring down costs.

Culture of safety

Innovative practices need to be supported by a robust health and safety culture. Employee involvement in training and communication programmes mean that staff are empowered to identify hazards/risks in the workplace, suggest control measures, provide feedback, and feel that they own safety procedures.

Continuous improvement

The pace of change is relentless, and the cleaning sector is making huge progress. To continuously improve cleaning service provision, there are a wealth of new ideas to consider implementing across multiple vertical sectors. Sharing best practice and challenging accepted trends, through regular communication and collaborative forums, has to be the way to guarantee that innovation is truly championed.


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