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Russian cleaning companies work large territories30th of April 2012
Oleg Popov from Russian cleaning company Cristanval talks about operating across a country with nine time zones. The distance between the westernmost city of Kaliningrad and the easternmost city of Vladivostok is more than 10,000 kilometres.
Even after starting operations in Moscow or any other Russian city, any company strives to grow and begins its expansion into the regions. Since Russia is a country of immense size, it is necessary to manage projects at long distances and in different time zones.
For example, Cristanval operates with 23 affiliated companies in three time zones: Moscow time, Yekaterinburg time (+ two hours) and Omsk time (+ three hours).
In order to set up an efficient operation, it is first essential to establish a separate subdivision for work in the regions. Specialists supervising the affiliated businesses spend a majority of their time in work travel. The average time for a flight from one company to another is about two hours, and the longest flights from Moscow to Siberia are between four and four-and-a-half hours. The distance from one subsidiary to another varies from 500 km to 4,500 km.
Trips vary by season
It is interesting that the number of work trips varies by season. Many new projects open up in the autumn and the end of the year, and the work trips take up more time than in the beginning of the year.
In large cities and regions (Samara, Voronezh, Siberia), there is always a supervisor who monitors the operation of the subsidiary, and in turn is subject to his superior in Moscow. Managers of subsidiaries conduct sales and conclude new contracts, but a specialist can come from Moscow for important negotiations with large clients. In any case, the headquarters monitors the conditions of the contracts concluded with clients.
When opening new projects, managers come in from Moscow for the launch and they open the project, adjust it for efficient operation, and then hand it over to local specialists for use. Delivery of cleaning materials and floor cleaning equipment is conducted centrally from Moscow. In some regions contracts are signed with local suppliers, but unfortunately it is far from possible to source everything that is necessary locally.
Usually the cleaning is done by Russian citizens but in areas such as in Samara and Voronezh cleaning companies try to use citizens of the CIS countries so as to lower expenses.
Working with the regions is not just a challenge in terms of distance and time zones, but also people in different regions are totally different - temperament, speech, and character
all vary. For example in the central zone (Kursk, Voronezh) people are very calm and unhurried; in Bashkortostan and Tatarstan they are enterprising; in Siberia, they are good-natured, welcoming, and hard-working.
All these nuances and features must be recognised and accounted for in the business' operation. And managers working in the regions become, in time, not just cleaning specialists but also psychologists and even ethnographers.