Managing cleaning by coincidence

14th of December 2017
Managing cleaning by coincidence

ECJ correspondent Lotte Printz talks to the founders of CleanManager about their rise in the sector.

Frantz Furrer is synchronising the time with his partner. Whispering. Then wipes dry the bottom of the window frame with a cloth while the judges are checking the work of the latest contestant in the Danish championships in window cleaning. A couple of hours earlier Furrer was offering an insight into the latest applications and how to use CleanManager – a cleaning managing system developed by himself and his business partner Jakob Witte Larsen.

Being the head sponsor of the 2017 Danish Clean Expo, there are many tasks to juggle. But it wasn’t exactly in the nature of things that the now 30-year-old Frantz Furrer was to climb the career ladder in the cleaning industry.

“What we dreamt of, me and Jakob, when we were studying data and robot technology was to become self-employed, having our own business and make a difference somehow,” says Frantz Furrer and admits that he had not thought of a cleaning job to fuel that dream.

“My mum encouraged me to get a part-time cleaning job while studying as she had herself when she was a student. I thought why not. The pay is reasonable, and it will probably take my mind off my studies.”

That choice is rather unusual these days in Denmark where students usually prefer supplementing student grants and assisting their living expenses by working within their student area, where cleaning is often considered a low-status job and where many cleaners in the industry are not ethnic Danes.

While his first part-time cleaning job was awful, confirming some of the bias towards the business: offering lousy conditions for the employees, his second cleaning job became somewhat an eye-opener.

“I was cleaning and then advanced to middle management. Conditions here were fine, but the job showed me a lot could be done to ease the management processes, making it more efficient – eventually helping everybody involved,” Furrer says.

So, while still studying he and Jakob Witte Larsen used their academic and technical skills and combined them with Frantz’s newly acquired knowledge of the “shortcomings” of the cleaning trade to develop CleanManager that manages everything from the actual planning of a cleaning job, quality controls and statistics and combines it with pay and financial systems.

The system can now be used on smart phones that we all carry anyhow, and the two business partners have further developed their system using customer feedback.

Being businessmen, the founders of CleanManager acknowledge that being head sponsor of the Danish Clean Expo pays. However, if they start counting the hours they spend on the event, which is usually a year and a half in the making, it doesn’t really add up in the end. So they don’t.

“Basically, we just want to help. Our customers and the business in a broader sense. We hope the fair can help create some common ground, a social event for people in rather lonely jobs and a general boost for the business that will also help improve its image. Shedding light on the fact that cleaning takes more than a cloth and a broom. Cleaning requires knowledge – knowledge we can also share here,” concludes Furrer.


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