Winston Churchill once said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
The world of cleaning is undergoing dramatic changes.
Advanced technology has brought new systems, processes and standards in response to a market where “cost savings” is a daily mantra.
The industry has taken on a whole new level of professionalism that, in turn, requires a new attitude.
True success will only come to those willing to take a critical look at where they are now and where they want to be in the future.
A Good Example
Take the story of Jane, the owner of a mid-size cleaning company.
While her company was generally doing well, she had recently run into some issues with client retention, and she worried that without some operational changes, she could lose even more clients.
Jane decided to hire an outside expert to take a look at her operations.
One big problem the expert identified was that Jane’s cleaning supervisors had no accountability.
They recommended implementing software technology using GPS that, at the touch of a button, gave Jane access to a dashboard of data.
Using this data, she could correct issues immediately and be more proactive, rather than reactive, to her clients' needs.
Jane knew these changes would meet with some resistance.
Most of her supervisors had been doing their jobs the same way for over 20 years, but she had a bigger vision for the company and pushed forward with the new technology.
She wanted a stronger, more competitive company, and she knew that, in the end, both she and her employees would reap the rewards.
Here are some things to help you master change and make some giant strides forward.
Hiring an outside expert can get you to your goals much quicker and will save you both money and time in the long run.
Outside experts bring a different perspective to your business and can assist in areas where you lack experience or capability, providing solutions that will improve your operations.
Start Tracking What You Do
Knowing what you need to change or improve requires knowing where you are now.
Whether it is cleaning audits, workloading, time tracking or other formats of analyzing operations, the best way to gauge where you are is to just start the benchmarking process.
Don’t wait for the perfect time — start now.
Look Beyond Your Geographical Area
While everyone in your area may do things in the same way, that doesn’t mean it’s the only or best way.
Some of the new products and processes constantly being developed in other countries could be just what you need to improve your productivity.
The Internet connects us globally and gives us the best the world has to offer.
Update Your Knowledge Constantly
Stay abreast of new trends by attending tradeshows, reading books, magazines and trade journals and aspiring to learn from others.
One new idea could change the way you run your operations, save you money and make you more efficient.
Look To Other Industries
Don’t focus just on the cleaning industry.
Use systems that have worked well in other industries and transfer them to your own operations.
Surround Yourself With Great People
It takes many people with many skill sets to propel you into greatness.
You can only accomplish great things when you have great people around you.
Carefully select people who are on the same page and will move your ideas forward rather than try to hold you back.
As Jack Welch put it, “Willingness to change is a strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while.”
How will you respond to change?
Judy Gillies is the founder and president of The Surge Group Inc., a cleaning consulting company located in Toronto that helps facilities managers improve their cleaning operations. She is one of the authors of Behind the Broom, A Manager’s Guide to a Professional Cleaning Operation. For more information about Gillies or to get your own copy, visit www.BehindTheBroom.com.