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Monday's Ask the Experts: Zone cleaning

January 11, 2010
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Monday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: We are in the planning stage of implementing the Team Cleaning process to replace Zone Cleaning. We are an in-house service provider and service 3 million plus gross square footage divided among 34 office buildings, all within a five mile radius. Does anyone have any lessons learned or suggestions they can offer?
The answer
Congratulations on initiating improvements in your organization and for seeking advice from others who have been through the process.
On a couple of items, I''d like to take a somewhat different approach than my colleague above.
(1) This statement creates the impression that a team works together. This is untrue, as you know from attending the training course. One Specialist, fast or slow, cannot affect the whole team. Remember, the duties are clearly defined by Specialists and are focused so that variation in productivity by individuals is greatly diminished.
The key ''team'' that is referred to, may be the Light Duty Specialist (Starter) and the Vac Specialist (Closer). These are the only 2 of the 4 disciplines that work in tandem (Closer following the Starter). In this regard, we have designed the Quadrants and Job Cards to take into consideration various production rates. As you set up your first facility do not forget to test and study these assignments for effectiveness. This testing does not create different production rates for each individual, but rather a rate per position which individuals are expected to meet.
(2) I agree with the concern for potential boredom. However, you may be surprised how infrequently it occurs. To offset this, and for absenteeism, you should have 20 - 30% of your Specialists cross-trained.
(3) I agree that you and your superiors will need time to effectively convert. Let me give you some time targets to shoot for:
Starter - basic training - (dust removal, trash collection, spotting, etc.)- 4 hours
Understanding quadrants - (routine, detail & periodic frequencies)- 4 hours
Understanding the Job Cards - (routing, allotted time, quad sequence)- 4 hours
About the same time for the Closer
Restroom Specialist depends upon the system utilized, but is about 8 hours.
The Utility group is divided into 4 levels ranging from pulling trash to aseptic cleaning. Here you should focus on standards from organizations like IICRC.
Remember to spend enough... — Jim Harris Sr., Concepts IV Consulting
Jim@conceptsiv.com
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