Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Part Two: Team vs. Zone Cleaning

September 19, 2010
Last month, we set up the criteria and goals for our study of Team vs. Zone Cleaning.

Now, we will uncover the profile of the facilities we surveyed as well as the findings.

Profile of included facilities
We began our culling process with facilities from most U.S. cities.

Based on qualifying inclusion criteria, the facilities selected for our study comprised just over 39,000,000 square feet of facilities.

We conducted over 33,000 inspections and over 500 interviews as part of our study.

See the map for areas included in the 2006-07 study.


Our study methodology
We collected our data in a three-step process:
  1. We sought out and got permission to include a specific facility in our study from a company or its contractor (not all facilities were ultimately included).
  2. We conducted on-site inspection, occupant interviews, and information data collection.
  3. We requested follow-up information from company or contractor sources, as available.
Our findings
Overall, the results found (as shown in the illustration) on average, Team Cleaning delivers marginally greater cleanliness quality, greater client satisfaction, and productivity than Zone Cleaning.

Team Cleaning is less costly than Zone Cleaning.

On a cost-for-performance basis, on average, Team Cleaning delivers the best overall value because of the balance of low price and good cleanliness quality.

Each performance area is reviewed in greater detail; as stated in the sidebar.

Cleanliness quality
On the whole, the Team Cleaning strategy delivers slightly higher cleanliness results.

In our study, Team Cleaning delivered about 3 percent greater cleanliness than the Zone Cleaning strategy.

Yet, this cleanliness difference was not the same at all quality levels.

For example, Team Cleaning rated a 73.6 percent attribute free appearance.

This compared favorably to the 70.7 percent for Zone Cleaning.

It is interesting to note that there is also a clear indication that restrooms, break rooms, cubicles and main entrances are somewhat cleaner under a Team strategy.

Satisfaction
On the whole, Team cleaned sites rated a 79.5 percent satisfaction score.

This compared favorably to the 75.7 percent for Zone Cleaning.

Looking at the best performers, the best rated Team Cleaning satisfaction delivered 90.9 percent satisfaction, while the best Zone cleaned facility rated a 90 percent satisfaction.

Operational productivity
A review of the collective database allowed us to reach several conclusions about how labor was utilized in the cleaning of office-type facilities by work strategy.

We found that, while overall, Team Cleaning averaged about 5,526 square feet per person per hour, productivity ranged between 1,450 and 7,470 square feet per hour.

On the other hand, we found that while Zone Cleaning averaged about 5,515 square feet per hour, it delivered a high of over 8,557 square feet and a low of 1,059 square feet per hour productivity.

Financial
On the whole, Team strategy sites cost 12 cents per square foot less than Zone-cleaned sites.

The cost of cleaning ranged from $1.31 per square foot to 52 cents per square foot for Team Cleaning and $1.85 to 43 cents for Zone Cleaning.

It’s also worth noting that labor hours delivered in Team cleaned sites were, on average, $433 lower per hour in cost than Zone cleaned.

The cost of hours for Team Cleaning ranged from $1,434 to $5,630 per hour and $1,006 to $10,385 per hour for Zone Cleaning.

Conclusions
On the basis of our analysis of over 145 locations in major cities across the country, we conclude the following.

On average, Team Cleaning produces higher cleanliness quality, greater customer satisfaction, higher productivity, and lower cost than Zone Cleaning.

With the findings from this study, and a previous column, we have concluded that Day Cleaning and Team Cleaning deliver value advantages.


Vincent F. Elliott is the founder, president and CEO of Elliott Affiliates Ltd. of Hunt Valley (Baltimore), MD. He is widely recognized as the leading authority in the design and utilization of best practice performance-driven techniques for janitorial outsourcing and on-going management.