In just the past few years, we have seen several trends emerge in the cleaning industry as a result of the world''s economic climate as well as advances in technology.
We have identified 10 trends that are impacting the cleaning industry and the way facilities and businesses operate.
This is part one of a two-part column.
Read about five trends here and tune in next month for five more trends.
Cleaning managers and supervisors are becoming more sophisticated; they are business-minded, technically savvy, driven by numbers and focused on solutions.
Managers and supervisors are running their operations like a business and, like business owners, they think about customer satisfaction and the bottom line.
They are strategic instead of reactive.
The state of the economy and a larger, more educated labor pool gives facilities and cleaning businesses the opportunity to upgrade management personnel.
Cleaning managers increasingly implement and follow quality management principles, like those described in CIMS, to improve efficiency.
They use technology like quality assurance software to manage cleaning operations and e-mails, websites and even text messages to communicate with customers.
2. Budget cuts
Regardless of organization size or type, it is safe to say that most organizations are operating under tightened budgets.
Many organizations meet budget requirements by getting by with fewer full-time employees (FTEs) and by reducing cleaning frequencies.
While these tactics can help save money, they also can increase health and safety risks.
To optimize the workforce without sacrificing health and safety, managers can ensure they meet environment, safety and health criteria outlined in CIMS.
The Standard can help organizations achieve a clean, green building at the lowest possible cost.
Organizations that traditionally have in-house cleaning operations, such as K-12 schools, are either outsourcing or considering outsourcing their cleaning services.
According to a recent study by the American Association of School Administrators, 20 percent of K-12 schools surveyed during the 2010-2011 school year reported outsourcing custodial/maintenance work.
That''s four times the number of schools that reported outsourcing two years ago.
I predict that 60 percent of K-12 schools will be outsourced in the next three to five years.
Organizations moving from an in-house operation to an outsourced one can save 10 percent to 30 percent in cleaning costs, depending on the level of inefficiency of in-house operations.
CIMS can keep organizations with in-house operations running efficiently; it can also help organizations that outsource to hire the right cleaning firm for the job.
With a more sophisticated management team, organizations are increasingly relying on standards to manage operations more effectively.
CIMS helps organizations create a fundamental framework for running a quality operation around major management principles.
Other standards from third parties and associations, such as the EcoLogo Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Green Seal Inc. and the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), help organizations choose the right cleaning products and tools.
For at least a decade or more, the cleaning industry has had available tools to help measure cleaning product performance, general cleanliness and safety.
Management comes first; measurement is second.
With more sophisticated management skills, managers are dusting off tried and true tools such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) testers and gloss meters to measure risk and workforce performance.
Managers then use the results to identify improvements needed in the cleaning process.
These tools help organizations focus on continuous improvement.