By Keith Schneringer
So what can be done to mitigate these rising labor cost impacts?
In a word: analysis.
A thoughtful approach to analyzing current cleaning products and procedures can assist in identifying potential laborsaving cleaning solutions which can help to mitigate the impacts of rising labor rates.
Products – An analysis of your current mix of products is a first step which can be taken to identify areas for laborsaving
For example, some cleaning chemicals are designed to perform better and faster, delivering a better cleaning result in less time, potentially using less overall chemicals. And some floor finishes and sealers are made to be more durable – extending the time between the need to scrub and recoat the floor or the need for the full blown restorative step of stripping all the finish off the floor.
In addition, some cleaning tools and accessories help to save time in the cleaning process as well – having access to utilize the right tools is always going to help get the job done faster, whether that means a superior floor pad for a scrub and recoat, a higher quality microfiber mop to clean a restroom floor, or a lighter and more effective high dusting tool or accessory. And think about the laborsaving benefits of larger roll towels which need to be replaced less frequently than folded towels.
And finally, mechanization is the best way to get more cleaning accomplished with the same number of people. Whether that means utilizing an autoscrubber instead of a mop and bucket to clean floors, or deploying a piece of equipment designed to optimize the restroom cleaning process while simultaneously improving results while also eliminating the need for the cleaning worker to touch the restroom surfaces, the productivity gains of mechanization are exponential.
The ultimate expression of a fully mechanized cleaning process in the increasing use of robotics – allowing cleaning workers to perform other cleaning tasks while cleaning robots perform their tasks.
Procedures – An analysis of your current cleaning procedures can also ensure that an optimized laborsaving cleaning processes can also be implemented
Experienced industry consultants can make recommendations for improvement based upon an analysis of current procedures – and then help to implement an effective training program for cleaning staff to ensure that optimized cleaning procedures can be utilized to streamline the cleaning process.
Online training modules can supplement on-site or classroom training seminars – and ongoing assistance and partnership can contribute to opportunities for continuous improvement in cleaning procedures, which in turn help to minimize impacts of rising labor costs.
While the cost of labor continues to rise, the cleaning industry will continue to innovate new laborsaving products and procedures which can help mitigate these impacts – and WAXIE will continue to strive to be your source for these breakthroughs and solutions.
Keith Schneringer is WAXIE’s Director of Channel Marketing + Sustainability. He is a LEED AP O+M and CIMS-GB ISSA Certification Expert who has been a consultant on a variety of LEED and CIMS-GB projects, and has presented to audiences at USGBC, BOMA, IFMA and CHESC events (among others). He enjoys learning and sharing information on topics related to sustainability and green cleaning and can be found on Twitter @kschneringer.