A reader asks: "I read about figuring productivity but still am confused. What is the formula and what do I include?"

As we continue our analysis of this account we will continue to identify areas that need closer review as well as improvement to increase productivity. We noted that retuning the contract to better balance the labor could help along with having a designated start/stop time.

We also noted that the upright vacuum cleaners in use were not being maintained and that they were probably contributing to the dust problems. Converting the account to one or two backpack vacuum cleaners with vacuum specialist could radically increase productivity and reduce the dust issue if the units are maintained correctly.

Following are other points:

One worker complained that the floors were being scrubbed often and that the finish was not holding up. Since VCT (Vinyl Composite Tile) is only about 10,000 to 12,000 SF of the total space, we looked at the current mopping system. Due to zone cleaning, each worker has their own traditional mop bucket and string mops. In an attempt to save money, the "cheap" string mops (no stitched ends) were being used.

These 100 percent cotton mops have some serious issues since they usually begin to develop mold/mildew within a few days of use. We noted that some workers soaked their mops in strong bleach water, which not only reduces the life of the mop fibers but also can damage floors with water based finishes. (We will look at odor and other issues later.)

Recommendation is that all workers be provided a double bucket system (current units can be retrofitted) or better still convert to a microfiber flat mop system. Current cotton mops should be switched out with at least a good quality blended mop with stitched bottoms that can be laundered.

We will continue this analysis in a future article.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.