A reader writes: “One of my many tasks is to conduct quality control inspections. What should I look for?”

The term “quality control” is a misnomer in that it is difficult to truly control quality outcomes in custodial operations at only one level. As I understand it your function is to check work after it has been completed which is a challenge since it is usually better to build in quality control throughout the cleaning process. It is better to focus on the steps and processes necessary to fulfill the contract to the customer’s satisfaction while staying within budget. Of course, it is very important to inspect the area in a timely manner since traffic can undo any work that was performed. Since you have minimal custodial experience, I suggest the following steps:

  1. Invest some time cleaning the areas you are assigned to inspect using the contract specifications as your guide.
  2. Meet with your vendor/distributors to learn about their chemicals, tools, equipment and processes so that you better understand what it means to do the job “right”.
  3. Review the cleaning schedule to determine if the work actually fulfills the specifications.
  4. Hopefully you have job cards for daily work with time frames built in to give guidance to workers.
  5. There also should be a periodic schedule to cover tasks such as carpet cleaning, hard floor work, etc. that is performed by your floor techs.
  6. Tailor your inspecting wording to reflect the specifications whenever practical.
  7. Periodically meet with the customer (or their representative) to conduct joint inspections so that you can see the contract through their eyes.
  8. Of course, joint inspections can also help clarify any misconceptions about what is contracted to be done.
  9. Make a commitment to learn more about the cleaning process and when appropriate, conduct training so that workers are utilizing the best systems.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. 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.