Although there are those who would differ with my interpretation of the benefits of Zone Cleaning in small accounts, it should be pointed out that a person can be trained to effectively and efficiently service a small account or area as well as a traditional team of four performing the same tasks. As one of the great trainers of our day stresses, “It is all about the PROCESS” of how the tasks are performed.

In one area that I might vary with this person is that in a small route, it may be more productive to use a quality upright vacuum cleaner instead of a large backpack. In my observations (admittedly without a stop watch), I have noted that a single worker on a small route loses valuable time when they have to put on and take off a large backpack system. The time standard does not usually capture this lost time and can have an impact on the time it takes to service a small area. Some may argue that a small shoulder mini backpack “might” be faster and more effective. My suggestion is to time each of the systems you utilize and match the most effective tool to the area being serviced.

As to the process, it is important that a “One Size Fits All” mentality not become confused with standardizing the process. Both Zone and Team Cleaning should be standardized as much as possible. Exceptions may include the type vacuum system used, mopping systems (more about that later) as well as certain chemicals included or excluded at the request of the customer or a requirement.

It is important that management stay aware of the impact of different products and systems can have on productivity. 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