Asian doctor wearing a whole mess of PPE, including goggles, a mask and a suit

Contributed by Janitorial Manager

In the past few weeks due to the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, new heroes have emerged in our midst: nurses, retail workers, food service employee and, arguably most important, janitors.

Without janitors, the spread of the coronavirus throughout health care facilities, grocery stores, food manufacturers and all other essential industries would skyrocket. The rest of the world is finally noticing what we have known for years: Environmental services, custodial operations, janitors, housekeepers, or whatever name they go by are an invaluable part of society and have a huge impact on overall health and wellness. Janitors are out at all hours of the day and night performing dirty and exhausting tasks. From emptying trash, disinfecting high touch surfaces and refilling empty dispensers to scrubbing floors, bathrooms and other areas that are known to be contaminated, a janitor’s focus is on maintaining clean, safe and healthy environments. 

While we do not know what the future looks like when the pandemic subsides, one thing for sure is that there will be a greater focus on cleaning and disinfecting than ever before. From in-house cleaning providers to building service contractors, the focus will be shifted to providing cleaning and disinfecting services and protocols that can be documented and shared with staff, coworkers and customers.

While products and procedures are always critical to success, there is going to be a new wave of need for management technology to justify what a cleaning operation is doing to achieve not only their customer's expectations for a clean and healthy environment, but the documentation to back up their services.

How will you document your quality?

Management software will allow cleaning operations to develop detailed inspection reports based upon specific criteria to help them achieve the results required for each facility serviced. With a robust inspection offering, a cleaning operation that uses management software will be able to assure that all needs are being met, provide corrective action to employees where further training or follow up is required, and share inspection reports with customers (with pictures), so a customer can see a historical trend and feel confident that quality services are being performed. 

How will you improve your Client Communications?

Communication with those a company is are cleaning for is a key requirement for long-term success and strong partnerships. Customers, now more than ever, want to be engaged with and updated on the cleaning and disinfecting activities taking place in their facilities. Likewise, cleaners want to know if they will be facing any situations outside of their normal scope of work. Cleaning operations will also value receiving communication on any special services the customer may be requesting. A software that offers a photo-enabled client portal will help everyone work together.

How will you communicate expectations?

Cleaning professionals know that cleaning and disinfecting is not a simple and quick job. Cleaning for health is more than just swabbing toilets and emptying trash. The general public is starting to realize the importance and value of a clean and healthy facility. A software that allows for detailed checklists designed for a client’s specific expectations assures cleaning staff know all that is required of them. Checklists also allow cleaning professionals to better communicate the exact services they are providing and the time they have spent to maintain the environment.

How will you manage your inventory?

While inventory management has always had a significant effect on the overall success of a cleaning operation, in today’s current economy, the impact has increased tenfold. Cleaning organizations have always tried to make sure they have the right product at the right time and at the right price. Too much product ties up cash flow. Too little product risks seriously upsetting clients, especially if they run out of toilet paper. Managing inventory is crucial to preventing outages and managing budgets for long-term success. A software program that allows a business to routinely cycle count, transfer stock from low-use to high-use areas, place orders with suppliers, and see at a glance the spend and usage per closet, per area or per building will be worth the investment.

While society continues to move forward in these uncertain times, the only thing it can be sure of is that the world will continue to change. Exactly what changes can be expected remain to be seen. The greatest takeaway will be the increased visibility and need for clean, safe and healthy facilities, as well as the importance of the work janitors do. The janitorial and custodial operations that use a robust software like Janitorial Manager, will set themselves apart from their peers, gain greater success in managing budgets and operate in a more professional and efficient manner.