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Soapbox: Best Practice in Cleaning
Rafael Cobos of Futureclean Assured Systems, argues that for Best Practice to be properly applied to cleaning, those responsible for the cleaning process, must also adopt Continuous Improvement measures...
In the world of finance, indices such as the FTSE 100 in the UK or the Dow Jones in the US are the benchmarks against which all listed companies gauge their overall performance. These indices serve as a useful measure of performance with which companies can then compare their results against the move of the main index (FTSE100), or their nearest and most relevant sector index like the FTSE 350 banks. The main aim is to outperform the index and, of course, to perform better than competitors in the same sector (against the sector index).
But companies are not expected to outperform the indices just once; they are expected to produce results that consistently outperform the indices.
While it is true that this example from the world of finance really only looks at the financial expectation of companies, it illustrates, in a very simple way, how company results are expected to match - but preferably outperform - a pre-established expectation (the indices).
Outside the world of finance, what benchmarks can we use to gauge our results across a common set of competitive companies? How can we compare ourselves against our competitors?
In any industry there are certain expectations that must be met and the cleaning industry is no different. The obvious example in the cleaning industry is for an area, building or surface to be clean - but that expectation is the end result of a lengthy process involving many steps, not least employing quality systems. Going back to the finance example, for a company to outperform the index (or sector index), a lengthy process involving many steps has to be implemented in order to reach that expectation on a consistent basis. The key term to understand is consistency - for without consistency, results will be haphazard, unpredictable and uncontrolled.
This process, which is designed to deliver consistently good (great?) results in response to and with commercial pressure and external expectations, is Best Practice. It isn't just one step; nor is it focusing solely on the end result... It is adopting business and working practices that have an established track record throughout all business operations. The external expectations are legislative (HACCP, Environmental Act, Health & Safety, etc) and customer expectations and feedback.
How do you know that these practices constitute Best Practice? How are quality systems, such as Continuous Improvement, integrated?
Immediately what come to mind are the two opposites: Best Practice and Continuous Improvement. However, if the practice is considered the best, there can be no room for improvement...
In reality the practices considered Best Practice come from experience and an awful lot of sales pressure from manufacturers, but those alone cannot really be trusted. What it takes is a measured adoption of external practices (obviously legal expectations must be adopted) while implementing Continuous Improvement on those practices - the two opposite approaches now work together to create a true reflection of Best Practice.
How does Best Practice apply to cleaning?
Whether the company is a facilities management company contracted to provide a host of services, a company with an in-house cleaning team, or a cleaning company; the cleaning operations form an integral part of business operations. It therefore follows that Best Practice must be applied to cleaning, and to do so requires the adoption of Continuous Improvement and Best Practice as described in the previous paragraph.
Futureclean Assured Systems can assist your company to achieve Best Practice in cleaning and cleaning processes. To start the discussion:
18th December 2014