3 steps to a cleaner and leaner facility

3 steps to a cleaner and leaner facility

Veritiv Facility Solutions | June 25, 2019

Improving results requires seeing cleaning as a holistic function of a facility. Some companies treat cleaning either as a simple housekeeping task or a necessary evil. This mentality often leads to neglecting processes, taking shortcuts and looking for the cheapest and easiest solution. The potential negative effects and expensive consequences far outpace any dollars saved upfront, and as a result, the whole facility suffers. Applying the same principles to cleaning as one would to any other critical facility function is the most effective way to experience positive results.

Here are 3 tips for improving the cleanliness of your facility, while controlling costs.

1. Create clearly written SOPs
Cleaning standard operating procedures (SOPs) are typically non-existent or outdated, so cleaning crews often rely on information passed from one person to another. This reliance on verbal knowledge transfer can create problems, especially as employees leave and new ones join the team. To avoid these issues, document cleaning SOPs and post them in appropriate places. “Having clear, visual SOPs is an easy place to start,” Michael Parks, Director of LEAN Enterprise for Veritiv says. “They make training easier, increase consistency and minimize disruptions in the case of employee turnover."

2. Develop an integrated cleaning program that considers people, products and process
Many facility teams associate good cleaning with good products. However, training  and process optimization play an equally important role in achieving the best results.“If you simply pick a product for product’s sake, it may not hit your objective,” Parks says. “You need the right product, applied with the right process, by people who are well trained, to ensure they’re used properly.”

3. Apply LEAN principles
LEAN principles are typically applied in manufacturing or production settings to eliminate waste of all kinds (e.g., time, budget, materials). Applying the same principles to cleaning helps boost results in an efficient, productive way. Becoming more aware of what cleaning products you use and the associated workforce requirements can help you identify new opportunities to increase efficiency.

Healthy workspace, healthy bottom line
As research and industry leaders have proven, cleaning is more than basic housekeeping. When a business invests time and resources into cleaning like they do with other facility functions, they experience better results. “Cleaning is about far more than sweeping, sanitizing and scrubbing,” Parks says. “It’s about impacting people and the environment in a positive way. And when businesses care more about cleaning, they get more in return."