5 Best Labor-Saving S.T.E.P.S

By: Vickie Holland

Labor costs can add up fast! Today’s organizations are continually searching for new and creative ways to save. Here are 5 Labor Saving S.T.E.P.S that will save you money and help increase your bottom line.

  1. SAFETY: All employees are entitled to a safe workplace. Personal protective equipment “PPE” should be included in all training programs to protect the employee from injuries. Risk exposure factors include lifting heavy items, bending, reaching, pushing and pulling, and performing repetitive tasks. Another great practice in protecting employees is investing in ergonomic equipment or tools. Some good examples are the Backpack Vac and Victoria Bay’s Bucketless Mop. These tools are designed to be more efficient by requiring fewer trips back and forth to refill chemicals and avoids bending, lifting and tripping hazards. Both are ergonomically engineered to minimize strain injuries that can occur with repeated use.
  2. TRAINING: Training reduces overall costs and improves performance. In addition to saving on hiring and on-boarding costs, training promotes consistency throughout the organization, leading to increases in efficiency and improved performance. Training provides an excellent path for your team to adopt new methods or technology. For example, are you using team or zone cleaning? Team cleaning is a more modern approach that allows the custodian to focus on one specific task (for example vacuuming or dusting). This strategy will save time and has proven easier to supervise.
  3. EQUIPMENT: When is the last time your company purchased new equipment? Newer equipment is designed to increase employee productivity by helping your team to work faster, smarter and safer. Having the right equipment for the job will maximize efficiencies, allow employees time for other projects and ultimately save on your labor costs.  One valuable and affordable investment is a micro-scrubber. Micro-scrubbers are smaller pieces of equipment designed to pick up more soil than a traditional mop bucket. Their smaller footprint reduces the risk of slips and fall injuries. These machines are easy to maneuver and can scrub small congested areas, increasing efficiency. We recommend the Windsor Micro-Scrubber or the Clarke Vantage Auto Scrubber.
  4. PROCUREMENT: Your purchasing habits can have a huge effect on your bottom line. Think about all the steps involved in procurement: taking inventory, placing an order, checking the order in on delivery, putting away the supplies, reconciling the packing slip and invoice, preparing and mailing payment. Limiting the number of orders placed will allow for more time to be spent on the things that add value; for example, cleaning, disinfecting or maintaining your facility. Also, having the correct item in stock when you need it is crucial. Wasting time sourcing product at the last minute is counter-productive, stressful and time consuming.
  5. SUSTAINING FLOORS: So much time and labor is spent finishing your floors to a dazzling shine and maintaining spotless carpets. Are you pulling out all the stops to sustain your efforts? Simple steps will keep your carpets and hard floors looking great. Our #1 recommendation is investing in entrance matting. Not only does matting help keep your workplace safe from slips, trips and falls, matting helps to keep dirt and moisture out of your building.  Another excellent way to keep your floors looking bright and glossy is to use chair protectors. Chair protectors protect floor surfaces from scratches and preserve floor finishes.

 

We can schedule a time to tour your facility and understand your cleaning challenges. Our expert Sales Consultants can recommend the best equipment, products, training programs, and procurement solutions based on your needs.

Visit http://www.imperialdade.com and contact us today!

Expert Interview – Safety & Savings Through Chemical Management

CMS Dispensers New LabelsFor this expert interview Laura Craven, a member of the marketing team, spoke with one of the many experienced professionals here at Imperial Dade. Lynn Miller, Orlando Branch Chemical Manager, has worked in the janitorial industry for over 35 years including 18 years with Imperial Dade.

Laura: Tell me about your role? What does a Chemical Manager do?

Lynn: I love my job as Chemical Manager. I work alongside our sales consultants, assisting them in developing solutions for their customers. For example, in one of our grocery chain accounts we created customized cleaning programs for each department. We trained their staff on proper procedures helping them maintain a clean, safe and appealing store. In addition to the hands-on training we also provided written manuals and tools to ensure that the programs were consistent across all store locations. I enjoy the interaction with both management and employees when they grasp the concepts of the training. We are helping them be more successful and that is really rewarding.

Lynn: I also love to solve problems. A cleaning contractor called me just the other day to just tell me how much time and money he saved on a very large job after installing the chemical management system that I had recommended.

Laura: Please describe a chemical management system.

Lynn: It is the best thing since sliced bread! A chemical management system, or CMS, is an automated dispensing system that controls the precise amount of chemical concentrate mixed with water in reusable spray bottles. The system can be set up with multiple products depending on the cleaning needs of the customer.

Laura: What are some of the benefits of this type of system?

Lynn: Safety is a big one. Because the mixing is done automatically, there is no “glugging” of chemicals from one bottle to the next which can pose risks in improper dilution ratios as well as spills. Some people think that if some is good, more is better. That is not true! Using too much concentrate can make the product less effective, damage surfaces and can create health risks. Everything in a quality CMS should be color-coded with corresponding product numbers and names. The system should also include instructional wall charts and manuals making it very easy to use.

Lynn: Cost is another important factor. The CMS chemicals are super-concentrates, reducing the expensive shipping of water and excess packaging.

Laura: That is a more sustainable program as well. Reduced packaging and transportation, both of which have a big impact on the environment.

Lynn: That is correct! Also, the cost-in-use is much less compared to a pre-mixed, ready-to-use chemical. For example, a quart of ready-to-use product may be $3 compared to a quart of CMS product as low as $.035. And, because the dispensing is controlled there is no waste or overuse. These systems also help prevent theft of ready-to-use products.

Laura: What types of businesses use these systems?

Lynn: All businesses that use cleaning chemicals can benefit from a CMS.  We partner with healthcare facilities, grocery stores, schools, restaurants, food processing plants, office buildings, building contractors, hotels, the list goes on and on.

Laura: What factors should be considered when selecting a CMS?

Lynn: The major considerations when selecting a CMS provider are, first, a knowledgeable consultant to recommend the correct products for each surface and provide training for the cleaning crew. The second is safe, reliable equipment and technical service.  The service technicians need to maintain the equipment on a regular basis and be available 24/7 to respond to any emergency repair needs. And lastly, high quality chemicals that are compliant with all regulations and perhaps even third-party environmental certifications.

Laura: I see why you are so enthusiastic about CMS programs! Thanks, Lynn!

Lynn: Thanks for the opportunity to share the info.

If you are interested in learning more about chemical management systems, Lynn Miller is gladly available to answer your questions and can be reached at lmiller@imperialdade.com.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Benefits of Encapsulation

By Jameka Carter

The encapsulation cleaning method has been around for over two decades, but over the years it has gained a lot of attention in the carpet cleaning industry. In fact, nearly every cleaning company offers some variation of encapsulation solutions.

Some encapsulation methods involve sprinkling a dry powder over the carpet; however, today’s better-quality encapsulation detergents are built with a crystallizing polymer that immediately surrounds or “encapsulates” the soil particles. After the carpet dries, the encapsulated soil can be removed from the carpet during the post-vacuuming process.

The AirX RX82 Soil Resistant Carpet Cleaner brings the most advanced technology to encapsulation carpet care. It has a completely neutral pH yet cleans better than other carpet solutions. It dries faster, contains AIRICIDE Odor Counteractant, and leaves no sticky residue to cause resoiling.                              airex

The encapsulation method has many benefits that carpet cleaning techs and cleaning professionals should be aware of.

If you have not yet become acquainted, here are 10 benefits of using the encapsulation method:

  1. It improves the overall appearance of carpet on a day-to-day basis.
  2. It is considered a very low moisture (VLM) carpet cleaning method that allows carpet fibers to dry in an hour or less, meaning that facilities will experience less downtime and cleaning staff can work efficiently and quickly over large areas.
  3. The equipment costs considerably less than that used for extraction.
  4. When charging by the square foot, the encapsulation method can be very profitable because more carpet is cleaned in a shorter period.
  5. Unlike extractors, there is no risk of the carpet loosening from the floor when cleaning tiles or glued carpet.
  6. Carpet extraction uses about 20 gallons of water to clean 1,000 square feet; encapsulation uses about four or less.
  7. Encapsulation avoids the possibility of wicking or resoiling. This occurs when soils remaining at the bottom of the carpet fibers travel up to the visible surface and make the stain reappear.
  8. Minimal training is required compared to using a carpet extractor.
  9. Soil recovered using an encapsulation system typically is collected by a vacuum cleaner; using the extraction methods, gallons of soiled water are discharged into sewers.
  10. It keeps the carpet cleaner for longer periods of time, allowing facilities to prolong the time between deep cleanings.

For more information about carpet cleaning products and equipment visit http://www.imperialdade.com.

9 High-Risk Housekeeping Tasks

Janitors, Custodians, and Housekeepers are amongst the highest occupational groups at risk for injury. This is due to the physical nature of their work that often involves awkward postures, repeated motions, and forceful exertion. The following is a list of high-risk injury tasks and the best practices to reduce the risk of injury and increase productivity.

By Jameka Carter

Janitors, Custodians, and Housekeepers are amongst the highest occupational groups at risk for injury. This is due to the physical nature of their work that often involves awkward postures, repeated motions, and forceful exertion. The following is a list of high-risk injury tasks and the best practices to reduce the risk of injury and increase productivity.

Share these instructions with your crew to keep them safe.

Moving Trash Cans/Carts

The more supplies loaded on the trash can or cart, the greater the force needed to push. Pay attention to uneven surfaces. It can cause the barrel to tip over. If it tips, let it go to prevent any strain on yourself.

Lifting Garbage Bags from a Trash Can

It is so easy to injure yourself while lifting heavy objects. Heavy lifting becomes more difficult when the contents of the bag have been pushed down. Use a trash can designed with vents for easier lifting and less back strain.

Taking out trash

Moving Furniture

Moving and rearranging furniture involves forceful exertions for one person. Use equipment and devices to help move furniture or call someone for help to prevent serious back injury.

Carrying Buckets

Some jobs require lifting and carrying heavy buckets. With prolonged use, a thin handle causes significant contact pressure on the hand. Avoid heavy compression on your hand by padding the handle or using a handle with a bigger diameter.

Scrubbing

A worker who cleans floors by hand uses rapid and repetitive hand movements while kneeling, crouching, or crawling. There is also sustained bending of the upper body and neck. Use knee pads if you must kneel or use adjustable long-handled scrubbers with pivoting heads to avoid extreme reaches.

Sweeping

Sweeping floors may involve awkward positions of wrists. In addition, the back and neck are often in an awkward forward bent posture. Do not bend your back. Use lightweight brooms, standup dustpans, and lobby brooms. They allow you to remain standing up straight. If needed, bend your knees, not your back.

Making Beds

Housekeepers forcefully lift and hold each mattress corner with one hand and tuck in the bedsheet with the other. Prolonged and repetitive bending is hard on your back. Do not bend your back. Instead, bend your knees and crouch briefly.

High Dusting

Reaching up while holding a duster for long periods of time requires awkward and fixed positions of the arms, shoulders, and neck. This task can lead to pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, arms, and upper back. Stand at an angle and not directly under the dusting area for improved posture.

Not Taking Breaks

Working intensely and rapidly while in awkward postures, exerting force, and struggling to keep up with workload are factors often associated with an increased risk of injury. Take breaks every two hours to allow rest and recovery from physical exertion.

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