The following is a description of the process and technology we use to design a cleaning service. Other services follow a similar process.
Workloading is a systematic approach to determine the total hours required for service.
There are many people in the cleaning industry who walk into a facility, and very quickly determine how many hours they feel the building will take to clean. In most cases these people have years of experience, and are able to compare similar areas of buildings they have seen in the past. Another method -- dividing the square footage by a "magic productivity rate" -- will give an essentially correct number some of the time, however, it will also be incorrect some of the time.
The only accurate method of determining how many hours of service are required for a particular building is to workload the building. Through the use of accurate time standards, workloading considers exactly how many minutes each task will take to perform as specified. Workloading sets RBS apart from the sea of people who do not understand that every task takes time, and that time converts into dollars.
RBS has developed its own methods and time standards for staffing buildings. Over the years, this has become a very technical field, and in part lead to the development of our own system of cleaning and communicating about cleaning, called Results Based Cleaning.
Our computer workloading program then generates information which we would use to price and operate the service. Some of these include:
In training our supervisory and management staff to develop a staffing plan and work schedule, we utilize many tools.
The development of a Housekeeping Program involves three basic procedural steps: The Facility Survey, The Development of Specifications, and Quantifying the Specifications.
First is the survey of the facility, wherein the entire complex is broken down into areas and documented the result desired, use, importance, traffic, density, floor type and fabrics, and soil conditions. We also document the count of certain items, such as restroom fixtures, elevators, etc., which will be used for task specifications. Floor plans or diagrams of the building are very useful, and if they are not available from our customer, we usually create them.
The second step in developing a Housekeeping Program is to establish cleaning specifications; what is to be done and how often it is to be done. Specifications establish the goal of a cleaning program and define the scope of work required to achieve that goal. In this light, cleaning specifications should be separated into 2 component parts:
In developing cleaning programs, the definition of the general specification or goal is normally dictated by the use and importance of the area to be cleaned. The service requirements are normally dictated by the prevailing soil conditions of the area in question.
In most commercial situations, a goal of "no visible soil" represents a minimum acceptable level of cleanliness.Exceptions to this would be found in clean rooms, and in certain areas of hospitals where quality levels are more stringent. Here, a general specification of "no soil" would be established. At the other end of the scale would be areas such as warehouses, storerooms, or machine shops where the presence of soil is not normally a major concern, and the general specification would allow for the presence of some amounts of "visible soil", but not debris.
Once the general specification has been determined, we define the type of tasks required to clean a particular area, as well as the frequency of those tasks. The type of tasks to be performed will be dictated by the physical properties of the area. For example, if there are wastebaskets, they must be emptied. If there are carpets, they must be vacuumed, etc. The frequency and specific method applied to these tasks will be dictated by the general specification - no soil, no visible soil or visible soil.
The third step is to quantify the amount of time required to achieve the goal of the program. Time and motion studies have been conducted by industrial engineers and refined by RBS experts. The results of these studies are known as "standard cleaning times." Such standards have been developed for virtually every conceivable cleaning task, and are normally expressed in either rates per 1000 sq. ft. or in rates per unit (stairs, elevators, fixtures, etc.).
(Time Per Unit) X (Number Of Units) X (Frequency) = Total Time
Time summation of individual cleaning times per task over a given area will yield the total time required to clean an area.
Once we have fully identified all of the tasks and time required, we can then assign tasks to individuals, specialists and teams as appropriate. The RBS Management System Software can then print out detailed plans of work for each associate assigned to service the account.