Mr. Robot: How to Automate Your Cleaning Program
Automation is here and touching every part of our lives. Home and car mechanization promise to keep us safer, more comfortable and even save some money. With cleaning representing 20 to 30% of the total maintenance and operation budget for nearly any type of organization, janitorial professionals can benefit from automation as well. Are you ready to work smarter and safer? Here’s how to automate your cleaning program.
Take the Paper out of Paperwork
No matter the size of your cleaning operation, there’s a software solution to help streamline back office tasks. Software can track supplies and equipment, keep on top of your employee’s training and work history and schedule cleaning jobs too. They can also generate detailed bid documents to better win new clients. Today’s sophisticated programs are often optimized for mobile devices, allowing workers and managers to use it on a smartphone or tablet. One business owner reports saving 34%, or $17,000 per year, on labor costs since using the software.
Outsource the Monotony and the Misery
Your mother was right, no one ever died from boredom, but tedious, repetitious tasks take their toll on workers’ bodies. In fact, frontline custodial staff suffer a higher risk for physical injuries simply by doing their jobs. Some repetitive motion injuries commonly found in the cleaning industry include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and bursitis. These conditions aren’t just painful, they’re costly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that repetitive motion injuries lead to an average of 18 lost workdays per injury. Once a worker suffers one injury it’s likely that they will be hurt again.
Mopping is one task ripe for automation. It’s a leading cause of repetitive motion injury for two reasons: mops are heavy, with some cotton string models weighing in at up to eight pounds when wet and mops are unwieldy with five-foot-long handles that put workers’ backs at risk.
Automate to Remove More Dirt
Automation actually does a better job at removing dirt and pathogens than good, old fashioned elbow grease. A study published in Controlled Environments found that a cleaning automation machine like a spray-and-vac device were vastly more effective than either a traditional or a microfiber mop at removing contaminants from grout lines and tile surfaces.
Automated systems can also get at hard-to-reach places without the operator bending, twisting or having to touch harsh chemicals.
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Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.