The Adventures of a
I should tell you right from the start that I am what is referred to these days as a Silver Surfer but I have been persuaded to write a blog by our new General Manager, so I think a little history first would be a good idea...
In my younger day I had a variety of jobs, some of them good, some of them not so good. I eventually ended up in the contract cleaning industry at the age of twenty four. Now, like most people in that industry, I did not wake up one morning and say I know, Ill get a job in the cleaning business; I got into it by default and spent the next thirty five years or more looking at other peoples dirty floors and not so savoury toilets.
A lot of time was spent in trying to persuade my cleaning operatives that they were doing a worthwhile job and that the client did appreciate them really but just had a strange way of showing it. In the main I found that ninety percent of the people that I dealt with (both cleaners and clients) just wanted to get the job done and be happy with the result. It was the other ten percent that caused the trouble!!
I eventually moved out of the contract cleaning industry and joined HOOPER SERVICES LTD where my knowledge and use of various different cleaning machines stood me in good stead, as we are one of the major stockists on the South Coast for all types of cleaning equipment. Most cleaning companies tend to stick to one make of machine because they are familiar with it. I didnt realise until I arrived at HOOPER SERVICES how many different manufacturers there were. The choice of machines available is far greater than you might think and you can see them all at HOOPER SERVICES LTD.
Keep an eye on our website - we have some promotions coming up soon that reflect it is a Royal Jubilee and Olympic year!
Until next time,
2.The Rotary Club...
Choosing the right machine or piece of equipment to do a job can be troublesome, particularly if you are not fully aware of what is on the market. Couple that with the many different floor types that are now available with high insurance costs if you get it wrong, and this gives you a mix for concern.
At HOOPER SERVICES LTD whilst we do not claim to be experts on all commercial cleaning machinery there is not much that we are not aware of, or that we can't find out about if required. Choosing the right machine for the right purpose is paramount to getting the job done successfully. We have found that even the people who profess to be ‘in the know' sometimes have trouble in choosing the right machine for the job. A typical example of this is the ‘good old rotary (buffing) machine' that now comes in standard speed, high speed and super high speed (and just to complicate matters you can have passive dust collection or a vacuum attached version too)!
Cleaning machinery is built for a specific purpose, but you would be surprised at the number of times it gets used for different tasks. Take for example the rotary machines mentioned above. The most popular machine we supply in that range is probably a 17" 400rpm machine which is commonly used for two purposes, either to buff a floor or to scrub a floor. This machine in essence is not designed to scrub floors because the rpm is too high to do an efficient job, whereas the standard speed machine that revolves at 200rpm is designed to do exactly that.
"Whoa, hold on" I hear you say, "what about budgets and costs etc, I can't afford to buy two machines, because they're expensive" and I entirely agree with you. I am merely trying to point out that purchasing the right machine will do a better job and save money in the long term.
HOOPER SERVICES LTD would be more than happy to advise you on the options available when you come to purchase a piece of equipment from us, and who knows, at the discounts we offer, it may not be that expensive.
3. Good Housekeeping...
Q. How often do you wash your vehicle (ok, in the bad weather not so often), and why do you wash your car?
A. Because firstly it cost you (or the company) a lot of money to purchase and secondly, it kind of says something about you in terms of pride.
Walk into any cleaning cupboard and take a look - unless you have a very rare breed of operative, most of the equipment will be less than clean to say the least and more than likely at some time you will walk in to that wonderful scent of ‘dirty mop' or ‘foul water'. Now, straight away, I have to say that from my experience in the cleaning industry, when I assigned cleaning areas to operatives I very rarely allocated any time at the end of the shift to clean up or maintain equipment, but because it is expensive to buy I always expected this to be done, and complained if it wasn't. The condition of the equipment represented my company - clean means clean.
Have you ever heard the saying "moment of truth"? A moment of truth is any time that your customer comes into contact with your company in any way. At that precise time the customer is judging what sort of organisation you are - dirty machinery is not impressive.
Why would I even bother to write about this?
Well, HOOPER SERVICES LTD offers an excellent breakdown & repair service and we quite often find that when we arrive on site the equipment requires attention because it is in a poor state which contributes to breakdowns taking place. The main cause is blocked pipes or filters that have been neglected. Other problems can arise from dust being sucked into the motor housing, or corrosion resulting from chemical being left in the tank of a machine. If only cleaning equipment came in the shape of a ‘Ferrari' I am sure it would be treated with much more respect. (Repair costs might be a bit higher though!!)
"Good Housekeeping" begins at home - like any Olympic Athlete, clean and maintained equipment looks better, performs better and lasts a lot longer!
4. At your
OK - name me the most controversial area in any building - the clue is that most people go there at least once or twice per day - You've got it - THE TOILETS.
Now I don't think it's unfair to say the ladies are a little fussier than the gents about how their facilities are looked after, and I would love a pound for the number of times that I was told ‘my toilet at home doesn't look like this' - OK fine, but can you really tell me that you have three hundred people a day going through your toilet at home!!
Most people do not relish the thought of cleaning other people's toilets, and cleaners are no different. A toilet is not exactly the place that you want to spend hours in and therefore they tend to get a quick wipe over, and of course that is where the trouble starts. You get a build up of limescale around the taps, dirt starts to appear around the toilet pan where it meets the floor, and floors start to become grubby. Finally everyone agrees that a deep clean is needed and the cycle starts all over again.
I had major problems with one set of toilets in a factory in Southampton where I just could not keep cleaners. This led to daily complaints from the people using the toilets and a threat from the customer that they would be looking for a new cleaning company if we could not resolve it.
I grabbed hold of the site supervisor and asked what was going on. She invited me to attend at the end of the 6 o'clock evening shift in the factory. I'll tell you what; I have never seen anything like it (in both male and female toilets). The floor was strewn with paper hand towels, some used some not, the sinks were still full with dirty water, the floor was swimming in water and the majority of the toilets had not been flushed. ‘We come in to this every night' said the Supervisor.
Now, one has to be delicate when informing the customer that their employees are like a herd of wild animals when the clocking off siren goes. So I did what my supervisor did and asked my contact to meet on the factory floor at the end of the shift. This was not popular (as they finished at 5.30) but nonetheless they waited and when I invited them to view the toilets they could not believe what they were seeing.
We struck a deal, and notices went up in the toilets about keeping them tidy and the common courtesy of flushing the toilet when you have finished with it, and air- fresheners were placed around the walls. It is true to say that in return for their co-operation I did agree to put in 15 minutes extra twice per week just to boost the cleaning, but the problems went away, and there was no more talk of other cleaning contractors.
The point of this blog is that ‘it takes two to tango' and Hooper Services Ltd would be more than happy to tango with you or your customer (on your behalf) to try and achieve solutions to cleaning problems. We are happy to give advice about machinery and on occasions will even make site visits if you are not sure what equipment you need. Talk to us, we don't bite!!
5. A grounded view...
We take them for granted, walk on them every day and yet pay them the least attention -but they have the biggest impact in cleaning. What am I talking about - floors!!
Nobody that I am aware of walks around all day looking at the floor but isn't it strange when you walk in to a building and you immediately get the feeling that something isn't right. A poorly maintained floor can create this impression anywhere but it is especially crucial in the reception area. You won't notice the dust on the ledges, or the odd mark on the wall (unless you are looking for them) but even somebody that is not in the cleaning industry will notice a dirty or poorly maintained floor.
The problem is that with all the different floor types available these days you almost have to be an expert to maintain them properly. It pays to find out what the floor manufacturer recommends as a cleaning regime, there is no loss of face in this and the customer will welcome the fact that you are trying to take the cleaning seriously.
I did have one customer once that said ‘thought you would know what to do with the floor, that's why we have you'. I replied by asking the customer how long they had been driving to which they said ‘about ten years' I went on to ask if they considered themselves to be an expert driver to which they replied ‘No, but I am a good one'. I explained that I was a good ‘floor man' but the people who built this particular floor were the experts and I wanted to find out from them.
HOOPER SERVICES LTD can supply you with both the machinery and equipment that you need to keep your floors looking good.
If you are just doing a ‘one off' clean why not enquire about hiring machinery? If we have it we will be more than pleased to hire it out to you!
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