In this post we will address a very important element to Janitorial Business Success.
TQM stands for Total Quality Management. TQM is a quality management process and philosophy developed by W. Edward Deming based on strict process control plus incremental improvement.
The Plain Truth About Janitorial Success
Success in the janitorial business is completely dependent on the quality and efficiency of the services delivered.
Poor Or Marginal Service Will Always Lose Money And Customers
Keeping your customers happy is absolutely necessary to janitorial success! Your customer retention will be determined by the quality and the consistency of the service you provide!
This may seem so obvious that it doesn’t even need to be stated but it does. People fall out of the janitorial business all of the time because the services they provide do not satisfy their customers.
They get fired and then they think it is some stroke of bad luck or the world is against them when actually it was only poor quality or poor consistency in the services they provided.
It is very common for someone in the janitorial business to pay someone else to clean their accounts and do absolutely no inspections or quality control. They simply believe in their deluded imagination that the people they are paying to clean are actually performing the cleaning as well as they did when they were performing the cleaning themselves.
They become surprised when they find how poorly their own workers were performing their duties. Unfortunately, by the time they find out, it is often too late to save the customer.
To manage quality, you can’t wait until a customer complains. You must deploy a quality management strategy before cleaning problems arise to prevent poor quality from ever getting into your business.
Here Are 7 Keys To Quality Management:
- Commit to quality
- Use only willing workers
- Have a strict cleaning system
- Provide easy to follow training
- Insist on strict system compliance
- Inspect what you expect
- Don’t tolerate system resistant people
1. Commit To Quality
Quality doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by intention and by the implementation of a plan that will bring about quality. If you are not totally committed to quality then you won’t even notice all of the clues that are right in front of your nose, in plain sight that would expose the possibility of poor quality.
Poor Quality is an expensive destroyer of service businesses. You can’t afford it so you have to make sure you keep it out of your business. That will only happen if you are totally committed to quality.
2. Use Only Willing Workers
When Dr. Deming wrote the book on Total Quality Management, he introduced the term “willing worker”. A willing worker is someone who wants to be there, wants to do the work and wants to do the work well. Willing workers can be trained and counted on to do their jobs without micro management.
All too often janitorial positions are occupied by people who really don’t want to be there, they don’t really want to do the work and they don’t really care about quality. Those people are often relatives of the business owner who need the money but don’t really want to do the work. They kill janitorial businesses.
I am grateful for these people because they are so common they give us a steady supply of new clients who are tired of paying for a level of service they aren’t receiving.
3. Have A Strict Cleaning System
The biggest secret to managing quality is systematization. McDonald’s first mastered systemization in the fast food market. Their efficiency and their ability to deliver consistent value across the country and around the world put almost all of the mom and pop hamburger stands out of business.
The thing that causes poor quality is “variation”. Variation in tools, variation in products, variation in processes all cause variation in results. The goal in managing quality is to eliminate variation in tools, products and processes so that you eliminate variation in cleaning results.
When you eliminate variation then you are managing quality.
4. Provide Easy To Follow Training
In order to successfully eliminate variation, you have to provide easy to learn training. It should be noted that training is only effective for people who want to learn your system. These are the willing workers we referred to earlier.
A common rookie mistake is to try to teach too much of the system at one time. It is better to train new personnel in one aspect of the system, let the individual get some experience and master that aspect of the business before training them in additional aspects of the business.
In other words, McDonalds doesn’t take a brand new employee and run through – this is how we make fries, this is how we clean tables, this is how we make Big Macs, this is how we clean restrooms, this is how we run a cash register, this is how we input orders, this is how we clean glass – Now go make fries. That would be more training than a new employee could remember or put to use. They would just be confused and they probably couldn’t do anything right.
But, teach them one thing at a time, let them master each procedure before they learn a new procedure and very soon they will have mastered all of the processes and can perform them within the system.
In the janitorial business the same concept can be applied by teaching someone to do general office cleaning – pulling trash, dusting and minor surface cleaning. Later they can learn restroom cleaning, Later still they can learn how to mop and vacuum, fill restroom supplies, etc.
5. Insist On Strict System Compliance
Everyone has opinions on the best way to clean. Everyone has an opinion on the best way to make the best hamburger too. McDonalds doesn’t care and neither should you. Before you can refine a system you must eliminate variation from the system so the system can be evaluated.
System deviation can kill your business so don’t tolerate it. McDonalds doesn’t try to make hamburgers like Burger King. Burger King doesn’t try to make hamburgers like McDonalds. Each has their own system. Their systems are different and produce different products. But both products are very consistent and therefore very successful.
Learn from these and a thousand other successful businesses. Insist on strict system compliance.
6. Inspect What You Expect
There is a show on TV where a restaurant turnaround specialist goes into a restaurant and installs hidden cameras to monitor what is really going on when no one is looking. The restaurant owners are appalled to discover the truth about their own personnel.
Don’t make the mistake of taking for granted that your workers are doing what they are supposed to be doing, the way they are supposed to be doing it.
Workers need feedback on their work so their work gets better and not worse. If you aren’t looking, work standards will deteriorate quickly and you will lose money and accounts.
Inspect what you expect. The best way to inspect is to inspect while the work is being done so that you are observing the process. It is easy to tell very quickly if someone is functioning within the system or if they are off track.
7. Don’t Tolerate System Resistant People
If you are spot checking work while the work is being done then you will find system deviation. That deviation will be the result of one of two things. The individual either doesn’t understand the system or they are system resistant.
If personnel do not understand the system then they can be retrained. If they are system resistant then all of the training in the world will not help. System resistant people must be eliminated from your company if you are going to eliminate variation and manage quality.
System resistant personnel can’t be fixed. They are passive-resistant. They will agree to follow the system, but then you will find that they aren’t following the system. They will always have an excuse. Don’t tolerate this. Variation will kill your quality and kill your business. Get rid of system resistant people ASAP.
If you follow these simple guidelines then you will have a head start on managing the quality control aspect of your business. As a matter of fact, you will outperform 98% of your competition.
In This Post You Learned
- How important managing janitorial quality is to your janitorial business success
- That there are 7 keys to managing your quality that will put you way ahead of your competition