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Cleaning Has Evolved—Understand How to Reduce Your Commercial Cleaning Costs

March 08, 2023 8:12 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in Staffing & Personnel Productivity

Many factors are at play when calculating the true cost to clean a commercial facility today. With the ongoing labor shortage, good employees likely need a wage bump to keep them loyal to your operation. The cost of consumables and traditional cleaning supplies quickly add up. Using antiquated cleaning equipment can chip away at productivity—and the bottom line.

To understand your actual commercial cleaning costs, BSCs, facility managers and environmental services providers need to have a different mindset. A mindset that considers the evolution of cleaning and the many modern solutions available to address employee turnover and stress, cleaning efficiency, chemical costs, and cleaning machine performance.

The Old Way to Calculate Commercial Cleaning Costs

Whether a facility outsources cleaning or has an in-house cleaning staff, the traditional way of calculating cleaning costs follows a typical format:

  • Labor—it’s one of the biggest or the biggest line items. For large, multi-floor facilities, you likely need a larger cleaning crew to hit all the touchpoints—floors, entryways, restrooms, kitchens, work surfaces, etc. Labor wages are the obvious costs that are considered, but you also need to factor in the cost of uniforms, taxes, workers’ compensation, hiring/turnover, and insurance.
  • Equipment—a must-have for thorough cleaning and sanitation. You likely have various cleaning equipment to keep cleaning operations up and running. For floor cleaning, that means having a stable of walk-behind or ride-on auto-scrubbers, vacuums, buffers/burnishers, etc. You also should factor in the cost of acquiring this equipment, including maintenance and repairs.
  • Cleaning Supplies—often disposable and one-off. Commercial cleaning crews commonly use cleaning chemicals, gloves, cleaning cloths and other disposable supplies. They represent sunk commercial cleaning costs that are part of day-to-day cleaning operations.
  • Supervision—the person who keeps everything running smoothly. The cleaning supervisor schedules and coordinates of the cleaning crew and ensures spaces are properly cleaned according to the statement of work (SOW). This higher-wage role gets factored into the overall cost to clean.

Modern Thinking to Reduce Cleaning Operations Costs

If BSCs, facility managers, and EVS providers want to reduce cleaning operations costs, they should consider the many innovations that have emerged in recent years for commercial cleaning. There has been a massive modernization movement that can improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, lower employee turnover, reduce employee stress, and automate routine cleaning tasks.

From eco-friendly cleaning solutions to mechanized floor cleaning technology to artificial intelligence (AI) powered cleaning equipment, modern thinking is the way forward to reduce cleaning operations costs.

Transform Tap Water into Cleaning Solution

There are a variety of good reasons to stop using chemicals in floor scrubbers. Handling chemicals requires employee training and consumes time being mixed to the right dilution. They also pose a higher risk of slip and fall accidents while drying. Also, cleaning chemicals can irritate cleaners who have health conditions such as asthma.

Cost is another reason to switch to floor scrubbers that don’t use chemicals. The Tennant ec-H2O™ technology, which transforms tap water into a safe, effective cleaning solution, reduces the costs associated with conventional floor cleaning detergents—like purchasing and inventory management. Scrubbers equipped with the ec-H2O technology also use less water so they can scrub up to three times longer between non-productive dump and fill cycles.

T300 ec-H2O

i-mop Lite

Mechanize Floor Cleaning in Small Spaces

Using the old mop-and-bucket approach to cleaning floors in smaller, tight spaces is time consuming, labor-intensive and misaligned with today’s cleanliness expectations. While a mop is inexpensive, the cleaning time can eliminate any savings in no time.

Modernized, mechanized floor cleaning equipment—such as Tennant line of i-mop® walk-behind scrubbers—makes it possible to clean any surface in significantly less time than a mop while maintaining the same level of freedom of movement and great ease of use.

In addition, the Tennant battery-powered i-mops dramatically reduce water and chemical consumption compared to mop-and-bucket cleaning. They also allow one-handed operation and can be easily transported between different areas, levels and buildings with convenient wheels.

Robots Working Alongside Employees

Autonomous mobile robots are the ideal solution for addressing labor challenges, driving efficiencies, and maintaining a high standard of cleanliness. Robotic floor cleaners, designed to work safely and efficiently alongside cleaning teams, free up operators to focus on high-value tasks that require a human touch. This can lead to a more productive and engaged workforce that is less likely to leave.

Tennant’s line of AMRs requires minimal training and have easy-to-understand controls, which helps operators get up to speed quickly. They can also increase cleaning speed and help optimize resources amid labor shortages.

T380 AMR

Performance Matters for Cleaning Equipment

Unexpected cleaning equipment breakdowns can drive up costs. That’s why it’s essential to work with a manufacturer that has an eye toward machine uptime and retaining the value of your equipment.

We work with BSCs, facility managers, and EVS providers to not only provide high-quality equipment with exceptional uptime but also assist with training, process consultation, and maintenance at the site level.

Contact us for information on how Tennant can help you reduce cleaning operations costs.


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