This article was originally published by Cleaning & Maintenance Management
Service providers occasionally encounter the dubious question: "Your proposal looks good, but how do I know your company will deliver everything you've promised?"
In response, we produce a stack of company training procedures, letters of recommendation, industry certifications and a host of corroborative documents.
Still, the question begs an answer: How can we prove to the prospect that all cleaning tasks will be performed thoroughly and on time?
Documentation of a systematic quality inspection program is part of the answer.
We are familiar with the axiom that employees perform to the level that we inspect, not expect — and that our value is only as good as last night's performance.
In-house managers as well as building service contractors (BSCs) must locate and close quality breaches in order to continually improve service delivery levels.
A systematic quality assurance (QA) program can offer a competitive advantage in securing new contracts and maintaining existing ones.
One BSC calls their QA program "golden handcuffs."
In other words, the customer is so impressed with the ongoing quality levels that they would never consider making a change.
A quality assurance program is essential because it:
- Validates contract compliance and improves customer satisfaction levels
- Measures each worker's skill and performance level to quantify and then retrain, re-motivate, reprimand, recognize or reward staff members as appropriate
- Identifies neglect or accruing blemishes that can be remedied before escalating to a complaint
- Reduces the cost of rework to correct neglect and reduces wasted management time addressing reoccurring cleaning issues.
Gary Clipperton, president of National Pro Clean Corporation, is a 40-year industry veteran and provides bidding, workloading and quality assurance software as well as training manuals, videos and consulting to the JanSan industry.