Now more than ever, providing a clean and healthy workspace is a top priority for many businesses. Ensuring the place where your staff sits, eats, and gathers for meetings is sanitary is crucial for the overall wellbeing of your employees. However, keeping these spaces clean can be a costly expense for any company.
Annual cleaning costs in the commercial cleaning business vary based on the size of the space and the frequency of cleaning that is required. The average cleaning rate for a 2,000-square foot office is estimated to be $220 (that is an average of .04 to .15 per sq. ft.).
And to stay competitive, according to CMM “For Class-A and Class-B office space in a property that is over 300,000 square feet in size in a metro area, you need to be doing 4,500 to 6,000 square feet per hour per worker to be competitive in the marketplace.” That means on average, to clean 4,500-6,000 sq ft of space, for one worker, a business could be spending over $660 dollars per day.
Aside from averages, several factors make up the total annual cleaning costs of a company. These are: equipment and maintenance costs, labor costs, costs for supplies and sometimes, with a larger cleaning crew, also costs for supervision or management of the cleaning staff. In total the cost to clean is not cheap.
And yet, the cleanliness of a workspace is vital for any business, so it is important to look for ways to reduce these cleaning costs without reducing the quality of the cleaning process.
HOW TO REDUCE ANNUAL CLEANING COSTS
To reduce annual cleaning costs, it is important to keep in mind that keeping maintenance costs low is key, keeping uptime high is vital to getting the job done, and extending the useful life of equipment will help lower total operating costs. There are multiple ways to achieve this, varying from small to substantial changes in your business.
1) Replace high maintenance equipment with Intelligent Cleaning Equipment
Cleaning equipment can be costly, so it is necessary to consider all available options and what each option provides. A huge part of this decision should be made based on considering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), as machine maintenance is expensive and often not taken into consideration.
According to Services Magazine, floor sweepers and scrubbers can cost up to $1,500 to maintain, annually. That is on top of the initial investment. However, there are some ways in which this can be done more efficiently.
ICE Robotics all-inclusive subscription model includes Intelligent Cleaning Equipment, fleet management software, and active maintenance, and parts. You gain access to this all for one, flat monthly fee. That’s right, you read that correctly, all service and parts are included in the subscription, meaning no more surprises on large maintenance bills.
Plus, using the subscription program means mutual investment in the equipment between you and ICE Robotics, so the equipment is made from quality parts, including lithium-ion batteries—this equals less downtime. With access to fleet management, active service, and quality equipment you are sure to gain longer run time.
2) Use fleet management software to optimize the cleaning process
Another way to reduce the annual cleaning costs of your business is by optimizing the use of your equipment. As a business owner, it is important to evaluate regularly machine operational data, usage, and processes.
To get a good view of how your equipment is being used, and even more important, what more could be done, is necessary for efficient processes and cleaning. ICE Robotics Intelligent Cleaning Equipment comes with i-Synergy fleet management software that provides important data. This fleet tracking software gives you access to information like the run time, machine operator, and square footage cleaned by the machine daily.
Preston Ingalls, President and Chief Operating Officer of TBR Strategies LLC, says: “Good records help you make good decisions. You should be able to determine in a short time how much you’ve spent on labor, parts and supplies for any machine since you’ve owned it — and be able to tell which machine is costing you the most money.”
Statistics like these help make business owners and managers more aware of what their team is accomplishing each day, how the equipment is being used to get the job done, and where necessary changes may need to be implemented. In this way, it is possible to develop clearer processes that are more efficient and productive and reduce downtime during maintenance of machines.
Furthermore, the subscription model is like insurance without paying extra. Your monthly fee covers all maintenance and service, which ensures your machine can function optimally at any time.
3) The Subscription Model to extend the lifespan of machines
As mentioned, machine maintenance makes up a large part of the annual cleaning costs for a business. These can be reduced by replacing high-maintenance machines with low-maintenance equipment, but there is another way.
By extending the lifespan of your equipment, the total maintenance and eventually replacement costs can be reduced significantly. This can first and foremost be achieved by taking proper care of your machines, by cleaning, charging, and servicing them properly. But besides the physical aspects of the machine, the software inside the machine can also aid in expanding the lifespan.
Advanced software now included in most floor cleaning equipment is what ensures the machine functions properly. Therefore, software should be updated regularly, but like all maintenance, this can be an extremely costly expense, and often one that is not considered important once a machine is purchased. This is because updating software usually means paying a provider for an update, or even waiting until it is time to buy a new machine. Luckily, this does not have to be the standard anymore.
Software upgrades are included in the ICE Robotics all-inclusive subscription model. In this way, consumers are provided with new functions and capabilities that they would normally not have access to without another large investment.
4) Active maintenance to reduce downtime
Machine downtime can mean wasted payroll, which is a very costly expense for BSC’s and building managers.
Most businesses do not prefer to have their cleaning crew fix any problems with equipment—it is time consuming and can be dangerous and most cleaning staff are not trained to repair equipment.
Not to mention, labor costs are estimated to make up 55 to 65% of total cleaning costs, so it is ultimately in the best interest of BSC’s and managers to keep their team cleaning.
Cloud-based fleet management software like i-Synergy can be a great benefit when addressing this issue. It makes data tracking simple; the platforms can send notifications based on machine activity or inactivity, look for maintenance or error notifications, and allow for troubleshooting to happen remotely.
In this way, businesses can eliminate costs by keeping equipment running without issue through active maintenance. Having access to real-time data for your fleet means that end users can track when service or repairs are needed more accurately, to keep the machines running optimally. Not only that, but ICE Robotics all-inclusive subscription means access to experienced technicians who monitor the equipment daily and can fix issues remotely—saving more time and money.
Reduced downtime and optimal functioning of your fleet means your employees are getting the job done the whole time they are on the clock. This means no waisted payroll and potentially a higher productivity rate due to less downtime.
5) Automate parts of the cleaning process
Some parts of your cleaning process might be done well by cleaning staff but due to the repetitive nature of the task could done by autonomous cleaning equipment. Cleaning jobs that require repetitive time-consuming work, like floor cleaning for example, can be taken over by autonomous equipment.
According to research by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a positive correlation exists between the adaptation of robotic equipment and the productivity in businesses worldwide.
In this way, using autonomous equipment, like Whiz, an autonomous vacuum sweeper distributed in partnership by ICE Robotics and SoftBank Robotics, can ensure that more work gets done in the same amount of time. Using automation frees cleaning staff to work on higher priority tasks, such as sanitizing and disinfecting high touch point areas.
When a cleaning employee must do all tasks by hand, it will surely take up a lot more time than when this member of staff can be supported by a machine. Although a cleaning machine can be a big investment, over a longer period it will allow your business to reduce the overall labor costs.