Your workers represent the largest share of the total cost to clean—90% or more according to recent studies.* So supplying them with more productive equipment can go a long way toward reducing their cleaning time and thus lowering your total costs.
Here are some features to look for next time you’re in the market for new cleaning equipment:
Take a wider path
It stands to reason that the wider the scrubbing or sweeping path your cleaning crews have to take, the fewer passes they’ll need to do the job—and there’s often little difference in total price between machines. For example, assuming a loaded labor rate of $9/hr, the hourly cost to clean a 1,000 sq ft surface would be about $3.44/hr for a 17” scrubber vs. $2.39/hr for a 20” scrubber. And the difference in total price between the two cleaning solutions may only be $50 to $100.
Go tools free
It’s often one of those under-appreciated features that can get lost in the heat of the sales demo, but “tools free” maintenance can save your workers a lot of time changing out accessories, replacing worn parts and making needed adjustments over the life of your machines. And those minutes can add up to real money. Plus, by allowing fast and easy equipment changeouts, they can allow your workers to clean different surfaces with a single machine.
Recharge on the go
Battery-powered automatic scrubbers, burnishers and carpet extractors have been productivity boosters for years. But when the batteries die, the cleaning stops cold. And workers often have to lug the machines to a far-away charging station. On-board chargers allow your workers to recharge right where they are, cutting downtime and maximizing efficiency.
Cut the noise and clean all day
Nobody likes a loudmouth, and that goes for your cleaning equipment as well. Low-decibel vacuums and ride-on scrubbers with built-in sound attenuation allow your workers to clean during business hours, while protecting them from the fatigue and irritation that noise can cause.
Use less water
Water is a mixed blessing in the cleaning world. It’s absolutely necessary for a scrubber or extractor to get its job done, but using too much of it can put a double-pronged damper on cleaning productivity: 1) workers have to stop cleaning more often to refill their tanks, and 2) drying time takes areas out of service longer. Machines designed to minimize water usage—with no drop-off in cleaning power—can help keep your cleaners cleaning longer.
Get a bigger tank
The dump-and-fill cycle can be one of the biggest drags on overall cleaning productivity. A larger tank can have a direct and dramatic effect on the equation. But there are tradeoffs. Larger tanks usually mean larger machines, which means you can lose some maneuverability. But anything you can do to cut the number of times your workers need to refill water tanks is a net boost to efficiency. Productivity-boosting features are built-in to a wide range of cleaning equipment, but sometimes you have to do a little math to really appreciate how much they can cut the long-term cost of cleaning.
*Source: International Sanitary Supply Association – ISSA