Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement has always been the goal at Pinnacle Janitorial. We know that, although we can be proud of the job we have done, we need to look at what can be improved. This view is an investment in the future. Companies that become complacent in the way they do things and who feel it does not need to be done better are sure to be left in the dust of another company that has looked at the problem from a different perspective. This being said, there should be a system for evaluating progress and initiating further improvements.

When looking at performance results, several things should be reviewed. The end result of the job should be looked at. All workers and on site supervisors review work behind themselves and their teams to ensure the job is completed in its entirety. Managerial inspections also look to see that the work was completed to each site’s specifications, but these inspections concentrate more on ensuring a uniform standard across all teams. For both managerial and on site supervisor inspections, continuous improvement is stressed. A job may have been done well, but there is always something to improve. They are instructed to look at buildings from different perspectives to find what else can be improved. We know that there are potentially hundreds of people looking at our buildings after we have cleaned them and each person may notice something different. We need to take a proactive approach to this and try to see problems we may not normally look at so these problems can be fixed before they can affect our customers’ trust in us.

If a task is found to have been missed or not have been done sufficiently and can be improved, managers will note this in the Cleantelligent system. From this, work orders are generated in the system and are then handed out to the appropriate team leader so they can implement the change. This way, issues can be tracked starting from who generated them, to who implemented the changes, and last, to the manager who inspected that the appropriate changes were made.

Another aspect that gets factored into improving daily tasks is customer feedback. Through the Cleantelligent system, customers are an email away from reaching every manager in Pinnacle Janitorial. This way, the best person to answer a specific question can quickly answer it, and all the other managers can see this reply. When evaluating customer feedback (both positive and negative) to see where improvements may need to be made, the true weakness needs to be identified so the problem can be fixed. This weakness may either be easy to identify or may require further communication with the customer. Always, the customer is included in the evaluation process, either from their initial message or from further meetings if they are necessary. A solution will be presented to the customer and implemented by management with the appropriate workers. After the changes have been made, managers will contact the customer to see if the changes are satisfying or if further changes need to be made. Customer input is incredibly important in constant improvement as their needs may be constantly changing. The measure of our success is customer satisfaction, so proper response to customer feedback is of the highest importance.

For special projects, there are special procedures for ensuring quality and implementing improvements. For one time only projects (such as construction cleanups), a member of management is on hand for the entire project to ensure full communication of requirements from the customer to our workers. Afterwards, the manager will meet with the customer to walk the building and discuss if the customer is satisfied. If they are not satisfied, plans may be made to return to fix insufficiencies or adjustments may be made to the bill. During these meetings the tasks done insufficiently will be noted so we can keep an eye out for these in similar future projects.

For recurring projects with the same customer, such as window cleaning or floor care, the same method is used with a few minor changes. Instead of always having the customer walk the building to discuss their satisfaction, this role may be taken by our managers after both the customer and the manger feels confident that we understand the customer’s specifications.

Every opportunity is a learning opportunity. Each day, we learn what questions need to be asked of the customer and of our workers. We learn where changes may need to be made, what techniques we may need to employ, special equipment we may need to acquire, and how many resources and how much time these tasks will require of us. We learn more from executing everyday tasks or special projects each time we complete them. We have to acknowledge that we always have something new to learn and let this be a strength.

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