CINCINNATI — Eighty-five percent of cleaning professionals have adopted a “doing more with less” approach in response to current economic conditions, according to Procter & Gamble Professional’s recent “Cleaning in a Down Economy” survey. The survey was launched to gauge how decision makers managing in-house or contract cleaning services in the healthcare, education, retail, commercial, foodservice and hospitality industries have reacted to recent business conditions.
“Managers in charge of cleaning services were faced with belt-tightening activities at the same time as the H1N1 outbreak,” says Matt Koloseike, customer development manager for P&G Professional and a member of American Laundry News' Panel of Experts. “To meet this challenge and ensure the effectiveness of their cleaning program, decision makers maximized efficiencies across the entire breadth of their operations, including getting more out of their staff and the products they purchased.”
Many managers have been forced to tackle the same amount of labor with fewer employees, increasing demands on staff productivity and cleaning efficiency, according to the survey. Seventy-six percent report getting pressure from upper management to keep operating costs down in the last six months, and nearly nine in 10 respondents have made cutbacks, including staff reductions.
Of the managers surveyed, 97% feel they have been able to effectively keep expenditures down, and more than nine in 10 respondents using the “doing more with less” approach are likely to do so even after the economy improves.
Forty-one percent of respondents feel that being as efficient as possible with current resources is most vital to their business right now, with 35% saying that keeping customers happy is more critical than other fiscal matters, such as growing the business (10%), keeping all staff members employed (6%) or making a profit (3%). Nine in 10 (90%) survey respondents indicated they would rather find ways to perform their services more efficiently than raise prices for customers or clients.
The biggest hurdle for cleaning providers who are not performing at their best is having to train staff on how to properly clean (68%), according to the survey. Eighty-one percent of respondents do not think having more cleaning products in their arsenal will lead to getting the job done right. Sixty-one percent of those willing to spend more on a product would do so if it enabled employees to work faster by getting the job done the first time. Forty-three percent would spend more if the purchased product could replace multiple cleaning products they currently use.