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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Question

When performing or creating a cleaning audit, how do you determine how many areas to audit? Is it by sq. footage? If so, how many sq. ft. per area audited?


Answer

A cleaning audit could collect and process data for worker productivity (sq/ft cleaned per hour), safety and OSHA conformance, itemized cleaning costs, best practices, product and equipment effectiveness, review for outsourcing or bringing back in-house services, or quality scores, among other things.
A quality inspection system could vary depending upon the frequency of inspections that you want to maintain. Probably the most common frequency is once a month of all cleanable areas in a facility, or a minimum of one inspection per FTE (full-time equivalent) per month. Time allotted can vary with the coverage. It will take longer to run an inspection with 25 or more items and a scoring of 1-10 then with a simple inspection of pass or fail for 10 items or cleaning tasks.
It’s not unusual to see government contracts of over 1 million sq/ft requiring a fulltime quality inspector. This is to ensure conformance to contract. One FTE QA person is usually able to inspect all of the employee’s quality performance once a month in that 1m sq/ft facility.
New workers might require an inspection more often, until their performance reaches the desired skill level. I must admit that it has been close to 40-years since I last studied random sampling, standard deviations, and confidence levels. Basically statistical sampling requires a certain representative sample compared to the whole population size to arrive at the desired confidence interval or level (+ or – percent of accuracy).
There is an online calculator that allows you to enter the population sample size (i.e. number of desks cleaned per month) and the proposed sample size to view the calculated confidence interval. Basically, the larger the sample size (increased inspection frequencies), the higher the confidence level.
One of the objectives of cleaning inspections is to locate deficiencies that need to be corrected. Another is to find reason to praise workers for a good job. The required focus is the area cleaned by a particular individual or team, and not square footage. A savvy contract administrator or cleaning manager might maintain monthly records indicating a quality percent score for every individual and/or team.
In practice, it is all about customer satisfaction and contract compliance. You end up inspecting areas often enough, plus retraining and re-motivating workers, to achieve the desired quality inspection scores needed to reach and exceed high customer satisfaction levels. Or, in some government contracts, you inspect to avoid financial deductions for non-performance of contract.

Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com