How cleaning companies are thriving amid the COVID-19 impact
While many stories of the coronavirus wreaking desolation across the world and plunging businesses into crisis are breaking out, there are a few lines of business that are uniquely suited to thrive amid the COVID-19 predicament. A prominent beneficiary is the cleaning industry. With the continued demand from customers, communities, and commercial establishments to keep their surroundings clean and safe, cleaning companies are striking gold.
The opportunity: COVID-19 inspired cleanliness drive
The COVID-19 prevention guidance from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities recommends intense washing and disinfecting of homes and offices. Professional cleaning companies have already received plenty of requests for deep cleaning. Once the shutdowns and stay-at-home orders end, demand for cleaning services will increase manifold.
But businesses seeking to capitalize on the coronavirus triggered boom need effective control and resources. They need a seamless system to accept orders, coordinate field operations, manage inventory, collaborate with stakeholders, and engage with clients. Accepting orders and being unable to fulfill them on time is a sure way to lose the customer. It can also cast a negative impact on the referrals, reviews or word-of-mouth publicity.
Field service management (FSM) software like the ReachOut suite, which enables all these tasks, is a big boon for cleaning companies during these busy and challenging times.
Listed below are a few ways by which a field service management software can help cleaning companies overcome the challenges related to managing more number of work orders.
Related Reading: Boost Your Cleaning Service Business With An FSM Software
1. Contract Management
FSM suite allows drawing up contracts with clarity, in double-quick time.
It can support the following functions:
- Automate contract generation and execution: Businesses can manage increasing demands without putting customers on hold.
- Facilitate digital contracts that are executed online, thus enabling social distancing.
- Deliver the service level agreement (SLA), rendering clarity on specifics of the work, date, and frequency of the service, contract expiry date, rates, and other key contract ingredients. Both customers and supervisors may refer to the SLA terms through their FSM app.
- Render clarity on the type of work to be performed. For instance, the COVID-19 outbreak increases the demand for deep cleansing or cleaning every inch of the surface. Deep cleaning involves cleaning the often-ignored areas such as the dark side of furniture and cabinets, scum on showerheads, and so on.
- A cleaning team using a mobile field inspection form may customize the cleaning checklist. They may co-opt different deep cleaning requirements at different locations. Integrating photos to the reports give evidence of a thorough job.
Related Reading: A Quick Checklist to Kick-start your Cleaning Business
2. Work Allocation
A field service software allows you to schedule tasks automatically. It can:
- Match teams to open orders based on the location, staff availability, and other considerations. A business using FSM scheduling can commit to a realistic timeframe to fulfill orders.
- Enable dynamic scheduling. The FSM suite identifies staff availability, to schedule jobs quickly. Scheduling urgent jobs based on priority and customizing jobs based on requirements becomes easy.
- Enable live tracking of field service staff. Supervisors may retain control of the cleaning team’s movement, intervene proactively and ease any pain-points en-route. Clients may track the technician’s arrival in real-time, taking a load of the customer support team’s back.
- Keep service delivery smooth through a centralized scheduling dashboard. The suite facilitates effective coordination among the cleaning team to distinguish scheduled cleaning, impromptu jobs, and emergencies.
3. Work Coordination
Field service suites that provide mobile support allow field agents to ensure better coordination at work.
Field service mobile apps like ReachOut helps you:
- Access client information such as details of any previous work, customer preferences, and more.
- Connect to a remote expert for reference, when faced with a difficult task.
- Refer to the information library or knowledge base for guidance on the toxicity of chemicals, mixing water and chemicals in the correct ratio, local regulations on waste disposal, and other essential information.
- Use mobile field inspection forms to standardize the process, accelerate the workflow, add images to reports, get digital signatures as an instant acknowledgment of work completion, and generate instant invoices.
With an FSM suite, the cleaning staff may focus on the actual cleaning and maintenance work, rather than wasting time on paperwork.
4. Inventory Management
COVID-19 raises new challenges in inventory management. The coronavirus has disrupted supply chains. Chemical disinfectants are on short supply across the US and many other parts of the world.
In this situation, deploying a field service management system can:
- Offer visibility into inventory levels, enabling proactive replenishment strategies. It matches orders and expected demand to stock levels, predicting when the stock of each item will run out. The business may ration supplies, consider alternative materials, or reschedule work, depending on inventory levels.
- Enable timely interventions to refresh supplies. COVID-19 forces cleaning businesses to take a relook at the chemical usage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Environmental Protection Agency list down several cleaning liquids, antimicrobial chemicals, and spraying electrostatically-charged mist, for quashing germs. They could consider such alternatives instead of hard-to-get regular use chemicals.
- Keep track of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the cleaning staff. QA checklist delivered through the mobile app ensures each worker goes in with the recommended PPE.
Related Reading: How Can Field Service Businesses Survive A Pandemic
5. Training and Information
COVID-19 forces cleaning businesses to refresh training and protocols.
Field service management software offers a reliable way to:
- Update staff on the latest safety advice, such as briefings from government authorities, personal care measures, cleaning tips, and so on.
- Offer information and resources on new lines of business, such as decontamination services, triggered by COVID-19.
- Offer checklists and reference guides for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and recommended biosecurity principles.
The coronavirus outbreak is forcing businesses in the cleaning service to think differently and act with advanced responsibility, care, and caution. Cleaning personnel is entrusted with the most critical task to keep people safe by cleaning up their surroundings. Those who rise to the challenge can reap rich dividends. Even when the world returns to more normal times, the demand for cleaning services will keep shooting up across the commercial as well as residential spaces.
Are you prepared to do business during COVID-19 and beyond? ReachOut suite can empower you with the best of field service management features. Get in touch with us to learn more.
ReachOut: Inspection & Work Order Management Software
Do you still use paper or Excel spreadsheets to manage your service business? ReachOut is a web and mobile solution for companies to schedule, dispatch and deliver inspections, work orders, ticketing and more.