Managing a large commercial space has its challenges. One challenge management teams don’t tend to think about until after the fact is cleaning. Nonetheless, even the largest commercial spaces need regular cleaning and maintenance. Not keeping up only causes problems. Thankfully, planning and organization make it as easy as possible to keep up.
Planning and organization are so important that we believe they are the two keys to keeping large spaces clean. For the purposes of illustration, let us focus on a major distribution center. Imagine a facility that includes a large warehouse, loading docks, offices, and space for the maintenance department.
Creating Designated Spaces
One of the first steps in planning and organization is to look at the overall space and then divide it into smaller, designated spaces based on cleaning needs. Office areas can be one designated space. Loading docks are another, as are the employee restrooms. The warehouse is its own space entirely.
Once designated spaces are created, a list of tasks for each space can be created. Individual task lists go a long way toward ensuring that each individual space gets exactly the type of cleaning it needs. You would be surprised by how many different cleaning needs there are in a major distribution center.
Plan Out Cleaning Schedules
The next step in planning and organization is creating cleaning schedules for each designated space. We cannot emphasize this point enough. Why? Because the larger the facility, the less likely everything will get cleaned on a regular basis without a set schedule.
In a large distribution center, there is just too much space to account for without scheduling things. Not having a schedule leads to a haphazard approach through which some spaces get plenty of cleaning while others are totally ignored. On the other hand, creating and sticking to a schedule ensures that every space gets cleaned as frequently as necessary.
Stocking Chemicals, Supplies, and Equipment
Planning and organization are also important to maintaining a good supply of cleaning chemicals, supplies, and equipment. If you do not plan to have enough disinfectant on hand, there is going to be a day when you run out. Then what will the cleaning staff do? The same thing applies to surface cleaners, floor cleaning chemicals, mops, squeegees, and even cleaning rags.
We recommend creating a baseline inventory list and requiring cleaning staff to check out equipment and supplies as needed. When inventory levels drop to a specific threshold, an order for new supplies is placed.
Plan to Be Safe
Safety is always a concern in large commercial spaces like distribution centers. In relation to regular cleaning, you need to plan to be safe in order to be safe. We recommend establishing safety policies to go along with task lists, schedules, and inventory lists. Established safety policies define what is and is not acceptable for daily cleaning.
Cleaning staff need to do their jobs in a safe way. When they are done, they need to leave behind an environment that is equally safe. Unfortunately, it only takes one oversight to create an unsafe environment for someone else.
What this all boils down to is the simple premise of creating an organized plan so that cleaning is not a haphazard exercise. In a large distribution center, it is not enough to say to the cleaning staff that they need to give the facility the once over every night. An organizational plan needs to be put in place to guarantee that cleaning is done properly, consistently, and safely. The bigger the facility, the more important planning and organization are.