Quality is a term that seems to get thrown around a lot with little consideration of how it is measured. What does quality mean to you? Quality can be defined as high-grade, superior or excellent. But this still doesn’t provide a finite definition because these terms are all still measured on a relative scale that is subject to our own opinions and bias.
Cleaning is a science. In order to really implement quality control standards you need to understand it. The goal of cleaning is to eliminate unwanted matter to create a healthy and safe environment for occupants. But “healthy” and “safe” mean different things in different circumstances.
In terms of commercial cleaning, the main objectives of the facility may be to appear clean and organized. Also to be disinfected to promote the health of staff members. But for a medical facility or educational institution, the stakes are higher. The wrong methods paired with the wrong products can result in the spread of infection and viruses. Rules and regulations are much more strict and the costs can be detrimental.
While you may measure quality as infection control, dust control, preservation of fabrics, fixtures, fittings and furnishings, provision of a socially acceptable environment and safety, there is one important factor you can't overlook.
An article written by CMM explains that to achieve quality, a cleaning organization must "define customers’ requirements; and, second, validate conformance to those requirements." Whether it is conducting quality assurance walks, surveys, reports or assessing customer complaints, there need to be systems in place to gage customer satisfaction.
When there are so many differing ideas of what quality actually is, problems arise. That is why communication and partnership is so important. In order to work towards quality cleaning, all parties involved need to set expectations and standards.
A discussion on quality also presents another important question; what is more important, quality or consistency? We’ll dive into this in our next blog post.