“Things that appear neat and clean to me may not be perceived in the same way by another, especially the clients. This gives room for penalty,” says Arvind Kumar, Head Facility & Chief Operating Officer of Alpha Management Services, a subsidiary of Alpha G:Corp Management Service that owns and manages one of the biggest malls of Gujarat, AlphaOne Mall.
AlphaOne Centre Management, part of AMS, provides comprehensive management and facility services, including housekeeping, marketing, CRM, security, horticultural services and most importantly superior training and management support, which are crucial for the smooth running of facilities.
Undoubtedly, it is a challenging task to maintain malls, particularly during weekends when there is high traffic. However, AMS has been successful in delivering services with self-motivated & well trained staff, well defined SOPs and latest technology. “Clear SOPs have been laid out – structured under weekly, monthly and quarterly maintenance plans — to ensure immediate and long term upkeep of facilities. We believe in team work and an uncompromising positive approach towards work that translates into a ‘never say no attitude’ in all team members. Internal audits and inspections by dedicated team members also ensure standardization of procedures and operations.”
When it comes to cleaning equipment, “we engage only OEMs (original equipment manufacturer) like Roots Multiclean, Karcher or Diversey”. OEMs also undertake maintenance ensuring equipment efficiency and durability.
“Apart from the cleaning & maintenance of AlphaOne mall, we also provide services to premium residential complexes, hospitals and other commercial buildings. Managing a mall or complex is relatively simpler as the budget and time enable us to go for the latest cleaning machine and cleaning twice to maintain cleanliness. But cleaning residential areas means “more work in less budget”.
AlphaOne mall, covering a whopping 1.2 million sqft area, calls for predetermined schedules and processes to deliver the humongous task of housekeeping effectively. “We have developed a different kind of work culture for our staff with well-planned supervision, clear demarcations of responsibilities and continuous training. We develop a sense of ownership among janitors to keep their motivation level up and meticulous implementations in place. In fact, it is not limited to the housekeeping staff but every member of the team is encouraged to take onus to ensure upkeep.
“We deploy auto scrubbers, single discs, vacuum cleaners and manual sweepers and the major cleaning is done during off traffic hours. Scrubbing of floors, washrooms, basements and all deep cleaning is done during the night shift.”
SLAs to be quantified
Just mentioning jobs like ‘kitchen area cleaning’ or ‘washroom cleaning’ as part of SOPs simply do not quantify the SLAs. The perception of ‘cleaning’ does vary person to person, and if the services are not being delivered accordingly, there are provisions made in SLAs for heavy penalty. To sort out such issues, we have made a clause that every area once cleaned must be checked from the client’s end and the checklist signed on a daily basis. Further, the SLA also mentions the frequency like sweeping or mopping to be done twice a day, making things clearer to a janitor. In case the client is not happy with the cleaning, particularly in high traffic areas, it can be increased to thrice a day. But, the perception of cleaning has to be quantified and classified.
“At the outset, we identified mall management as a critical factor in maintenance because ultimately the retailer, the developer and the consumers benefit from world class services, which result in increasing footfalls and sales. Regular innovations and a feel for people’s expectations are the driving force behind all efforts and implementations.”
“We have around 75 housekeeping staff and five supervisors who look into the minutest details on an on going basis, contributing to the pristine image of AlphaOne. Their work and dedication behind the scene make the entire premise eventful. We reward the team with annual felicitations for outstanding work, out-of-the-box thinking and dedication. Besides, we have several occasions to foster excellence and teamwork with month-end parties where we also celebrate birthdays of staff members, certify them for their performance and generally strengthen the overall bonding and understanding with them.
“Last but not the least, for successful maintenance, the people too need to behave more cultured by not littering!”