How does he ensure quality delivery and monitor the efficacy?
“Quality of delivery is monitored through a Service Level Agreement based system wherein each task / job is given points and is monitored on a daily basis. For monitoring we have also developed an app,” adds Ramakrishnan. Even though outsourcing is cost, getting the to deliver quality services is very difficult.
“We have faced issues of quality in the past, adds Yadav. Such scenario is not different, if this would have been handled by organisations directly. The only difference here is the agency is responsible to fill the shortfall, train people. There has to be defined SLA and KPI which binds the vendor/agency to perform at any given point of time.”
About the systems followed to ensure quality and employee satisfaction, Yadav says that there are many ways to seek feedback/ suggestions on the services offered. There is a dedicated desk which receives and cascades the information to responsible authority. We have quarterly monkey survey for our employees to get feedback. These feedbacks are consolidated and actioned upon with TAT. “We have introduced “Shout Out” program on monthly basis, wherein we involve employee from different departments to participate and give constructive feedback/ suggestions. On a daily basis, my team meets important people and takes their feedback.
“We do engage in mechanized cleaning as the efficiency and productivity of an individual increases tremendously. We always analyse and evaluate new technologies which boost the quality of work and reduce the regular operational cost.”
“We have given access control cards to the employees of the vendor companies also,” says Garg of IOC.
“Considering the area of the facility to be cleaned, we have been outsourcing the function to external service providers. As with most of the government organisations, we were also selecting the service providers purely on the basis lowest bid. However, we are now in a transformative phase.””
– R. Garg
“For a huge corporation like Indian Oil Corporation limited, maintaining the workplace can be challenging,” says R. Garg, Chief General Manager, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd.
“It is very important for any organisation to maintain standards of cleanliness and upkeep. It is all the more important for a PSU to keep its offices and premises clean and green at a time when the Government itself is working on a Clean India Mission.
“Considering the area of the facility to be cleaned, we have been outsourcing the function to external service providers. As with most of the government organisations, we were also selecting the service providers purely on the basis lowest bid. However, we are now in a transformative phase. The Petroleum Ministry has given us the directive to alter the tendering process by giving more weightage to quality, the profile of the service provider and his experience in handling similar organisations, etc. It will now be 60% for the service provider’s qualifications and only 40% for the costing. This is a welcome move helping us to get better service.”
What is the kind of investment that corporates need to make in cleaning and maintenance?
According to Namdev, organization like Bank of Baroda strives for perfection therefore, it looks forward to cleaning / hygiene products and techniques of international standards (like air purifiers, hand washes, hand sanitizers and cleaning agents of all sorts).
“More than 70% of our investment apart from the cost of services, is kept aside for innovative techniques/ products – like washroom hygiene – WC /Urinal sensors, waterless urinals for greener environment, mechanized air purifiers, odour control sensors, etc.
“Apart from the mechanical means, we are bent to provide sustainability through eco-friendly manner by introducing green buildings; Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s lifecycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. Green vertical gardens, green walls, terrace gardens have also added to the contribution in clean and green wave.
“Smart buildings are being introduced which take care of overall services management (water, heating, cooling, safety, upkeep, etc.) state-of-the art technologies for measuring and monitoring consumption. Management of inside air quality is another focal point.”
However, for Reliance Infrastructure, investment is by way of imparting training to every housekeeping staff.
Companies like Reliance Infra and Indian Oil Corporation have huge requirement for hygiene solutions at the food handling areas. While Reliance has to provide 6000 packets of cooked food every morning to the employees on the field, IOC western marketing headquarters has to cater for 1,000 employees. Reliance has the food prepared at 11 points. “Monitoring the menu every morning is also very important,” says Ramakrishnan. “We have dedicated Canteen Supervisors for all the locations where food is prepared for maintaining quality and hygiene. Training is provided to the pantry staff on a quarterly basis. Medical test is compulsory for all Kitchen staff on a half yearly basis. We have dry waste compost machine where compost is generated and used for horticulture.”
At IOC, the administration department is keen on training workers on kitchen hygiene and other solutions.
Waste management now is gaining importance…
Management of waste in Bank of Baroda is being technically handled, by limiting the waste by minimizing paper work and digitalizing the data; having waste collection and personalized sewage treatment plant in the premises; providing paper shredding machines; Selective sorting and recycling of waste and by having 24/7 pneumatic waste collection.
At Yes Bank, there are separate zones for dry waste, wet waste and washroom waste. Recycle bins are placed near printer areas to collect waste papers and further processed for recycling. Wet garbage is disposed of on a daily basis at centralized zone. The building management disposes the waste outside in coordination with BMC and private agency.
“To contribute towards environment & reduce carbon footprint, we have tied-up with an agency wherein we earn points against the paper waste processed for recycling. Against points, we buy recycled stationaries which are given to our employees,” says Yadav.
Empowering the service providers is the crucial aspect in outsourcing.
Says Namdev, “We give a free hand to the vendor to organize its team in the best possible manner for various tasks; open to receiving and accepting innovative techniques and new hygiene products; We manage the systems through strict paper work/work order contracts duly signed officially and renewed timely; participation of outsourced team in all the activities of our Bank empowers them and gives them a sense of belonging to the organization, thus making them strive hard to achieve perfection.”
In IOC, access control cards are given to the staff of the service providers as well.
BOI’s Varadarajan has his own ways to connect with the vendor staff. Speaking of one of his vendors, Sparkle, he says that to him, a junior staff member or a supervisor of the service provider is as important as the top-level executive. A bond is created in such a way that, even when there is a change of vendor company, some of the staff members choose to stay back with us. This in a way helps in continuity and increase effectiveness.
Awareness creation is also part of the game. Creative displays are placed in washroom & pantry area and mass mailers are circulated to the staff, says Yadav.
Garg tells us that IOC does try to create awareness among the employees about hygiene and cleanliness. “Posters are used to communicate basic Dos and Don’ts.”
In short, there is more awareness, there is a tilt towards green practices and cost cutting is slowly on the way out. However, the process of selection of vendors and retention is yet to be improved. Penalising a housekeeping company for bad performance may not always be the best solution. The end users should also see what category of service providers they want: Whether companies providing just the tasks as per the agreement or the ones that also has the expertise to go beyond the dotted line when required