FM companies’ assurances to provide Total Facility Management may appear a tall claim. The disparity in business development team’s earnestness in sealing a contract and operational team’s delivery capacity often leads to disputes and immature breakup between the service provider and consumers. Ashok G. Deshpande, Manager-Corporate Communications & Administration-Glaxo SmithKline addresses the growing concerns while implementing TFM.
For the past two decades, the Indian service industry is experiencing essential changes in the customer conduct, consumer laws and consumer awareness. It has integrated non-core services too, such as housekeeping, security, linen and laundry management, crèche, canteen, guesthouse management, change room management, ETP, OHC, etc. Integrated Facility Management now become a widely accepted service. However, many TFM providers despite having a pan India presence, do not have well trained and experienced janitors, supervisors, executive staff to cater to the SOPs of big Corporate houses and MNCs.
The Shifting Equation
Maintaining shop floor, the best change room hygiene standards, selecting right and mechanised cleaning solutions and reducing cleaning risk management under EHS norms and the new contractor management system have given geNext image to the FM, posing new challenges to the traditional Indian FM industry. The new technologically advanced equipment and machineries have made FM industry to shift its focus from manpower to advanced solutions to attain sustainability in the longer run.
The Equational Challenge
TFM providers need to emphasize on the core issues first — capacity building, empowerment to the staff, meeting the global standards of contractor’s performance management, training and attitudes and real time documentation of all the activities. Reducing attrition ratio is another. They need to accentuate the following five basic parameters:
- Service: Proper execution of the work. Minimum and Maximum competencies of doing job
- Manpower – Highest overhead factor: With the need for experienced and qualified janitors and supervisors to execute the jobs, retaining a staff has been a bigger challenge
- Technology – Second highest overhead factor: effective management of right equipment, tools and chemicals
- Knowledge of Product: Core knowledge of housekeeping and cleaning solutions as per industry
- Business understandings & its objectives: Products and customer needs and statutory compliances required
Healthcare, pharmaceutical and food processing industries have specific hygiene requirements that are different from that of Industrial cleaning requirements. Housekeeping practices in these segments is challenging with respect to:
- Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of medicines
- Work as per SOPs
The SOP cleaning standards require separate documentation for internal and external audit. This poses challenges to FM providers owing to the shortage of groomed, well trained qualified and experience staff availability.
For a pharma industry, a service provider needs to address the housekeeping concerns of:
- Medicine packing departments
- Aseptic areas
- Injection filling areas
- Liquid filling cubicles, bottle washing area and ointment departments, and dust collection in tablet department
- Cleaning & maintenance of service area
- Pest Control Management for fly, insect, rodents in premises
- Floor cleaning by disinfectants
- “Line Clearance Procedures” for change over
- Drain Cleaning Procedure with antiseptic solution with proper concentration
Cleaning a Change Room has to meet bigger objectives – making the area bacteria & infection free completely – as the change rooms are way to all manufacturing departments.
This needs triple action: cleaning, disinfection and odour control. This has been one of the biggest challenges for FM industry providing services to pharmaceutical industry as it needs:
- Trained & experienced janitors
- Good supervisory staff knowing how to get work done right in the first attempt
- Right use of tools, technology and manpower
- Enough equipment & tools as standby
- Real time self-explanatory documentation
- Cleanings of gangways and corridors
Training & Development
Regular training & development schedule helps improve work efficiency and attitude of the janitors and supervisors to meet the desired standard:
- Doing first time right and every time right — need-of-the-hour
- Real time documentation: ‘What they (FM companies) do’ and ‘what they say’ must be part of technical audits
- Small high pressure water cleaners / smart cleaning tools, high performer dusters, new joy mops
- To follow global EHS and safety norms, use of standard PPE and its management. Validation and certification of tools and tackles
Role of BDT & OT
Business development team and operational team are two importance arms of FM industry hence they need to work in sync with the larger interest of both the organisations – end consumers as well as the Service Industry. In a rush to seal the deal, BDT more often fails to see beyond the business what remains on papers is only the legal agreement on paper, headache for the operational team to meet the demands.
Cost, one of the most important issues needs to be addressed rationally, transparently, ethically and honestly. It has been key in widening the gap of mismanagement.
Tenders are floated by procurement department which may or may not be in sync with user department. FM providers’ BDT makes tall claims to get the contract and in reality OT finds it difficult to sustain the contract as per tender terms and tend to restore to short cuts in actual implementation. This results in poor quality of cleaning. Many a time OT comes with either additional cost proposal for meeting the gaps between agreements made and the FM agency loses the contract on non-performance ground at the end.
It is important that the end consumers understand the entire process – right from floating a tender to cost issue in meeting the requirement. Service providers must ensure the right thread between its BDT and OT. For better tomorrow all stakeholders need to focus on the ABC theory of House Management. Where:
A – Attitude
B – Behaviour
The idea, “My house, my ownership”
must retain to avoid any blame game.