Today, a large number of hospitals are looking at outsourcing their housekeeping requirements – fully or partially. But, more clarity is needed as to which are the areas that need to be outsourced and how the outsourced services can be managed to meet the required cleanliness & hygiene standards. A panel consisting of six experts both from the healthcare end and the cleaning industry discussed this pertinent issue across a round table during the Clean India Pulire 2011. Excerpts:
The reluctance to shake out of the comforts of the existing cleaning system and the unwillingness to incur additional expenses in implementing innovative cleaning systems are globally being viewed as impediments to adopting standard cleaning or eco-friendly practices. In India, the going is rougher, as the very proposal to introduce better practices using eco-products or systems is directly associated with costs and thus evaded by both the client and the service provider. Mohana M discusses the topic with leading housekeeping and facility service providers to assess the challenges & solutions
In this centenary year 2011-12 of the civil aviation, India also takes pride of being the 9th largest market in the aviation world and in the forward march, it is expected to become one of the three largest markets in the world by 2020. With the air passenger traffic likely to cross over 300 million (domestic) & 100 million (international) by 2020, the Airport Authority of India is investing heavily in sprucing up Indian airports to meet world class standards. The Mangalore Airport with its newly constructed integrated terminal is leaving no stone unturned to match the cleaning standards of any international airport. On August 1, the cleaning of the new terminal was outsourced to Durga Facility Management Pvt Ltd for mechanized housekeeping services. In an exclusive interview, M R Vasudeva, Director-Airport Authority of India, Mangalore, explains to Mohana M the Airport’s plans to provide international standards to passengers.
The Indian automobile industry, ranked seventh largest in the world today, owes its growth to the increased presence of world auto giants who have ventured into this flourishing market. Further, with sourcing parts from India being 10-20% cheaper for US auto makers and about 50% cheaper for their European counterparts, over the decade, several car companies are investing in India. This includes the US automakers General Motors and Ford, Germany's BMW and DaimlerChrysler AG, France's Renault, Japan's Suzuki, Toyota and Honda and South Korea's Hyundai. Along side this growth, the automotive and ancillary units have made tremendous progress, to the extent that India has become an attractive outsourcing destination for global auto companies because of its strong engineering skills and low costs. With international companies having set shop in India, the necessity for mechanised cleaning in each of the segments of this industry --- automobile, ancillary, filling stations and workshops --- has grown appreciably. Mohana M speaks to various manufacturers, dealers and service providers to understand the increasing requirement of mechanised cleaning in the automotive industry.
In nine out of ten cases, the criteria for choosing a hospital by any individual would be the medical facilities offered therein. However, when the situation is critical, any hospital in the vicinity becomes the first choice and in a life-and-death situation the scope for making a choice would be limited. Given a choice, how many of us would actually look at how clean the hospital is inside-out? Would we go for a private set up rather than a Government one because it is supposed to be “cleaner”? Are all private hospitals actually hygienic or do they just look “clean”? Mohana M explores…
An old expression on price versus quality: Cheap things are not good, good things are not cheap. This is as true in every sector as much as it is in facility maintenance. Originally, maintenance largely kept in house, was determined by factors such as cost, control and cleanliness. This is true of the banking sector too. Either the security guard did cleaning himself or a local cleaner was hired to maintain the bank premises. Primarily such practices enabled in giving a clean look at low costs. With many multinational banks, nationalised banks and private banks opening several branches in various cities and ATMs at almost every street, the need for better cleaning standards is enhanced. The heavy footfall during working hours at all these premises has paved the way for outsourcing professional maintenance services. Outsourcing, simply put, would mean hiring workers to clean but in actual terms it’s not just about outsourcing maintenance services but outsourcing the right service provider. It’s about the right vendor implementing the best cleaning practices; about engaging the right cleaning aids and agents; about paying the right cost to procure these aids... Cost control by way of automating maintenance processes resulting in higher efficiency is yet to catch up in many segments, including banking which is broadly divided into cooperative banks, private banks, nationalised banks and international banks in India. As more and more banks have now begun outsourcing cleaning services, what is the prime factor that determines their choice while hiring a contractor? Cost or Quality?
Ice-creams, flavoured yoghurt/milk, lassi, cheese, paneer, curd… are our favourite dairy products and of course, the packed milk. Today in India milk processing distribution is carried out by multiple agencies, both from private and public sectors. Processing rooms are fitted with a long stretch of stainless steel machines, pumps, silos, unending pipelines… which are handled by just a handful of uniformed workers. While the ambience gives the feel of a hospital clean room or a pharma factory, it is interesting to know how these large silos and pipes are cleaned without dismantling or pulling them down. Mohana M reports on the various Cleaning In Place processes and industrial cleaning practices at some of the leading dairy processing units in India.
Despite the growth in organised retail space in India, the process of managing facilities is still largely evolving – be it a shopping centre, mall or supermarket. Clean India Journal visited three of India’s large and established malls – Ambience Mall-Gurgaon, Mantri Square-Bangalore and Inorbit Mall-Mumbai – to understand the challenges of maintaining malls.
The growth of Indian cleaning industry is directly related to the growth of IT business and the resultant increase in the number of IT campuses. The fact that India has a top position in the global IT services sector, maintaining high standards of delivery is an expected norm. The IT sector believes that healthy working environment has a significant impact on business competitiveness. Clean India Journal visits the Bangalore campuses of India’s IT giants Wipro and Infosys and speaks to the facility heads to understand the systems put in place to keep the offices and premises clean. While Wipro has outsourced the maintenance to Facility Management companies – JLL, Sodexo and CBRE, Infosys prefers to get the job done with a combination of inhouse and outsourced resources.
The cleaning equipment and tools which clean and maintain a facility need maintenance too, a fact which is very often ignored and overlooked. The service providers tend to complain about the frequent breakdowns of the equipment and blame it on poor service by the equipment suppliers. After sales service is necessary, but at the same time the cleaning contractor should train his cleaning staff on proper usage and daily maintenance of the equipment. A cable not checked, a filter not cleaned, a brush not replaced or a battery not charged, can cause loss of time, revenue or at times even serious accidents.
Maintenance has remained an issue with housekeeping and facility managers. They feel that most of the buildings they service are not maintenance friendly. Right from the glass facade to flooring material to washroom to MEP (Mechanical Electrical Plumbing) equipment designs and maintenance are areas of concerns for facility managers. Architects and builders involve facility managers at different stages, but rarely at the beginning of the project. Since operations and maintenance of a facility depend on the design of the building and its services (MEP) to a great extent, consulting the service providers at the design stage itself can help immensely, feel FM heads.ds.
Mechanised cleaning, sustainable cleaning, green cleaning… these and many other terms though are welcome, more than 95% of both the client companies and the service providers are yet unclear what exactly they all mean. It is imperative to wipe out this ignorance if we have to have a better environment. Clean India Journal discusses with clients and contractors on green cleaning practices.
For years now, Service Providers have been “cleaning” within the parameters set by the client companies and these vary from client to client. It’s time now these parameters are redefined, start incorporating the needs of the actual cleaner and the quality of service delivery. Mohana M spoke to a cross-section of service contractors to find out areas where they need more cooperation from the client companies. There are issues like minimum wages, participation in decision making and delayed payments by the client companies.
About 150 cleaning machines, more than a 100 cleaning tools, gallons of cleaning agents, a dozen service providers, over 1500 cleaning workers… these and more are collectively engaged in maintaining the massive structure of the Terminal 3 at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. In spite of the organisational difficulties like budgetary constraints, equipment limitations, manpower inadequacies and above all passenger indifference, the cleaning industry is gearing up to see that T3 could be kept as clean as it is today. An exclusive report by Mohana M.
The demand for solutions to water supply and wastewater treatment has been increasing in the existing market with the increasing need for processed water, both in the industrial and domestic segments. The infrastructure and industrial growth has further accentuated the demand, making water the fastest growing industry besides cleaning. Abhitabh