The 7 wastes of lean are an integral part of Lean methodology from Toyota, and it applies to the world of cleaning.
Let's start with 2 definitions:
OK, here's the 7 wastes of lean in cleaning, and how you can eliminate them.
Motion refers to the unnecessary movement of cleaning staff. This could mean walking back to the cupboard to get spare toilet rolls from the other side of the site, when you have already been there to do the vacuuming. Or it could mean sending 2 cleaners to cover different ends of the site. Remember this could be something small, or something so blindingly obvious, you wonder why you didn't do something about it beforehand!
Step back and have a look at how much time your cleaners are moving around unnecessarily. Do a time and motion study on how many times your cleaners have to go back to the cleaning cupboard, and review your cleaning schedules. You could also get your cleaners to use a fitness app on their phones to track the number of steps they do in a shift and constantly find ways to reduce this.
Solutions to reduce the motion waste:
If you do introduce a trolley system, make sure you train your operatives in exactly how you want the system used, otherwise, if the trolley is not loaded correctly at the start of the clean, the benefit might be lost.
Quite simply having too much stock. Sometimes the cleaning cupboard has enough stock that if war broke out, they could still clean for several years afterwards! Often the legacy of someone who doesn't understand this principle of stock holding (and there are plenty of them around), this can have very negative effect.
More effectively managing your stock means you can use the space better, and you can find things quicker, stock wont go out of date.
Solutions to reduce the inventory waste:
This one sounds a bit vague; but it's far reaching. Basically waiting for someone or something to occur before you can continue.
This could include:
Solutions to reduce the waiting waste:
This is a fairly radical approach, however there are big savings to be made in time. This is a much more time efficient way of cleaning a large building.
It's like a line in a factory. You don't get one person doing all the different processes in a production line, you have each person doing the same task over and over again and the next step in the process passing to the next person.
This would obviously not work for a very small team of cleaners in a very small office, but it does work well in a larger building such as a school or office block.
This also saves in the amount of equipment you need for a building.
Every site has a particular cleaning challenge, which means every site needs a particular solution. Some floors can be particularly problematic, and can really irritate your customer or other team members.
Solutions to the defects waste:
You may be a bit confused by this one. Think about your site and how often each area is cleaned. Are some areas which have lower footfall/usage cleaned as regularly as your entrance foyer? Are your cleaners cleaning clean rooms, where there is another room next door which is filthy, but that's how the cleaning schedule is, or that is another cleaners area? This may mean you need a bit of a shake-up!
One of the key principles of lean is the principle of 'pull' rather than 'push'. Or more simply, going where there is a need, rather than what is on a pre-made schedule.
Solutions to the overproduction waste:
Excess movement in transporting products or people. This could be an illogically placed cleaning cupboard (when you have a cupboard closer to the area of work that's just full of rubbish).
Solutions to the transportation waste:
7. Over Processing
Putting in more effort than is necessary. Sometimes a process can be mechanized, or made more efficient with equipment.
Solutions to the over processing waste:
8. Human Potential
Oh, did we say 7, well there's an 8th too....
The biggest cost is labour. It is also the element of your cleaning program where you can make the biggest changes.
Challenge the status quo.
A multi-skilled team can achieve much more than one that has specialists and guru's. Often it will only be one person that can use a scrubber drier, or one person that does all the polished floor care in a team.
Solutions for the human potential waste: