“Cleaning is like Formula 1: everything needs to be in balance”
In cleaning, we often have fixed systems that are included in contracts and schedules. Daily floor cleaning with a dust mop, mopping every other day with a flat mop and deep cleaning of the floors in high-traffic locations once a year. With the right means, materials and training, an excellent cleaning result can be achieved. But there is always room for improvement, says CEO Petri Rekola of Rekola Trolley Systems and spiritual father of the Reflex floor cleaning system. According to him, we can learn a lot from Scandinavia, where they work from an all-encompassing idea in which everything is connected and in balance. Just like in the premier class of motorsport, Formula 1.
In Scandinavia, there is much more process-based thinking, Rekola opens his speech by telephone from Finland. “In cleaning, if you ask me, we don't look enough at the total concept. Everyone promotes their own products and that makes sense, but too often this brings too little for the customer. While every client has its own specific challenges where a different concept can work. ” Rekola likes to draw the comparison with Formula 1. “Also in the top class of motorsport you don't win all the races just by having the best engine. It is about the combination of the chassis, the fine-tuning, the team and the engine. In other words, all elements have to perform well separately from each other and when it comes together, you can go one step further. ”
When a manufacturer of cleaning equipment and accessories is asked about the state of the cleaning industry, you will often receive product-related answers. That is not the case with Rekola. Again he refers back to the process. “Which is much more than a combination of means and materials. I often hear that it is difficult to do business in cleaning because of the low rates and ditto margins. But let's be honest: we all have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what added value we all provide and whether the way in which cleaning is now organized is the most optimal. The basic condition is that we have to keep it simple, cleaning is not rocket science, but in the basic philosophy there is still something to be gained in terms of quality, ergonomics and efficiency. ”
As an example, Rekola takes the i-Mop. “A real game changer. These types of machines will increasingly become the standard, but to my surprise it turns out that these machines are not always easily accessible. How did that happen? The storage room is located on the ground floor, while the machine must also be used on the fifth floor. One could walk twice with a vertical scrubber dryer and the other materials, but of course that makes no sense. And the solutions are simple. For example, with our Motion Trolley we offer a variant with which you can always take a compact scrubber dryer with you together with all the other equipment you need. It is the combination of processes that always ensures more efficiency and a better end result. Realistically, working with a scrubber drier is a kind of deep cleaning compared to mops. Cleaning the same space in this way every day is not necessary, but you do want to have the machine at hand when you need it. ”
Petri Rekola dares to speak up and likes to take a stand. He believes that the cleaning industry is one of the few professional groups that does not profit enough from new products and developments. “Even Kentucky mops are still used because they are so cheap. However, the material costs are only a fraction of the total costs. If you can do your job better and faster than your competitor, then you are the winner. ” He therefore calls for the opportunities arising from the corona pandemic to be tackled with both hands. “This can be a huge catalyst because building managers used to be not at all interested in cleaning, but now genuine questions are being asked. We were living in a bubble because our customers really didn't care if the bins were empty and the coffee stains removed. In the new normal, which I think is a very nasty term, cleaning takes on a completely different role than we are used to. And we have to grab that momentum if we want to change something. ”
Pivotal in Rekola's cleaning philosophy is Residue Free Cleaning (RFC). This cleaning method prevents residue build-up caused by the overdose of cleaning chemicals, overuse of water and the use of ineffective cleaning methods and materials. And that is necessary because residue can be an optimal breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, among others. Moreover, this means that you have to clean more deeply and that the mops will experience more friction. The method combines the use of lightweight scrubber driers and manual high-pressure mopping by means of the famous Reflex system. With RFC, weekly cleaning times can be drastically reduced, no cleaning agents are used, less water is needed and it also results in savings on deep cleaning. This is due to the greater mechanical work that the method uses. As we know from the Circle of Sinner, higher mechanical work reduces the factors chemistry, time and temperature.
In Scandinavia, people are even more focused on cost efficiency. The question: "how can the work be carried out in a way that people are willing to pay for it" is often central. There are relatively few immigrants in Scandinavia, so that mainly means that a few years ago the work was carried out by "own people". According to Rekola, this results in this different vision of cleaning.
This is also reflected in the metal trolleys that the company produces. “We try to avoid plastic as much as possible. This has little to do with the production process, but because of the unhygienic nature of the material. After all, plastic has an open structure in which dirt accumulates. ” He is therefore surprised that in many European countries plastic is used in work trolleys in care environments. “The fact is that plastic is difficult to keep clean. That makes no difference to the office, but in critical care environments that is a factor to take into account. ”
This way of thinking also expresses itself in the design of the trolleys. “In central Europe, all trolleys are closed with doors and storage compartments. As the salaries here are relatively high, it is important to work faster and more efficiently, as I have already indicated. The Motion trolleys are therefore open, you can simply work faster. Moreover, a cleaning operator and the products he / she uses may be seen. ” Be proud of the cleaning and the cleaning operator! "And don't forget that every second that an operator gains in time might not seem like a big deal, but if you calculate that over a whole year within a cleaning contract, you will realize that it does save you a lot of money."
Are you curious about what the Rekola Motion trolleys or the Scandinavian vision can mean for your organization? Please contact Karel-Jan Boel using the details below.
Sales Director Rekola
+32 477 787820
The Motion trolleys from Rekola can be set up and customized according to everyone's wishes. A hotel trolley, mop trolley, transport trolley or a trolley for waste management can easily be made from various basic models. Easy-to-use add-ons make it possible to transport floor mopping equipment or even a light weight scrubber dryer. Discover them all: https://www.rekola.com/products/rekola-motion-trolleys