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Effectively Realising Synergies in the Supply-Service Chain?

by Clean India Journal Editor
0 comment

Synchrony between service provider & client

The vital link in the chain of creating synergies is between the service provider and the end user/client. A disciplined and transparent approach in drafting and implementing agreements, form the foundation of a successful model. While agreement terms evolve from the requirements spelled out by the client, in many cases the briefing given to the service provider is limited, resulting in a breach of agreement at a later stage.

The discussion with Jagdish, the Facility head of Axa India in Bangalore, who has engaged Bangalore-based Wall2Wall Property Services for housekeeping services, brings to fore the successful parameters involved in designing Standard Level Agreements between the service provider and the client. Ava India office occupies about 52,000sqft in two floors with more staff concentrated on one floor than the other. Being an office space, the major areas involved in cleaning and maintenance are workstations, meeting rooms, GM rooms and other rooms. “At the time of initiation, we emphasised on the maintenance of restroom because it is frequently used, and more so because the restroom represents the image of the whole organisation,” says Jagdish.

In the general scenario, the service provider is briefed on the kind of equipment, tools and chemicals to be deployed but in many cases, the products specified are the ones used for domestic applications and not commercial. This is one of the major factors that works against quality deliverance and results in lack of confidence in the service provider. “At Axa, we have provided Wall2Wall with vacuum cleaners, bio-chemicals and other tools required for housekeeping purposes,” adds Jagdish.

“While, Axa provides us Scheveran chemicals and vacuum cleaner, we too have suggested a few products which have been procured,” adds Kevin R, Country Head-Operations, Wall2Wall Property Services.

Some of the hygiene practices emphasised at Axa is the use of sanitizers, which are placed at the entrance of the office, in pantries and in washrooms. Explaining the hygiene practices in washrooms, Jagdish says, “While we do not have feminine hygiene receptacles in our ladies washrooms, we have made provisions for feminine hygiene service which is being managed by Axa Business Services (Asset Management company of the Axa Group). For hand wash we have branded disinfecting liquid soap available in the market and paper napkins.” More than 40% of the 538 staff at Axa are women but “we have not installed ‘such’ feminine hygiene bins because we are particular that these bins should be maintained hygienically and the disposal should be done the right way”.

Despite provisions, the main challenge lies in maintaining it clean. “We have a housekeeper posted to clean the washrooms every hour. If he has cleaned the washroom say at 10am, he returns back at 11am to remove the tissues hanging from the rolls, dry the wet toilet seats, clear unflushed toilets, dry wet floors, and so on. During this span of one hour between two cleaning schedules, the user visiting the washroom turns uncomfortable and this has remained a cause of complaint,” explains Kevin. User education is essential in the proper maintenance of washrooms. Simple methods like hanging posters in the washrooms on flushing after use, leaving the seat upright when leaving, drawing required tissue paper only, not letting the floor get wet and so on.

“Quality deliverance can be possible through frequent review and feedback, which are communicated to the service provider, whereby the strengths are recognised and grey areas spelled out, and jointly overcome.”- Jagdish

“We do conduct awareness campaign for the staff on the proper use of toilets and we agree that posters should be put up to remind the user to leave the toilet clean for the next user,” agrees Jagdish.

Besides washrooms, the main flooring in the office area is wooden which is dry mopped and vacuum cleaned regularly. “Most of the area is carpeted and the periodic carpet maintenance has been outsourced to a private vendor. Similarly, pest management has been contracted out on annual maintenance basis,” explained Kevin.

“The success in this synergy not just lies in identifying the strengths of the service provider but in overcoming the weaknesses through joint efforts,” says Jagdish. The credentials, commercials and past performance records of the service provider are all checked at the time of selection by the procurement department at Axa. “Even though the preference of every client is to procure skilled manpower, it is not always that they deliver quality service. Untrained manpower too can perform better. Interest and dedication is vital in quality deliverance.

“Quality deliverance can be possible through frequent review and feedback, which are communicated to the service provider, whereby the strengths are recognised and grey areas spelled out, and jointly overcome. Replacing service providers on the basis of non-deliverance is not the solution, but healthy relationship management is important for a successful operation. The client may not be always right, as the service provider could be having better & beneficial ideas which should be discussed across the table to strengthen synergies,” concludes Jagdish.

 

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