Maintaining a facility’s cleanliness is a rising cost that Operation Managers and Purchasers need to overcome. It’s time to look beyond the surface and dive deeper into the Total Cost of Operations (TCO) when evaluating cleaning product purchases.
With the three key components of TCO in mind—Cost of Chemistry, Cost of Labor, and Cost of Equipment—you’ll be better equipped to make smart choices that save both time and money.
Understanding TCO starts with breaking down its components. The Cost of Chemistry refers to the price tag of the cleaning products themselves. Cost of Chemistry is just one piece of a refined TCO strategy, but is often marketed as the most important factor. This misrepresentation is due to the transactionally focused nature of the industry.
There are two other pillars of TCO that work alongside Cost of Chemistry. The Cost of Equipment, which includes the expenses of purchasing and maintaining cleaning equipment like floor scrubbers and buffers, and the most significant contributor to TCO — the Cost of Labor.
The Cost of Labor encompasses wages, benefits, contracts and taxes paid to staff and building service contractors. Labor often represents 90% of floor care’s operating costs.
At first glance, when reviewing and preparing bid sheets, it might seem like opting for a cheaper, ready-to-use cleaning product is the best option. But by only looking at the surface, trying to opt for the lowest cost to find savings, this choice leads to higher labor and equipment costs, ultimately increasing overall TCO and causing losses elsewhere.
By evaluating the potential of advanced, concentrated cleaning supply chemistries, managers can significantly reduce the labor needed for cleaning and maintenance. This translates to impressive cost savings for Operations Managers and Purchasing departments, while increasing operational efficiency.
Take Brulin’s floor care products, for example. Our floor care chemistries are designed to strip, finish, and maintain VCT, polished concrete, and terrazzo surfaces with fewer people and less time than other low-concentrate or ready-to-use cleaning products.
While concentrated products might appear more expensive per bottle on the bid sheet, don’t be fooled by the transactional nature of the industry. Operations Managers and Purchasing teams find that they’re purchasing fewer products and yielding much more after dilution. The reduced labor costs lead to a lower overall TCO, thanks to the effectiveness of our products.
Seeing a higher price-per-bottle tricks managers into relying on low-cost, ready-to-use products. Customers who opt for concentrated, better-performing cleaning chemistries lower their labor costs while their facility’s cleanliness shines.
Our floor care products are designed to be efficient and effective. In addition to reducing labor costs, our floor care products can also extend the life of floors, reducing the need for costly replacements.
In the examples below, each chemistry is designed to reduce labor requirements in its own unique way. When used in combination with one another, these reductions start to stack up and make a significant impact on profit and loss.
Our concentrated floor care products are just the beginning. Facility managers have a treasure trove of strategies at their disposal to further cut down on labor costs and optimize cleaning processes.
One tactic is investing in more efficient cleaning tools. Take the electrostatic backpack machine, for example. Perfect for large facilities, this device allows cleaners to move around with ease and cover more ground in a shorter amount of time.
This innovative technology evenly distributes disinfectant, ensuring surfaces are effectively covered and reducing the risk of cross-contamination, which is vital in maintaining a healthy environment.
We recommend Victory’s Backpack Unit to get the job done. It provides an electrical charge to the cleaning products, giving them a wrap-around, effective, and even coverage. Victory also makes a great Handheld Unit.
Embracing microfiber cleaning cloths and mops can work wonders. They capture more dirt and debris than traditional cleaning tools, reducing the need for multiple passes and saving valuable time.
The unique composition of microfiber materials allows them to pick up and hold dust, dirt, and bacteria much more effectively than conventional cleaning tools, resulting in a cleaner and safer facility with fewer resources expended.
Another game-changer is automation, especially as AI and sophisticated machine learning systems are becoming more readily available and the upfront costs begin to find the right price point. Brulin is already working with companies that factor these systems into their operational plans.
Robotic floor cleaners might have a higher upfront cost, but their ability to clean floors quickly and efficiently reduces headcount, yielding long-term savings in labor costs. These machines operate with precision and consistency, minimizing human error and delivering a higher standard of cleanliness.
Integrating smart technology into cleaning processes over time also provides a new stream of valuable data and insights, allowing for continuous improvement and optimization of a facility’s maintenance strategy. Not to mention the wealth of consumer data that can be leveraged immediately.
When faced with bid sheets and price-per-bottle comparisons, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of choosing cheaper ready-to-use commercial cleaning products. The real secret to success lies in understanding the impact on Total Cost of Operations.
Advanced and concentrated cleaning supply chemistries not only slash the labor required for cleaning but also reduce the overall amount of cleaning product purchased. By opting for Brulin’s floor care products, facility managers maximize efficiency, prolong the life of floors, and significantly lower their overall TCO.
Brulin is a trusted operations advisor for facilities managers overseeing some of the largest brick-and-mortar footprints in the world. We help keep facilities clean and save our partners money far beyond the chemistries they use in their buildings. It’s easy to explore what a process overhaul looks like for your business.