Four Maintenance Stages
By Dane Gregory
SEPTEMBER 19, 2010
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Most people do not give maintenance a thought, while maintenance professionals think of nothing else but maintenance.
These facts are part of our frustration with selling maintenance programs.
Top Of Mind?
We are constantly engaged in thought over maintenance procedures when our customers or potential customers are thinking of anything but.
As professionals in the maintenance field, we need to engage our customers in such a way that they begin to understand the need for a maintenance process.
We need to explore other maintenance examples to help them understand what we are undertaking for them as their maintenance partner.
Most everything needs maintenance.
An automobile needs a maintenance process to continue to serve as transportation.
A home needs maintenance to continue as shelter to the family living inside.
Roadways and streets need maintenance to continue to support traffic.
Our bodies need maintenance to continue to support life.
If we could begin to help our customers understand this simple concept, we can help support their buildings, employee moral and customer service processes much better.
Know The Process
We begin by understanding just how things receive the maintenance process.
As discussed in last month''s issue, we maintain things following the initial, routine, periodic or interim and restorative procedural standard.
This covers the bases for all maintenance practices; however, our clients usually only focus on the restorative procedures because they only seem to want to clean surfaces when these areas become soiled or dirty.
We need to help them get out of this mindset.
By taking a holistic approach to our maintenance offerings, we can help the client conclude that a fresh view of the maintenance process is an important consideration, especially in tougher economic times.
Another benefit of a more holistic approach to maintenance practices involves the use of more environmentally friendly products and procedures.
In many cases, these green products and procedures require this more holistic and practical approach to maintenance operations to facilitate a similar achievement of our cleaning goals.
By providing a differential in our approaches to clients — and more importantly our potential clients — and by using the four-stage maintenance process, we are giving them something to help them differentiate our company''s place in the maintenance market.
Whether our difference is in the green marketplace or in our more practical maintenance practices, it allows us a chance to show that our company is more forward thinking than another company that just talks about soil removal after it occurs.
Our company culture needs to be tuned to the "before-minded" maintenance practices.
This facilitates a thinking that we are cleaning and maintaining a building to serve the daily clients and customers before soiling occurs.
This is different than the traditional focus on soil removal after the fact.
"After-minded" cleaning companies are a dime a dozen.
These companies often are priced-based companies that fail to recognize the differences in today''s marketplace and adjust their strategy to implement environmentally conscience programs.
Begin to approach the new market today with a fresh approach to an old problem.
By beginning to become a company that focuses on problem solutions before they occur, you can help your clients use a simpler, more cost-efficient and more environmentally aware strategy to conquer the continuous onslaught of soil buildup in homes and buildings.
If you are looking for different ideas to foster these types of relationships with clients, contact Dane Gregory, a business consultant and trainer specializing in working with companies in the professional cleaning industry. He currently trains technicians in the use of cleaning protocols for stone, tile and masonry surfaces for IICRC certification. He also presents a business opportunity for newcomers in the cleaning industry in the care of ceramic tile, stone and grout, with a full equipment and training package. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.