How Waste And Lack Of Training Can
Erode Your Bottom Line
Technical Tips and Updates 5-23-2011
Just as football and golf are won by inches, business profitability is lost by inches - seemingly small inefficiencies that eat profit. For example, there is a tendency among technicians, especially less experienced technicians, to use higher concentrations of chemical products thinking that more is better. Let's look at how that can erode your bottom line.
Consider a hypothetical carpet cleaning service:
The cost of "an extra ounce". . . .
The company does 4 carpet cleaning jobs a day, at least 200 working days per year. For illustration sake, let's assume that the average job involves 600 sq.ft. of carpeting. The new technician uses a carpet prespray concentrate intended for use at 4 ounces per gallon. The technician uses 5 ounces per gallon instead. Let see what that extra ounce of concentrate does over a year:
- 4 carpets/day x 200 days = 800 carpets
- 800 x 600 sq ft average of carpet cleaned = 480,000 feet cleaned per year
- They apply ½ gallon (.5) of ready-to-use prespray (concentrate + water) per 100 sq ft of carpet (480,000 divided by 100 x .5 = 2400)
- You need 2400 gallons of the RTU prespray (4 oz concentrate +water), but the tech added an extra ounce of concentrate per gallon, so 2400 extra ounces of product.
- 2400 oz/128 oz (the number of oz./per gal.) and the tech used 18.75 more gallons of product than needed
- Suppose the product is $25/gallon - that extra ounce alone, per job that the technician worked, took $469 from the bottom line for that year!
Now, that may not see like a lot, but multiply that by five technicians and now it's $2,345. And, if the technician does the same thing with an emulsifying or neutralizing rinse, double the numbers because they cost more.
Costs from erratic spray application . . .
Another profit eroder is the amount of solution actually applied to the carpet. Using ½ gallon per 100 sq. ft. is common, but achieving that application rate involves knowing the rate the solution is delivered from the spray tip and the speed a person walks across the carpet. Tests suggest that the application rate varies from 0.1 to 1.0 gallon per 100 square feet!
Too slow = overwet carpet at a minimum, waste chemical costs, poor rinsing, etc
Too fast = inadequate application resulting in poor results,complaints, etc
Clearly, this is another area in which good training and clear processes can reap rewards and improve your bottom line.