Taking the cost out of training

18 January 2019

ICE explains how its use of the latest technologies to train staff on cleaning equipment is bringing a host of benefits

Training and education on the safe operation and maintenance of cleaning equipment is of utmost importance to ensure the machines are operational and working as they should. It is a costly exercise, but one that is absolutely essential to maintaining high standards of cleanliness.

We have always placed training and education at the very heart of our strategy, and we have a specialist team who deliver every aspect of our equipment training. 

Having a team purely focused on training means that the cleaning operatives benefit from a standardised and consistent approach, and this guarantees that all operators will be given the knowledge and skills to operate equipment safely and effectively. Operatives are shown step by step safe operational procedures of the machine, including daily and weekly maintenance tasks, to ensure that the equipment operates to its maximum potential.

However, as the costs associated with sending trainers to sites around the country can be costly, both to businesses and the environment, it is beneficial to look at ways that training can be supported through the use of technology.

Technology takes the reins

Top-up and refresher training can be made available via Apps accessed via a smartphone or tablet. At ICE we place equipment training videos on our App, along with user manuals and step by step maintenance guides. This means that the cleaning operatives can access the information they need at any time. 

Not only does this provide excellent service and ensures that all operators know exactly how to use and maintain our equipment, it also reduces machine faults due to operator error. This in turn reduces the amount of engineer visits required – a huge benefit for our environment as it dramatically reduces our carbon footprint.

We also have a range of cleaning machines that can be delivered straight to customers with instructions on how to set up and use the machines available via our App. All machine operating instructions and training videos can be accessed through the App, meaning that there is no need to book time for on-site training. Each operative can use the App to familiarise themselves with the operation of the equipment at a time convenient to them. For machine diagnostics, customers can simply call us through the Smartcall facility on the App, and they are connected directly to a member of our Helpdesk team on the screen, who will help fix simple machine issues, such as blockages via video call.

Maximising productivity

The key benefit to cleaning teams is that this type of training support helps to increase and optimise equipment uptime through fixing the problem immediately. This is particularly important in retail and industrial/distribution environments that often have 24-hour operations, to meet the daily challenges of these high pressure and busy environments. A recent example of where we have used video calling to support onsite cleaning teams was at a leading supermarket where their scrubber dryer was not releasing water. We were able to guide the operative through a series of checks, enabling them to fix the machine immediately, and therefore resulting in zero downtime and maximising productivity.

It also increases the skill set of the cleaning operative as they are being guided through how to fix simple equipment problems, therefore this improves their understanding of maintaining the equipment and checking for blockages before calling to report a fault. In turn, this changes behaviours from immediately reporting a fault and empowers the operative to be more aware of potential issues and checks to carry out to keep the machine running and cleaning effectively.