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Fast, efficient, and finished in eight minutes

29 May 2013

MITIE has started using ProTeam's backpack vacuums to keep its lean methodology on track

MITIE has started using ProTeam's backpack vacuums to keep its lean methodology on track

MITIE's newly founded business improvement team applies a 'lean methodology', which aims to reduce or totally eliminate waste - of time and resources.

Starting with a site assessment, the team evaluates the size of the area cleaned, the time it takes, the number of people employed to clean, and how they go about it. Using a software programme, MITIE's business improvement team then designs a 'vastly more efficient and quality-focused' cleaning process.

'Using the right equipment is an essential part of our lean methodology,' says Jon Lightowler, business improvement director at MITIE. 'When it came to vacuuming, we had been using standard tub vacuums. However, these vacuums were not the right tools for the job - they were simply not designed to clean the large commercial spaces that we operate in.' The tub vacuums being used by MITIE meant vacuuming was a time-consuming process. 'The suction on these vacuums was not particularly strong, which meant that our cleaning operatives would have very long vacuuming shifts,' explains Lightowler.

Their design also had adverse health effects on MITIE's team of cleaning operatives. 'The physically demanding nature of using the tubs vacuums meant that our team where often tired, and we were worried about back injuries,' Lightowler adds. 'We knew we needed an alternative.'

Finding the solution ProTeam manufactures ergonomic commercial backpack vacuums specifically designed to clean more, in less time. Its backpack vacuums were extensively tested at MITIE. 'After the great success of the trials, we decided to continue to use ProTeam products,' says Lightowler. 'The vacuums' suction is fantastic - as we operate in such large commercial spaces, our operatives simply don't have the time to re-do areas. We have been able to speed up the cleaning process without compromising on quality.' Furthermore, ProTeam's vacuums collect at least 99.9% of indoor pollutants that are one micron or larger with its Four Level Filtration system. 'As a consequence, there is less dust throughout the rest of the facility,' Lightowler explains. 'Cleaning operatives now spend less time dusting desks, chairs and other surfaces - so we have saved time and resources in other areas of our facility management too.' While the ProTeam backpack vacuums are effective at eliminating dust, they are still easy to maintain. 'Their capacity means we only need to change bags once a week at most,' says Lightowler. 'In addition, there are no huge hidden costs, as the replacement vacuum bags are inexpensive.'

More motivation ProTeam backpack vacuums are half the weight of the previous vacuums used - at only 4.5 or 5 kg, they are far easier to carry and use. The design of the backpack means that the weight is distributed evenly on the operator's hips, instead of straining their shoulders and back.

'Our cleaning operatives found them ergonomic and comfortable, and in particular they appreciated the 'bespoke' feel of the vacuums, as they can adjust the straps to suit their exact measurements,' says Lightowler. Within just three sessions of using the backpack vacuums, the operatives know exactly how to operate them. 'Anyone can use these products, they really aren't difficult to use.' The filtration system captures fine particles such as dust, dust mites and allergens, improving air quality for customers and ensuring a healthier cleaning experience for staff. 'The health and the dignity of our staff is of paramount importance to us here at MITIE, and we have all noticed ProTeam's products have had a really positive impact on morale and motivation,' says Lightowler.

Productivity plus MITIE has also seen a huge increase in productivity. 'We have seen a 300-350% increase in productivity since using the ProTeam vacuums,' says Lightowler. Furthermore, the ProTeam backpack vacuums have led to a reduction in the time needed to complete a vacuuming shift. 'Since we started using these vacuums, our cleaning operatives can vacuum an entire floor - almost 2,230 m2 - in just eight minutes per cleaner,' Lightowler continues. 'The increased efficiencies we have realised since using the backpack vacuums prove how having the right tools is vital to having better processes, and a more successful operation overall.

ProTeam is not just a supplier, but a strategic business partner.' For more details on products, contact Des Fulcher, ProTeam UK consultant and training manager, using the number in the box.