Janitorial Apps: Which Are Best for Business?

These days, there are apps for everything—including janitorial businesses. Janitorial apps handle a multitude of tasks, from simplifying inspections to tracking how many bottles of glass cleaner you have left.

But which janitorial apps are really best for your business? As we’ve designed OrangeQC, we’ve put a lot of thought into that question. But it really boils down to a few things.

Simple

First of all, it has to simple. An app can have all the features in the world, but if your team hates using it, it doesn’t matter. It won’t get used. Your team has enough on its plate without complicated software trainings and struggling to get technology to work.

We reach for apps when they’re easier than the manual alternative. For example, pulling up an inspection on the OrangeQC app, filling it out with a few swipes of your thumb, and having it automatically upload is a lot less hassle than juggling a clipboard and keeping track of papers throughout the day.

Likewise, our own team uses an app called Slack for team messaging. Slack has free options and a fantastic chat room feature, as well as private messaging, and it only takes a few minutes to get started.

Ready to Grow

Secondly, a great app needs to scale with your business. There are plenty of solutions that might work in the short-term, but if your business grows, you’ll be scrambling to find something new… and after you land that big new contract is the worst time to be figuring out a new app. (But it can be done, as Joe Stamler will tell you—he found OrangeQC after his company won a bid to clean one of the largest airports on the East Coast.)

For instance, we often recommend our clients use Google Drive to share and manage documents such as contact lists, Scope of Work documents, and contracts. Google Drive works great for a tiny company—but some of the biggest companies in the world also use it for file-sharing and collaboration. We personally use it here at OrangeQC, too.

Worth the Price

That leads to our next point: a good app is worth the price.

Certain free apps work well at a small scale, but they’re still not worth it if they won’t grow with your business—or if they’re creating more work for your team, which actually is costing you money.

On the other hand, you don’t want to overpay. If you have a five-person cleaning team, why should you pay the same amount as a company with hundreds of employees? And why should you spend extra to unlock core features on an app that’s deceptively cheap?

So when you’re considering purchasing an app or software program, look for:

Support and Updates

Apps need to be updated and maintained by their developers. Otherwise, they’ll eventually stop working, and you’ll be back at square one. Look for apps from established companies that are dedicated to improving their service.

You also want to find apps that offer support if you need it. You’d be surprised how many apps refuse to offer support if you aren’t paying a certain amount, so check to make sure you can get help if you need it. (This is why we offer support for all our clients, small and big.)

How to Find Great Apps

Is there a business that has the success and growth you’d like to see in your own business a few years down the road? Find out what software and apps they’re using and whether they like them. For example, many of our own clients use and like solutions such as TSheets and Kronos for time tracking and workforce management. Don’t be afraid to ask around!

Any app should have publicly available reviews and testimonials, too. (You can check out some of OrangeQC’s own clients and success stories.) Read them and ask: does this app sound like it solves the problems my own business is facing? Is it just good enough for now, or will it help take us to where we want to be?

We hope these tips help you find the right apps for your business! If you’re in the market for an inspection app and quality control software, we’d love for you to claim your 30-day free trial of OrangeQC.

How Bad (or No) Janitorial Work Order Software Costs You

Great janitorial work order software is all about efficiency. It saves your team the time and money you’d spend manually sorting through requests, forwarding client emails to the right person, and remembering to follow up on a mish-mash of issues.

That’s why getting it right is crucial for cleaning companies.

The true cost of bad janitorial work order software

If you’re using the wrong system, or none at all, it’s costing you. And that’s before you even take into account the price of the software.

How so?

In lost time—and lost business.

Without a system that sorts everything for your team, work orders get lost. A client calls someone who’s on vacation that week. Emails about future projects that need to be done get forgotten. It’s not clear who’s in charge of each task. If your business is small, when a key team member isn’t there, the system can fall apart. It’s also hard for new team members to grasp priorities: What needs to get done first? What can wait?

And the wrong system is just as bad as no system at all. In fact, it can add even more wasted time as team members try to install, learn, and use headache-inducing software.

That lack of organization leads to slip-ups. Things get done late or not at all. Clients have to follow up on their requests. They become unhappy with your service, and then—surprise—when your company’s contract comes up for renewal, they’re looking into other options.

That’s what happened to Tony Witana, the owner of Thats Clean, one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing cleaning companies. In 2012, his biggest client called and told him they were looking into other providers. The problem? Issues with quality—and poor communication.

He knew he had to act fast.

The value of great janitorial work order software

Tony’s story has a happy ending. He found OrangeQC’s inspection and work order software, then immediately implemented it with his team.

The client noticed the change and decided to stay with Thats Clean. Afterward, they wrote: “Thats Clean is one of our best suppliers. I can now confidently report that we are happy with Thats Clean's communication and most importantly we are more than happy with the cleaning standards onsite." (Read more about Tony’s story here.)

So what makes the difference?

Good janitorial work order software organizes everything for you. It allows your team to sort tasks by date, priority, and who’s responsible. Everyone knows who’s in charge of each task.

Clients are often relieved to have a simple way to submit issues and work orders. With OrangeQC, you can opt to have your client email a dedicated address with any issues, or use the simple OrangeQC app right from their phones. Then, we automatically create a ticket. It’s all done in real time, so team members in the field can access all the right information.

The right work order software also positions your company to grow. Maybe an informal system works fine for now, but if your workload doubles and you’re hiring new employees, will it still hold up? Or how long will it take to train new employees on that complicated software? If an employee leaves the company, will you be able to seamlessly transition their workload?

The bottom line: When a system is easy to use, it gets used. That’s the philosophy we embrace at OrangeQC. Our system is simple and intuitive, so you can start using it in minutes. It empowers your team members to knock out the highest-priority tasks fast. And it organizes everything in one place, so you can see your upcoming workload and important issues at a glance.

Ready to make a change? Learn more about how OrangeQC simplifies communication, or sign up for your free 30-day trial to see how easy work orders should be.

How Using Data Right Makes Your Business Smarter

Is “data” a four-letter word in your book? In the day-to-day struggle to Get Stuff Done, collecting and using data can take a backseat to… pretty much everything. It’s never going to be the most urgent thing on your plate.

But it is one of the most important. So don’t just live with a guilty, nagging suspicion that you should really be collecting more data. And don’t collect lots of data, and then never bother to dig through or use it. Instead, find a simple way to get the information you need… and then have us analyze it for you, so you can learn from it at a glance. It’s smarter decision-making, simplified.

Why collect data?

Yes, business owners and managers need good intuition and the ability to feel out how things are really going. But intuition can only take you so far.

When they’re collected correctly, numbers don’t lie. They’re not friends (or enemies!) with anyone on your staff. They offer an unbiased, high-level perspective that’s impossible for any one person to feel out.

Data will also help you spot problems and trends much faster—before your customer complains, or a staff member points out the problem, or it gets too big to ignore. And data can reveal some of the easiest ways to improve your quality and efficiency.

Another big advantage of tracking your quality through data: You leave a paper trail. This can give you peace of mind—because you know for sure how things are going at your facilities. And it gives your customers an increased sense of transparency and lets them know you’re on top of things. That’s why many of our clients bring up OrangeQC and their quality control programs in meetings with potential clients.

How do I collect data?

For the janitorial industry, getting quality control data means doing inspections. Inspections are how you get hard numbers around how often your team is hitting your quality standards for any given site.

We’re a little biased here, but we truly believe that OrangeQC is the best way to collect this data. Why? Because the best inspections are the ones that get done. OrangeQC’s inspections can be done one-handed on the inspector’s own mobile device. No remembering to grab paper forms, no logging into complicated software programs, and no confusion over who’s supposed to do what.

What do I do with my quality control data?

You can collect all the data in the world, but if it just sits there, it’s a waste of time. Make sure you’re getting all the value you can from the data you collect through inspections.

Your data should do three things for you:

  • Alert you to specific problems right away. If your team forgot to clean a restroom, or someone tracked mud all over the freshly scrubbed floors, you want to know now, so you can fix the problem immediately.
  • Identify trends and opportunities over time. Spotting trends can reveal low-hanging fruit to help you improve your quality. If it turns out the windows aren’t cleaned to your standards half the time, you can remind your team of the right procedures. Or maybe a certain restroom needs to be cleaned more often. When you know where your problems are, you’ve also found your biggest opportunities.
  • Help you keep clients and win new bids. As you respond to issues quickly and watch your trends, you’ll see your quality improve—and you’ll have the numbers to prove it. Talk to your current clients about the trends you see and let them know you keep an eagle eye on quality. And when you sit down with a prospective client, show off the charts and numbers that prove your team is committed to quality. (Read more about how to impress your current and prospective clients with great quality control data.)

Analyzing data takes work—but OrangeQC does the work for you. If an inspector notes a problem, we flag the inspection and open a ticket so the right people can jump on the issue. Our dashboard lets you see trends at a glance, while our more in-depth reporting reveals trends for specific line items and more.

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We automatically compile custom reports you can download for meetings with clients, too. If you haven’t checked out the “Reports” tab in OrangeQC recently, give it another look. We’ve made some improvements so that reports are even easier to use… and have even more valuable data.

If your team uses OrangeQC, you already know how we empower your team to do quality control right. If you haven’t given us a try yet, be sure to start your free 30-day trial and see for yourself how refreshingly simple quality control can be.

We Want to See You at ISSA 2017 in Vegas!

Are you going to ISSA/INTERCLEAN in Las Vegas this year? We are!

If you’re going to be at the show, please stop by booth 1344 and see us. This will be a great time for us to answer your questions, hear how your quality control process is going, and demonstrate our newest features in person.

You can also contact us at support@orangeqc.com if you’d like to set up a time to meet. We’d love to sit down one-on-one and talk about your quality control process and how we can help.

Hope to see you there!