The Efficiency Thread | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

The Efficiency Thread

Jim Ellis

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I'm still trying to unwind from all the damn carpet I did today - pretty sad when I'm posting on this board... lol. Days like this make me think I'm missing out on faster ways to blow through carpet. I think that too many people on this board spend countless hours doing a 40 minute job and are fine with that as long as they can post how detailed they are and how their customers worship them as carpet cleaning gods.

Reality is time is $$ and my focus has always been for myself and/or my techs to get in and out faster at every house / biz /apartment. Thanks to this board I've learned ways to improve my quality that I never knew existed!

I'm a volume kind of guy and have made good $$ doing that. I also realize that customers have certain levels of expectations that in most cases are realistic. I have no problem with repeat customers yet have never spent excessive time polishing their baseboards, kissing their ass with small talk, or running a 175 on mild to moderately dirty carpet then taking pictures of it with my phone.

Let's start a thread on ways to reduce time spent at clients - if you aren't making a min of $100 an hour then you are missing the boat and won't be around much longer:

My efficiency tips:

Hardware:
- shut off valves - can't beat 'em - swap inline jug and wand instantly
- Power wands - Rotovac - powerflight - etc - forget the 175 and the regular wand
- High heat - instead of flushing organic stains over and over good heat and chemicals will cut through them in one pass

Chemicals
- A good neutral rinse that also cleans - soap free - like OdoBan 3x or procyon can eliminate pre-spray in mildly dirty carpet
- A powerful ass cocktail pre-spray that doesn't even need agitation most of the time like my little mix - 5-6 scoops of extreme clean + 3 oz of Firewater + 4 scoops of flex w citrus solv in a 5qt inline jub

Other ideas - anybody ever have a custom backpack made where you can slap in the inline jug / wand / and other stuff? Sounds geeky but I've thought of trying something like that...
 

Jim Ellis

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Apr 1, 2013
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Tuscaloosa, Alabama
www.instantsteamclean.com
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Jim Ellis
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United States
I'm still trying to unwind from all the damn carpet I did today - pretty sad when I'm posting on this board... lol. Days like this make me think I'm missing out on faster ways to blow through carpet. I think that too many people on this board spend countless hours doing a 40 minute job and are fine with that as long as they can post how detailed they are and how their customers worship them as carpet cleaning gods.

Reality is time is $$ and my focus has always been for myself and/or my techs to get in and out faster at every house / biz /apartment. Thanks to this board I've learned ways to improve my quality that I never knew existed!

I'm a volume kind of guy and have made good $$ doing that. I also realize that customers have certain levels of expectations that in most cases are realistic. I have no problem with repeat customers yet have never spent excessive time polishing their baseboards, kissing their ass with small talk, or running a 175 on mild to moderately dirty carpet then taking pictures of it with my phone.

Let's start a thread on ways to reduce time spent at clients - if you aren't making a min of $100 an hour then you are missing the boat and won't be around much longer:

My efficiency tips:

Hardware:
- shut off valves - can't beat 'em - swap inline jug and wand instantly
- Power wands - Rotovac - powerflight - etc - forget the 175 and the regular wand
- High heat - instead of flushing organic stains over and over good heat and chemicals will cut through them in one pass

Chemicals
- A good neutral rinse that also cleans - soap free - like OdoBan 3x or procyon can eliminate pre-spray in mildly dirty carpet
- A powerful ass cocktail pre-spray that doesn't even need agitation most of the time like my little mix - 5-6 scoops of extreme clean + 3 oz of Firewater + 4 scoops of flex w citrus solv in a 5qt inline jub

Other ideas - anybody ever have a custom backpack made where you can slap in the inline jug / wand / and other stuff? Sounds geeky but I've thought of trying something like that...

Oh yeah - residential requires the customer pre-vac with any special we offer or we hit them with an additional charge.
 
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Brian_g

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Oh yeah - residential requires the customer pre-vac with any special we offer or we hit them with an additional charge.
I've always included pre-vacuuming. One thing I've noticed is that customers will sometimes tell me that they already vacuumed, but the vacuuming is sometimes a very low quality. I don't want to get into a dispute with a customer about how good is good enough.
 

Todd the Cleaner

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Of course the rule "work smarter not harder" is always a good rule to live by and I'm all for efficiency and saving time but not at the expense of quality. Things like the ball valve is a great idea but when it comes down to something critical such as to scrub or not to scrub I will spend all the time needed to do the job right.

Time may be worth money but a repeat customer that refers you to their friends is worth a lot more.
 

Jimsteam

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Of course the rule "work smarter not harder" is always a good rule to live by and I'm all for efficiency and saving time but not at the expense of quality. Things like the ball valve is a great idea but when it comes down to something critical such as to scrub or not to scrub I will spend all the time needed to do the job right.

Time may be worth money but a repeat customer that refers you to their friends is worth a lot more.
Doing what the last CCer did not do such as pre vacuuming and scrubbing with a 175 or CRB is what a customer will remember and pass on .
Quality not Quantity
 

Jim Ellis

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Doing what the last CCer did not do such as pre vacuuming and scrubbing with a 175 or CRB is what a customer will remember and pass on .
Quality not Quantity
I have a lot of repeat customers yet we average 1.15 (yes, I track this) hours (setup-clean-teardown) for the average 4 beds and a hall. No complaints and a high repeat rate. The business model I follow is: quality + efficiency = good $ for me & good savings for the customer. There's an important balance of quality + speed + competitive prices = profit happy customers.

So lets not miss the point of this thread and focus on speed for once.

Sent from my SGH-T679 using TMF Forums mobile app
 

Jim Ellis

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Oh. If you are able to spend 3 hours at a house carefully prevaccing, pre-agitating, edging, etc and make $100 an hour AND stay as busy as my company does --- good for you. Only about 5% of my customers pay for super detailed cleaning (that we charge a lot for) - the rest just want solid TM cleaning for an affordable price.

Sent from my SGH-T679 using TMF Forums mobile app
 
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Jim Ellis

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So post your tips for S P E E D not justification on why you are so slow. The market demands solid quality at a reasonable price, not OCD at 3x the market average.

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For me being efficient with my time has got me in and out quicker, I consider it efficient and not speed. I make the least amount of trips on set up and don't waste a lot of movements. On empties once you have a system down you can cover a lot of carpet without losing quality. I always edge out the rooms first as the hoses are being pulled in and get behind the door and closet. If I have a helper running the wand I see a lot of wasted movements going from one side of the room to another and it adds up. Even if it only takes them 3 extra minutes per room and you are doing 30 rooms it adds an extra 1 1/2 to the day. Just my thought.
 

Brian_g

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For portable users, auto fill and APO. When I got my machine they were feature that I thought would be nice, but I didn't think they were that important. Now I don't know how I'd live without them. Every bucket of water carried through a customer's house is a chance for an accident. Being careful to avoid tripping and spilling takes time. Also, I find it disruptive to my work flow to have to stop in the middle of a room to dump / fill my machine.
 
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Spotless Flooring

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If you are self contained then no worries about it BUT

I just put brass quick connects on my water hoses and machine. This way setting up my water hose goes even faster. I also put a shutoff valve on the end that connects to my truck that way I can run it out to the custy's house, connect, and turn the water on immediately. Then when I connect to the truck, just open the valve.
 
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Steve Toburen

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We used fresh water tanks on all our machines. It let us get the wand running faster on our regular contract commercial work (my rule was three minutes after we hit the door I wanted the wand cleaning) and then the helper would go find a hose bib.

Steve Toburen
www.SFS.JonDon.com

PS BTW, don't implement the "Three Minute Rule" above with residential! :) OK, HERE is a great QuickTIP to cut down trips to the van on residential.
 

ronman

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Always looking for ways to cut time without compromising quality.
On my last commercial job last week, we were doing 28 floors of condo hallways, all identical.
Little things, like placing the machine in the right spot so you only need to move it once versus 3 times if place 15 feet away saves about 10 minutes per floor, which = 5 man-hours on the job.
Another one I had trouble getting through my helpers head- when we hit the floor, proper priorities to get the wand working ASAP.
Taken out of sequence, and doing a few steps first, rather than last will cost 3-5 minutes per floor, again, another 4-5 man-hours lost.
It's the same exact amount of work, but it slows the job down a tad.
But the tads add up to hours.
As an anal-ocd cleaner, I struggle with the time versus quality issue, and I'm getting ready to offer a 3 tier pricing model, so I can stop driving myself crazy trying to deliver perfection at budget pricing.
Nothing I hate more than spending 5 hours on a $2-300 job, or 3 hours on a $100-150 job.:mad:
 
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Prosteam-sonomacounty

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If speed is your thing, nothing beats a wand without glides. You can agitate better and suck up more debris without vaccuuming. When I use to market to price conscious people, there was always plenty of debris to suck up.
 

Clean-Team

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Oh. If you are able to spend 3 hours at a house carefully prevaccing, pre-agitating, edging, etc and make $100 an hour AND stay as busy as my company does --- good for you. Only about 5% of my customers pay for super detailed cleaning (that we charge a lot for) - the rest just want solid TM cleaning for an affordable price.

Sent from my SGH-T679 using TMF Forums mobile app
I manage this.

I honestly and genuinely make $100 an hour on my slowest jobs. They are the dirtiest. Furthermore If I can make one job more profitable, then I don't need to waste time looking for another one.

I cleaned a small living room and hallway for somebody. It took 4.5 hours and cost $50. That's $100 an hour.

I take your point, it is completely fair for you to take the approach. But I'll meticulpusly vacuum, pre spray pre scrub and extract my customer's carpets for $00 an hour thanks.

That's just me though.

Grant
 

Clean-Team

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We used fresh water tanks on all our machines. It let us get the wand running faster on our regular contract commercial work (my rule was three minutes after we hit the door I wanted the wand cleaning) and then the helper would go find a hose bib.

Steve Toburen
www.SFS.JonDon.com

PS BTW, don't implement the "Three Minute Rule" above with residential! :) OK, HERE is a great QuickTIP to cut down trips to the van on residential.
What about Pre-vac?

Grant