Spotless, the company, boils down to just 160 key processes.
That’s what holds us together. It covers strategy, sales, operations, HR, and finance.
Each of our 10 Spotless divisions are designed to operate the same from Southampton to Aberdeen.
In real life of course it doesn’t always work like that. We’re not as clock-work as we would like to be. But we are getting ever closer.
This week I have held day long sessions with our management teams in Reading, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. We sit round a table and take turns reading out the processes one by one. For each process we stop and discuss. Does that really happen? Could it be improved? What if we did this instead? The chat is lively and positive.
So instead of being boring and repetitive, it’s actually creative and empowering. By the end of the day the managers feel they have been empowered, not lectured.
My inspiration for this approach came from Michael Gerber’s E-myth. Probably the best business book I’ve ever consumed (I don’t read. I just listen. Thank you, Audible.)
For those not familiar, Gerber talks of the ‘mature’ business model where you create a central operating system that becomes your bible.
Then you train, repeat and improve.
In this way you receive the same predictable good outcomes throughout your business. If McDonalds can produce an identical cheeseburger in every outlet, should we be able to deliver the same cleaning output and satisfaction in every city in the UK?
More importantly, with an active Operating Manual, you run the business. The business doesn’t run you.
Do we have parts of Spotless that I’m not proud of? Of course. We have our faults. Actually, plenty. But we’re aware of them, and our Operating Manual allows us to address them one by one.
Written by Roger Green, CEO, Spotless Commercial Cleaning.