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A day in the business
CK Group recently hosted "a day in the business" for their bank manager, Ed Sylvester from Barclays. The bank is keen that their managers see the "other side" of running a business and "get their hands dirty" for a day, inviting the business proprietor to use them as they will, whether this be serving their customers, doing administration, manual work or even making the tea!
According to CKG's Quality Control Manager Rob Herran, who acted as host, "Having tasted Ed's tea in the past, I felt it safer to put him to work!"
In all, Ed thoroughly enjoyed his time with CKG, one of the leading healthcare cleaning specialists in the country, gaining an insight into the daily operation of the business, both at Head Office and on site.
It was a very early start to the day at 7 am (this is the cleaning industry after all, and there is much to be done!) the early hour tempered at least by a coffee and bacon sandwich at the company's Head Office in South London with Ian Pether, Managing Director of the company and an acknowledged expert in the field of healthcare hygiene and infection control.
After the easy bit (for Ed) of discussing the company's current trading position and plans for the coming months, they reviewed last year's audited accounts and looked at an aged list of current debtors and creditors before Ian had to leave for a meeting in Hertfordshire.
Rob Herran takes up the story once more:
"After introductions to the staff and a tour of the premises, which included challenging Ed to "perform" on a Swingo XP "ride on" floor scrubber drier machine (we will soon have that wall repaired) he spent some time with our Warehouse Manager who explained our consumables sales side and delivery channels.
"We then joined John Lawford, our Contracts Manager for our current 15 sites, who accompanied us to see a "live" site. He had chosen St Thomas' Hospital where we have 86 ward and theatre cleaners operating over 24 hour shifts and where we run their in-house laundry (this is for both St Thomas' Hospital and Guys Hospital) and also the cleaning of the microfibre cloths and mops used on the wards.
One of our supervisors, John Eaton, ran through some of the day- to-day challenges of rostering, cleaning duties and deployment of cleaning teams.
"We ended that visit sitting in on an environmental training session being given to a few of our operatives by Donna Bryant, our full time Training Manager.
"Well done on your answers to the air pollution quiz - we will make a cleaner of you yet!"
After a brief lunch stop, a return to the CKG offices, where Rob and Ed ran through the cost tracking system which operates to ensure each contract is kept within profitable boundaries. Ed also studied the contract tender process, quite a long and sometimes costly process for work that may or may not be secured. But that's the nature of business, after all.
They also spent time on an overview of the company's intention in the coming months to ready itself for the proposed accreditation to achieve certification for the ISO14001 environmental standard (CKG already holds ISO9001-2004, management system accreditation).
On successful completion, CK Group will be one of very few cleaning companies to achieve this level of accreditation in the UK, and, as it is something that is increasingly sought after in tenders (particularly Healthcare and Education), the company hopes that this may give them an edge over their competitors, many of whom know only to cut price, and not increase their quality of service.
Rob Herron concluded by hoping that the fairly full day gave Ed some insight into what the company does, and, at least, convinced him that a Bank Managers life isn't too bad after all!
For the bank's part, these "day in the business" exercises can only lead to a better understanding of life in the real world outside of high finance, and who knows, a more realistic appreciation of the problems faced out there in the tough commercial world of today.
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8th September 2011