News & Tips


 

Segura to Speak at ISSA/INTERCLEAN® Latin America 2017 Tradeshow

San Mateo, CA – Ron Segura, president of Segura & Associates, has been invited to speak at the upcoming ISSA/INTERCLEAN Latin America tradeshow to be held in Mexico City, Mexico, February 21–23, 2017.

This is the key jansan event for the professional cleaning industry in Mexico and throughout Latin America.

Segura & Associates is a domestic and international consulting company working with contract cleaning companies, colleges and universities such as Stanford University, as well as large corporate campuses, helping them make their cleaning operations more effective, healthier, sustainable, while helping to reduce costs.
Segura will give two presentations on February 23, covering the following topics:

Green Cleaning Pilot Program Part #1

Although Green Cleaning is not new, many service providers still do not feel the need to develop a Green Cleaning program for their organization. This interactive session will highlight what is involved in developing and implementing a Green Cleaning program. It will also address cost issues and clarify how a Green Cleaning program can benefit their customers.

Green Cleaning Pilot Program Part #2
This session will educate the contractor on ways to develop a Green Cleaning program, including strategies on getting buy-in from customers and the contractor’s staff and identifying potential pitfalls contractors might encounter in the implementation process.

“The purpose of this session is to eliminate any fears of implementing the program and build enthusiasm for a new element of the company that will bring success,” says Segura.
Segura has more than 45 years of experience in the professional cleaning industry. Among his claims to fame is that he spent 10 of those years working for Walt Disney Studios in Southern California, revamping and streamlining the television and movie company’s janitorial operations.

While the focus of these presentations will be on Green Cleaning, Segura often shares some of his experiences, challenges, and successes at Disney to help cleaning contractors addresses similar challenges.

About Segura & Associates
Segura & Associates was founded by Ron Segura, who now serves as president of the company. Ron has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning and building operation with ten of those years spent as Manager of Janitorial /Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Segura & Associates works with clients, helping them operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner. He can be reached via his website at http://www.seguraassociates.com.

Segura & Associates Celebrates 15th Anniversary

 

segura & AssociatesSan Francisco, CA – Segura & Associates, a leading industry consulting service for cleaning contractors and facility managers, is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

The company was formed by Ron Segura in 2001 when he left his position as Manager of Janitorial/Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television.

According to Segura, his initial goal with Segura & Associates was to just work with large cleaning contractors, helping them market their services and streamline their business operations.

“However, because I had worked so closely with manufacturers, distributors, contractors, in-house cleaning professionals, and was a facility manager myself [at Disney], I understood all parts of the ‘cleaning industry puzzle’ and decided to serve all segments of the industry.”

Since then, Segura has worked with major universities, corporate campuses, and larger cleaning contractors throughout North America, the UK, Brazil, and other parts of South America.

“My goal has always been not to be so much a ‘consultant’ but a ‘resource’ for my clients,” says Segura. “Being a resource makes you part of the team, and that is where I want to be.”

While the company is 15 years old, Segura has actually been involved with professional cleaning for more than 48 years. During that time, he says the industry has changed dramatically with the big turning point being the introduction of green cleaning.

As to what he foresees for the next 15 years, Segura says:

  • The industry going beyond just cleaning to helping end-customers with water and energy conservation and reducing waste.
  • The “value” of the industry is rising significantly as more people realize its contribution to protecting human health, improving worker productivity, and enhancing student performance.
  • Building managers updating their cleaning “scope of work” to help cleaning contractors better understand their cleaning needs.
  • Manufacturers listening more closely to their customers’ needs and “pain points.” 

    “I also think the future is bright for people in the industry,” adds Segura. “Fifteen years ago, no one was waving a ‘cleaning industry flag’ but today, more and more people are proud to say they are part of the professional cleaning industry.”


Face-to-Face Networking

Gaining new business the old-fashioned way

CS_NetworkingSomeone I know in the contract cleaning industry wanted to expand his business. He gave up on cold calling, as it just was not working and he did not enjoy it, and was looking for a new track. Based on his research, he decided the best approach was to increase his online savvy. He spent a small fortune on a new website, immersed himself in social media, began blogging on his own site and others, paid instructors for guidance on how to use LinkedIn as a marketing tool—at a rate of US$300 per hour—,and read every book available on how to market effectively in the 21st Century.

The result? Zilch. Nada. Nothing.

However, this is not the end of the story. He was able to grow his business. Now he has as much business as he can handle; it just didn’t happen the way he expected. So what turned things around? Instead of relying on 21st-Century marketing techniques, he used one of the oldest tools in the business handbook:  face-to-face networking.

Learn more on CMM

Segura Reveals: How I Got 12,000 Members in My LinkedIn Group

Segura AssociatesSan Francisco, CA – According to Teddy Burris—a LinkedIn professional coach and trainer, there are more than 2 million LinkedIn groups.

However, according to Burris, “Most of them are dying or totally dormant.”

A LinkedIn group is for people in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, ask questions, get ideas, and solve common problems.

In the professional cleaning industry, what has become one of the most active LinkedIn groups is the Janitorial Management Group, started by Ron Segura, a leading cleaning consultant for both cleaning contractors as well as universities and corporations.

“As of today, we have 12,050 active members,” says Segura. “We passed the 12,000 mark a couple of months ago.”

Because so many LinkedIn groups end up “dying” or becoming “totally dormant,” Segura lists a few of his secrets on building and managing his group. Among them are the following:

Think long-term. “I knew [the group] would not happen overnight,” says Segura. “To get things going, I just kept asking [the members] questions, sharing thoughts and ideas.”

Impose simple rules: Some groups have several rules. Segura’s group asks only that no promotional materials be posted in the group.

Have a group focus: The goal of Segura’s group is to only discuss janitorial-related issues, from management and hiring to cleaning and customer relations.

Keep moderating: “It’s important to stay connected to the group, keep posting, and watch what is being discussed. Stay flexible but make sure the discussions do not go off track.”

Related to this, because companies now use LinkedIn to find out about vendors such as cleaning contractors, “they may check out the groups you’re in as well,” say Segura, “and if your prospect likes what you write and how you interact with the group, it can even become a marketing tool for you.”

About Segura & Associates Segura & Associates was founded by Ron Segura, who now serves as president of the company. Ron has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning and building operation with ten of those years spent as Manager of Janitorial /Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Segura & Associates works with clients, helping them operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner. He can be reached via his website at http://www.seguraassociates.com


Segura & Associates Announces New Strategic Alliance Formed

David HollySan Francisco, CA – Ron Segura, president of Segura & Associates, announces his organization has formed a strategic alliance with David Holly, a veteran of the professional cleaning industry, frequent author of cleaning-related articles and books, and a green cleaning expert.

Segura & Associates is a California-based consulting firm that works with all segments of the professional cleaning industry as well as large corporate and college campuses, helping them streamline cleaning and maintenance to reduce cleaning costs.

The arrangement will enable Segura & Associates to work with an expanding roster of clients throughout North America and South America.

According to Segura, “David is very knowledgeable in virtually all segments of the [professional] cleaning industry. He has the unique ability to explain a complicated idea or concept so everyone can grasp it and his knowledge of Green Cleaning is unsurpassed.”

Holly worked for several years with The Ashkin Group as well as Multi-Clean and SC Johnson Professional, both manufacturers of professional cleaning solutions.

About Segura & Associates Segura & Associates was founded by Ron Segura, who now serves as president of the company. Ron has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning and building operation with ten of those years spent as Manager of Janitorial /Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Segura & Associates works with clients, helping them operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner. He can be reached via his website at http://www.seguraassociates.com.


What to LEARN from Complaints

dusting at usu reducedSan Francisco, CA – Let’s face it, no matter how good your cleaning service is, you’re going to get complaints. It comes with the territory, as they say. One reason for this is that cleaning can be very subjective…what is clean to one person may not be so clean to another.

According to Ron Segura, who works with larger contract cleaning companies helping them build their businesses, the secret to handling complaints is all based on what he calls the LEARN formula. Here’s what LEARN is all about:

L: The “L” stands for listen. When the customer calls, listen carefully. Do not interrupt. Often they have something they want to get off their chest, and it’s your job to let them do it.

E: We have to Empathize with a client that is complaining. Put yourself in their shoes and try to feel how the issue they are discussing is impacting them. In other words, feel their pain.

A: Apologize, even if it is not your fault. By apologizing, they feel you are listening to them, empathizing with them, and taking some of the blame for the problem. This also helps the customer know that his or her call and concern are important.

R: The way we React to a customer’s complaint is very important. The reaction involves finding a solution, a way to address and resolve the problem.

N: Now is the time to address the problem. Do not delay taking action.

Most likely, the customer is going to look and see if the issue has been resolved after your next visit. Your job is to make sure it is.

While it does not fit in with our LEARN formula, we should add one more letter and that is “T.”

“T” stands for being thankful. Many times customers terminate a service because of problems they never discussed with you. When these problems are communicated, you have a chance to rectify them, which can help keep the customer.

About Segura & Associates Segura & Associates was founded by Ron Segura, who now serves as president of the company. Ron has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning and building operation with ten of those years spent as Manager of Janitorial /Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Segura & Associates works with clients, helping them operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner. He can be reached via his website at http://www.seguraassociates.com


Presentations to Decision Makers: What Works, What Doesn’t Work

Ron SeguraSan Francisco, CA – Today, cleaning contractors must do much more than prepare a proposal to obtain new contracts. They must win customers over with a presentation.

Decision makers want you to show them – which is what presentations are designed to do – just what benefits they will receive by hiring you.

Typically this is accomplished in the form of a PowerPoint or similar presentation software program.

While the appearance of the PowerPoint and how effectively it has been pieced together is important, contractors should know that a nifty-looking slideshow will not necessarily secure them the account.

In fact, some evidence suggests that the appearance of the presentation has little or no impact on how decision makers make any of their business decisions.

So what does work? Here are some suggestions I provide the large cleaning contractors I work with that can also work for you:

Preparation. Without question, thorough preparation is essential. If your presentation is based on a request for proposal (RFP), make sure it covers everything in the RFP and more. Learn how the organization “brands” itself so you can tie that into the presentation. If possible, include images of the facility and indicate changes you would make in those areas.

Conversation. Turn your presentation into a conversation. Instead of talking at people, present your ideas in a conversational manner. Turning your presentation into a conversation personalizes it, builds trust, and better enables decision makers to get a feel for you as well as the message you are trying to convey.

Minimize visual aids. In many presentations, the PowerPoint carries the weight of the presentation. You don’t want that. The purpose of the exhibits is to assist you in delivering your message to decision makers, not to become the message.

Questions. Related to having a conversational style, encourage decision makers to ask questions throughout the presentation. But keep your answers short. Some research indicates the more questions decision makers can ask – and have answered – during the allotted time period, the more favorable the outcome for you.

On a personal note, answering questions also helps eliminate nervousness, which is to be expected when delivering a presentation before a perspective client.

About Segura & Associates Segura & Associates was founded by Ron Segura, who now serves as president of the company. Ron has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning and building operation with ten of those years spent as Manager of Janitorial /Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Segura & Associates works with clients, helping them operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner. He can be reached via his website at http://www.seguraassociates.com.


Seven Jansan Terms that Are Fading Away

Hotel HousekepersSan Francisco, CA – Now that the professional cleaning industry is evolving faster than ever before, some terms traditionally used in the industry are becoming less common or being replaced.

This year, Ron Segura, president of Segura Associates, who works with large organizations and cleaning contractors to help them operate in a more efficient and cost effective manner, lists the “Seven Jansan Terms that Are Fading Away.”

In no specific order they are:

Chemical-Free Cleaning: This describes a type of cleaning using water and no chemicals. It is being replaced with the term “engineered water,” which more accurately indicates how water is mechanically changed to act as an effective cleaning agent.

Strip-and-Wax: This term had its heyday in the 1980s; it has now been replaced by “refinished.”

Buffers and Burnishers: Buffers traditionally referred to low-speed floor machines and burnishers high-speed equipment. Today, most industry professionals simply refer to these machines as either low- or high-speed equipment.

Spray-and-Vac: While this is the official ISSA term to describe systems that apply chemicals to surfaces, rinse clean these areas, and then vacuum up moisture and soils without touching surfaces, most industry professionals refer to this as no-touch cleaning and leave it at that.

The Old “Sustainability”: The term sustainability, originally defined as protecting today’s resources for future generations, now refers to organizations that use resources responsibly, fairly treat their workers, and give back to the community—all while ensuring economic growth.

Extraction: More commonly used than most of the other terms listed, instead of extracting carpets, many technicians now use the term carpet “restoration.” Restoration refers to the most thorough, restorative cleaning possible for carpeting.

Chemicals: While it has served us well, the term “chemicals” now conjures up a number of thoughts and feelings, from chemical abuse to chemical reactions. Because of this, the word is losing favor in the industry, being replaced with the term cleaning “solutions.”

“And just as some jansan words are disappearing or being replaced, new ones are growing in importance,” says Segura. “For instance, the term ‘group purchasing organization’ is now on the lips of many more [cleaning] contractors looking to reduce their cleaning supply costs.”

About Segura & Associates Segura & Associates was founded by Ron Segura, who now serves as president of the company. Ron has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning and building operation with ten of those years spent as Manager of Janitorial /Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Segura & Associates works with clients, helping them operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner. He can be reached via his website at http://www.seguraassociates.com.


Attendees: Here’s Eight Ways to Take Advantage of the ISSA Trade Show

issa showSan Francisco, CA – Ron Segura, president of Segura & Associates, a leading consulting firm for building managers and cleaning contractors, says many attendees do not take advantage of all the benefits that can be derived from the annual ISSA convention.

“They stroll the floor looking at all the products, collect brochures, and then go home,” he says. “As soon as they get home, the brochures are typically tossed away along with just about everything they remember of the show.”

There are ways to address this situation and the first one, according to Segura, is very simply “bringing the janitors to the show. Often building managers attend the [ISSA] convention but forget the cleaning workers. If they really want to purchase tools and equipment for their facilities, they need to remember to bring the people that will be using those products.”

Segura adds that these people must “buy-in” to any products selected at the show and the best way to accomplish this is to have them be involved in selecting them.

He also suggests that building owners, managers, and cleaning workers plan a “convention strategy” a week or two before the show. It would include such things as these:

  1. Working as a team, put together a seminar schedule that is most applicable to their needs
  2. If there are seminar time conflicts, have some people attend one seminar while others attend another
  3. Prepare a list of the products, tools, chemicals, and equipment you want to see
  4. Make a list of specific vendors (manufacturers) you want to see
  5. With lists in hand, prepare a daily schedule as to which products and which vendors to see
  6. Prepare a list of all the relevant seminars to attend
  7. Schedule lunch meetings to compare notes
  8. Ask questions

“Everyone attending the ISSA trade show should have one question they ask every vendor the meet,” says Segura. “That question is how is your product [machine, chemical] really going to help me in my facility.”

About Segura & Associates Segura & Associates was founded by Ron Segura, who now serves as president of the company. Ron has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning and building operation with ten of those years spent as Manager of Janitorial /Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Segura & Associates works with clients, helping them operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner. He can be reached via his website at http://www.seguraassociates.com.


Segura Notes Five Trends in Building Operations

janitorial buy-insSan Francisco, CA – The concerns of large facilities are always evolving, according to Ron Segura, president of Segura Associates.

His company helps organizations, such as Stanford University, Adobe Systems, Stryker Medical, and others, operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner.

“Sometimes their focus is on cost reduction,” Segura says. “This was very true during the recession but now these larger organizations are more focused on other issues.”

Segura says it is important that jansan industry professionals are aware of this so they can better address the changing needs of their clients. Invariably, the concerns at a major university, for instance, will in time filter down to smaller colleges and educational facilities, he adds.

So, midway through the year, what mega trends does he see evolving in 2015?

Among them are the following:

Water. There is a much greater emphasis on water conservation and efficiency. “Facilities throughout the country are now looking for ways to reduce water consumption on a long-term basis and not just during a drought.”

Beyond green cleaning. More organizations are looking into green cleaning strategies that go beyond traditional green cleaning programs. Cleaning with engineered or chemical free water, for example, is attracting greater interest.

Worker morale. At one time, cleaning workers were rarely thought of when it came to building operations. Today, not only are they respected for the contribution they make in keeping a facility healthy, “major organizations want them to know they are ‘a part of the [organization’s] family.’ Improving morale has been tied to enhanced building performance and reducing [worker] turnover.”

Streamlining purchasing. This is becoming a crucial issue. Large organizations purchase millions of dollars in cleaning products every year. However, referring to one organization he worked with, Segura says, “They had more inventory than many supply houses [purchased from several] distributors and manufacturers.” Streamlining purchasing helps clients better keep track of their purchases, cut costs and, in this case, “reduced supplies from 24 different chemicals to just four.”

New RFPs. Many large building owners/managers are finding that the entire request for proposal (RFP) process needs revising so that it is more specific to the needs of the facility. “The [RFP] models used for decades just don’t work anymore.”

About Segura & Associates Segura & Associates was founded by Ron Segura, who now serves as president of the company. Ron has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning and building operation with ten of those years spent as Manager of Janitorial /Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Segura & Associates works with clients, helping them operate their facilities in a healthier, more sustainable, and efficient manner. He can be reached via his website at http://www.seguraassociates.com.