Commercial Cleaning Meets Technology
Spotless Cleaning Chicago takes an innovative approach to commercial facility cleaning, creating a healthy work environment one building at a time
What started as a small side business as a way to help out family, close friends and neighbors during the Recession of 2008, soon turned into a thriving, innovative commercial facility cleaning company, Spotless Cleaning Chicago, serving all of Chicagoland and the northern suburbs.
Founder and Owner Juan Padilla, whose career path began in the financial services industry as an equity derivatives options trader, never dreamed he’d be running a booming commercial cleaning operation, but once he got started, things just took off. After the company got its first contracted job —cleaning a two-story office building—word-of-mouth and a host of positive online reviews kept the clients coming. Juan credits much of his success, especially early on, to the fact that he didn’t have a formal background in this industry. He says, “It literally forced me to try new products, test new processes and really do a lot of the work myself. I was trying to learn the particulars—understanding cleaning times, deficiencies, really looking at everything from a completely different perspective, without any bias. Having a business background, I was able to approach things from a unique framework.”
Next-Level Commercial Cleaning
Today, Spotless Cleaning Chicago is a premier commercial cleaning company whose priority is making sure every client is 100% satisfied on every job. With its eco-friendly practices and a focus on large spaces more than 20,000 square feet, Spotless Cleaning Chicago has carved out a niche in the region, providing innovative solutions for businesses looking for something a cut above.
The company specializes in office cleaning services for large corporate offices and industrial complexes, schools and universities, and medical facilities cleaning services. Some of its high-profile clients include the likes of Peoples Gas, Procter and Gamble, the University of Chicago and Walsh Construction. In total, Spotless Cleaning services over 150 sites, representing repeat, ongoing business.
As a means to better serve its growing clientele, Juan began to think outside of the traditional “mop, bucket and broom” methodology and asked himself how they could use technology to find efficiencies, improve outcomes and create consistencies. “This is part of the reason we do large spaces,” Juan says. “We can use newer equipment that allows us to get higher productivity rates, which in turn makes us more cost competitive while providing a better cleaning outcome.”
As an example, Juan says, “Using just a mop and bucket, you can clean a maximum of 4,000 square feet per hour, and it’s tiring and taxing on the body. Whereas, if I’m using a self-propelled machine, I can clean 20,000 square feet an hour and I am just walking. That means I’m getting five times the productivity rate and not getting as tired.”
The bulk of its business is daily contract cleaning; the crews are at those properties every single day. In addition, the company does a lot of post-construction cleaning and floor finishes. Juan notes that because they have so much floor equipment and other efficiencies, a post-construction job at another company might take 40 man hours, whereas Juan’s crew can wrap it up in 20 hours.
Innovative Solutions Through Technology
Beyond just the cleaning equipment, it is the constant innovation that has made Spotless Cleaning one of the leading office cleaning services in Chicago. Juan stresses, “We don’t just clean; we sanitize. Our tools and technology aren’t just good; they’re cutting-edge. In fact, through the superior technology we use, we are better able to manage quality control, time-keeping and task-scheduling systems, meaning better service for our customers.”
The company’s technology for communication, for example, such as monitoring clocking in and out through mobile geo-fences, allows Spotless Cleaning to ensure consistent, quality service.
A Winning Strategy
That standard is maintained through training programs as well as keeping up with certifications and treating customers and employees alike with respect.
Spotless Cleaning Chicago has gone through the certification programs from ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute (CMI), and the company has completed CMI’s “Train the Trainer” program. “It’s not a haphazard system that we have,” Juan says. “It’s very structured and very well organized.”
With all this, Juan acknowledges that the company’s growth has come through promoting staff internally. If someone performs well, there’s upward progression. For example, Cindy Andrade started with Spotless Cleaning as a cleaner a few months after Juan started the company, and she’s been promoted along the way. Now she’s at the top, holding the position of Vice President of Operations.
Juan concludes, “We try to have a small company feeling, even though we’ve grown. Our success has come through valuing our people, our clients and new technologies.”