A large national retail bank was faced with the prospect of shutting down its bank branches in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. While many customers were able to switch to online and mobile banking, several of its customers still relied on in-person transactions to handle money deposits and withdrawals as well as any more complicated financial transactions that require face-to-face interaction. To keep its branches open and serve this population, the bank worked with Lessen to reimagine its maintenance program to ensure consistent cleanings, upgraded HVAC systems, and on-site attention. This steps ensured a safe facility for customers and employees and helped to reinforce the brand reputation of the bank as a trusted partner.  

Challenge

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies continued operations out of necessity. This included most bank branches as they were needed to facilitate financial transactions for customers. However, the threat of the virus presented several problems when it comes to in-person interactions. To meet this challenge, one national bank re-envisioned it maintenance strategy, including preventative and react measures, which included upgraded assets and strategic cleaning. These measured ensured a safe facility for employees and customers, so they could keep banking despite the pandemic.

Solution

Enhanced cleaning services

Lessen increased nightly cleaning services to occur every operating day—a 20 percent increase over typical operations. Vendors also updated their scope of work to include using high-concentrate cleaners that disinfected high-touch areas like light switches, keyboards, door handles, and ATMs.

On-site porter

High-traffic branches opted to bring in a porter (i.e., a provider who stays on-site for a few hours performing janitorial services) during operating hours on their busiest days, usually around the middle and end of each month. These services supplemented the nightly cleanings that every branch received and helped to ensure that surfaces were not a primary cause of virus transmission.

Upgraded HVAC filters

Each branch upgraded its HVAC filters to help remove more potentially harmful particles from the air. Lessen recommend opting for a filter with a high minimum efficiency reporting value like MERV-13 to trap smaller particles.

Outcome

When a branch experienced a presumed or confirmed case of COVID-19, it immediately closed, and the corporate team contacted the Lessen support team. Within 12 hours, Lessen scheduled a vendor to arrive on-site within 48 hours. The provider followed guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to disinfect the entire location by using the high-concentrate cleaning materials. The branch then waited 48 hours before it reopened. The procedures and processes put in place by Lessen ensured a safe facility where employees could work and customers could feel comfortable carrying out their transactions.

Takeaways

In the evolving landscape of facility management, ensuring safety for both customers and employees has taken on new dimensions. Here's how to strategize, plan, and communicate post-pandemic facility safety measures.

Strategic Program Management

In the post-pandemic era, understanding peak business days becomes crucial for managing facility cleanliness and safety. Just as businesses have adapted to new operational norms, align cleaning efforts by bringing in on-site professionals during peak times. This strategic approach ensures thorough disinfection, debris removal, sweeping, and mopping. Customize the frequency of these services based on specific needs to maintain a consistently safe environment.

Preparedness for Unforeseen Scenarios

As the transition to a new normal continues, being prepared for unexpected events remains vital. Imagine facing a presumed or confirmed case of illness at the facility—what steps will be taken? Have partnerships with providers who can rapidly respond within hours, armed with advanced methods and equipment for effective sanitation. Collaborating with experienced partners like Lessen ensures the facility's swift and thorough response to any unforeseen situation, providing both security and peace of mind.

Transparent Communication

Post-pandemic, transparent communication about safety measures is paramount. Sharing enhanced cleaning practices, updated HVAC protocols, and other proactive steps demonstrates commitment to customers' and employees' well-being. By openly discussing the precautions implemented, trust and confidence are instilled in those who interact with the facility. This transparency aligns with the new expectations of safety-conscious individuals and helps foster a sense of security.

In this transformed landscape, post-pandemic facility management requires a thoughtful approach. By strategically adapting the program, planning for the unexpected, and openly communicating efforts, a safe and welcoming environment is ensured for everyone interacting with the facility.

A well-functioning maintenance strategy is essential to the success of any modern-day facilities portfolio. To make sure your facilities maintenance strategy is meeting your needs, request a demo to learn more about how our programs can help you.

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