NT Service, Värnamo

– The ergonomics and working environment for our employees is always our top priority. This is for the sake of our employees as well as for the company, says Torbjörn Sporre, who runs the cleaning company NT Service with his colleague Niclas Jarl.

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Professional cleaning is a physically taxing job that entails performing many unnatural and monotonous movements on a daily basis.

– We put a lot of effort into preventing our employees from having to go off sick. Of course we want all our employees be healthy, but the company’s finances also benefit enormously from low sick leave rates, says Torbjörn.

NT Service has around 130 regular clients in central Småland. NT Service’s staff use a cleaning trolley as the basis for their work at most of these clients’ premises. For the past two years, the company has only been buying high quality cleaning trolleys.

– It’s the best designed trolleys that last the longest. A few years ago we tested a cheaper trolley, but after less than a year, screws started coming loose and the trolley got rickety. We’re happy to spend a bit extra on good quality since we’ve noticed it quickly pays off, Torbjörn explains.

All cleaning trolleys from Vikan, the brand that NT Service now uses, are fitted with a Toolflex tool holder as standard.

According to NT Service, having an effective tool attachment system is the most important attribute of a good trolley.

– I don’t know how many times a day our employees attach and detach tools from a Toolflex holder. Certainly thousands of times. Frequently repeated movements must be easy to perform. My experience is that we don’t even notice that the Toolflex system is there – and there’s no better praise than that. In all my 20 years in the business, I don’t think I’ve known a Toolflex holder to break. The products are incredibly practical and durable.

According to NT Service’s managers, it makes an enormous difference having the tools attached to the trolley instead of having to carry them or balance them on the trolley.

– It’s a nightmare if items fall off every time you cross a threshold. Toolflex keeps all the tools firmly in place. This is important in order for us to do a good job, as well as for my employees’ pride and credibility. It doesn’t look professional if you’re constantly dropping things and having to pick them up, says Torbjörn.

Another advantage of having the tools attached to the side of the trolley is that they’re always at the correct height. Bending down to lift something off the floor 40 to 50 times a day puts huge strain on the back.

– We’ve counted, and there are some movements that our employees perform 400 times a day. If you repeatedly perform a movement where your elbow is higher than your shoulder, you’ll quickly strain your shoulder. Ergonomics is crucial in this kind of job.

One of NT Service’s largest customers is Thule. We have employees working 2.5 of full time for them all year round.

– If these employees spent just 10 minutes of every working day picking up tools, they’d lose a lot of cleaning time over a year. Being efficient isn’t just about pushing your employees to work harder. For us it’s about giving them the best possible working conditions, as this also leads to the best results for our customers. All our customers buy a certain amount of time from us. We need to maximise our use of this time. I’m convinced that Toolflex helps us do that.

When asked whether there’s any further improvement he’d like to see, Torbjörn says it would be good if his customers planned their cleaning storeroom better.

– Cleaning rooms are treated like a forgotten space. We see many companies who invest vast amounts in new premises without including a single cleaning room. It doesn’t require much space – just a few square metres with one or two shelves, a power supply, water and a floor drain. If these basic requirements are met, it makes our work so much easier. And we’d be grateful if customers didn’t keep their Christmas decorations there, so we could fit our cleaning trolley inside. Then we can leave the tool handles attached to the trolley and take away the mops and cloths for overnight cleaning.

– And hanging brushes up on a Toolflex rail in the cleaning room isn’t only hygienic. It also makes the tools last longer. A brush left standing on the floor gets buckled and quickly becomes unusable, Torbjörn points out.

  • What?

    Cleaning company with head office in Värnamo. Established in 2006, 50 employees. Annual turnover: SEK 19.5 million (2018)

  • The challenge

    Between 45 and 50 cleaners transporting cleaning equipment to companies, private clients and public premises on a daily basis. Nearly all of them keep their equipment on a cleaning trolley.

  • Benefits of Toolflex

    All NT Service’s cleaning trolleys are fitted with a Toolflex holder. The tools are hung up and remain firmly in place, for instance when the trolley crosses thresholds. Storing the tools at the right height makes the cleaners’ work more efficient and more ergonomic.