Klien IT Systems

Partly due to the Covid-19, the turnover of the cleaning company Klien increased only slightly compared to the previous two years. And turnover and profit are above all the conditions for the manager-owner of the cleaning company to be socially involved.

The portrait of an enthusiastic SME

Raymond Kouwenberg (51 years old) is certainly not the classic entrepreneur of a local cleaning company, although his beginnings can be defined as such. He was a working student who got "stuck" in the cleaning business. While studying civil engineering in 1987, he started working as a student at the cleaning company Klien in Breda, founded in 1974, where he became project manager after two years. After graduating in 1994, Kouwenberg worked for the municipality but remained in contact with Klien, where they worked exclusively with students. "Imagine: in an age without cell phones and laptops, managing, calling and scheduling eighty students," says the entrepreneur. He was good, because in 1997 he became co-shareholder of Klien BV and ten years later director-owner. In 2011, the cleaning company moved into its current almost 200 square meter premises in the De Mark business park in Breda.

Socially involved

On the entrance door there are the stickers 'Accredited training company' and 'We train professionals'. This is only a pale reflection of the projects Raymond Kouwenberg is busy with. To name just a few: the company is a member of nine networks, supports thirteen charities, has the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) quality seal, specifies its CO2 footprint on its website and helps people far from job market. Kouwenberg also serves seven functions on the board, including chairman of the VNO-NCW Breda, and is a city councilor for the VVD party. Kouwenberg and his cleaning company are socially involved, and he is an associate of at least twenty boards and interest groups. "Cleanliness has been the leitmotif of my life for 34 years. But there are three founding principles in my DNA: government, education and finally business. Being socially involved, helping people, is especially important to me. The trick is knowing how always find a balance between these goals and time for my family, my wife and my three children".

Primarily a cleaning contractor

It seems that being socially involved as a cleaning company prevails over doing business as an entrepreneur in the sector… "No, this is the common thread and it provides the income that gives me the possibility to count something for others. Primarily I am an entrepreneur in the cleaning sector". In this role he manages a company with approximately 85 employees from a subsidiary. Seven of them work in the office, including three project coordinators for implementation. The working area covers a 20 kilometer circle around Breda. “We don't need a bigger area, because this also limits our employees' travel time.”

Respect for cleaning work

In 2019, the turnover was 1.7 million euros and for 2020 the forecast is 2 million euros, with a growth of 15%. Here too, the Covid pandemic has put a spanner in the works

"We lost almost €300,000, because the gyms and offices closed. We compensated for this to some extent by carrying out many sanitizations. This year, we expect to have a turnover of €2 million. We don't have a burning ambition to grow, we are not active in sales and always ask ourselves: Do we want to work there? Is this customer right for us? We prefer respected customers and also demand respect in return, towards the cleaning industry and our employees. If not, we withdraw. We have even canceled a €70,000 contract – a lot of money for a company like this – because the customer spoke disrespectfully about cleanliness and our employees."

Low absenteeism

Kouwenberg says he wants to run a firm that is stable and calm. This seems to work, because employee turnover is just "a bit on the fringes", with newcomers sometimes retiring quickly. Absenteeism is only 1.7%.

Build your own cleaning software

The entrepreneur says he is always working on processes and procedures to optimize cleaning, supported by information technology. "In 2014, three years after we started working in a real business premises, I started looking into the processes around scheduling, clocking in and out, using materials, administrative processes and purchasing. The requirements imposed by customers are increasingly high and a good level of customer satisfaction is becoming more and more difficult to achieve. I know from personal experience that this is especially true for SMEs in this sector with around 40-60 employees. If you don't digitize, you get stuck as a cleaning company. But digitizing with outside help is incredibly expensive for small companies, because you have to pay extra for each module. Over the past few years, I have therefore built my software step by step. A done software from and for the cleaning sector.

Reach small and medium-sized enterprises

The result is that Klien-IT-Systems, led by Kouwenberg junior, has just been born under the umbrella of Klien. The software system includes all modules, including future ones, for small and medium-sized cleaning companies. The system can be rented for a fixed price: up to 100 employees for just under 300 euros per month.

Is there a relationship between management software and the cleaning sector? "Yes, because our initiative was born from my belief that we need to reach small and medium-sized enterprises in the sector in a field that is still foreign to them, and the lack of digitization is threatening their existence and their growth".

The fears of an employer today

From cleaner to director-owner of the cleaning company where you started as a working student. What is the most difficult aspect of being an entrepreneur? Kouwenberg: "The problems of work. Job security for the employee is paramount, with pillars such as continued payment for two years in case of illness, transition and a high severance pay. However, these are the things that make fear to an employer and which unfortunately disincentivise people to be hired on a permanent basis".

An attractive job

Kouwenberg's advice to politicians in The Hague is to make being an employer attractive again. "We have to move towards flexicurity, which is the new direction of the VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland. A dynamic labor market, with a guarantee of social and employment security for all rather than the job itself. In other words, security to go to work and stay in work. An active labor market policy, lifelong development and modern social security to bring jobseekers back into the labor market permanently. It is now too fixed and flexible is too flexible, for both sides. We need a kind of Scandinavian society where someone can always earn an income through work or receives temporary support".

Added value for the company

Finally, what's the best thing about being an entrepreneur? "Being socially involved as a cleaning company, getting results and translating them into added value for society," says Kouwenberg. "Helping above all by offering internships, through sponsorship, giving opportunities to disadvantaged people, supporting charities and creating a company characterized by calm and stability."

Have you ever had a precise idea in mind of how something should be, but there's no management system that's really right for you? In the cleaning sector more and more companies are facing this challenge. We provide the digitization for the cleaning sector and help solve this challenge.

You hear the same stories all the time of small businesses getting bogged down in bureaucracy because of increasing customer numbers and manual scheduling. These businesses want to grow, but they simply don't have the right resources. Often times they are looking for a system that can simplify certain aspects of their work.

However, many of these systems are often too complex or too expensive. That is why companies often prefer not to use a software system at all. Many aspects that are relevant to cleaning companies are less important to the vast majority of other companies. As a result, what happens is that software developers often focus on products that primarily satisfy the needs of the largest customer base.

Our answer to the problem

Fortunately there are also cleaning companies that have started working on this. It was already clear to Klien 8 years ago that we had to keep up with the times. The trick is to start early so you have an edge over the rest of the market. Companies that have not started this process in time are often already behind the times. We created Klien-IT-Systems in part to answer this call for help from the industry.

Klien-IT-Systems is a combination of solutions for the administrative difficulties of the sector. We know what the weaknesses are and we know perfectly what the challenges are for cleaning companies. With our management system you can archive your most important data in one central online space. In addition to the system, an application has also been developed where employees can find all the information they need. The application is connected directly to the system. This means that employees don't have to go to the office as often and it works even faster. Indeed, they immediately receive the information they need. We have fully optimized the system and application for the cleaning industry, and we test it continuously here at Klien.

GPS Registration

Since you can never be everywhere at the same time, you need to find a way to understand what your employees are doing where. This is easy in other enterprises because there is a common physical workplace, such as the office. But in a cleaning company it's just the opposite. With our entry and exit GPS tracking, you can always see if your employees are at work and on what shift.

Key Registration

Key transfer is another administrative dilemma. Often when a key is lost it is someone's word against someone else's. Now there is a way to give employees key deposit responsibility. This will help staff, as they can prove that the key is not in their possession, just as it is useful to have an exact overview of who works where and with what key.

Administrative solutions

Klien-IT-Systems is a combination of solutions for the administrative difficulties of the sector. We know what the weaknesses are and we know perfectly what the challenges are for cleaning companies. With our management system you can archive your most important data in one central online space.

In addition to the system, an application has also been developed where employees can find all the information they need. The application is connected directly to the system, so employees don't have to go to the office as often and it works even faster. Indeed, they immediately receive the information they need. We have fully optimized the system and application for the cleaning industry, and we test it continuously here at Klien.

Additionally, the system also has a fully integrated accounting package. This means that you will no longer need an external package, because you will have everything centralized in one space. If you would like to keep the accounting package that you already have, we are of course willing to take a look at the various possibilities to keep it together with you.

The complete scheduling system allows you to fully automate the timetable. Employees can see the timetable and request time off or changes through the application. Thanks to this feature, you will always have a clear and complete perspective, which will allow you to adjust your schedule at any time. In addition, you will save a lot of paperwork and nothing will be lost, since everything is stored in the system.

The system includes all the features that small and medium-sized businesses need to thrive in the digitized world of the cleaning industry. The question is, of course, what future are we headed towards? At Klien-IT-Systems we are continuously working to improve and innovate our system and application. We listen to customers and staff who work with our system, so we are always open to suggestions, criticisms and new ideas. We use criticism and suggestions to fulfill the wishes of our customers in the best way.

Still face problems?

There is also a well-trained team behind this digital world, so if something is still not entirely clear to you, our team will be happy to help. We will do our best to make sure your digitizing process is as easy as possible.

With Klien-IT-Systems you prepare yourself for the future!

If you use old automation processes, your vision of the future for your company is destined not to be fulfilled. This is certainly a shame, as digitizing and automating your business can bring you huge profits.

That's why we're happy to help you make this process go smoothly, so you can take advantage of a system that's up to date.

Are you curious to know what we can do for your business or do you have other questions? Check out our website www.klien-it-systems.com, contact us or call us on +31 765208043.

Do you want to discover our system? Request a free demonstration now with no commitment!

Why planning with Excel is not optimal.

We can safely say that the success of a cleaning company is mainly due to easy, agile and well organized planning. However, in recent years, we noticed that in many cleaning companies there are complicated planning tables created for example with Excel or other software. The question that arises spontaneously is therefore the following: why do so many companies depend on Excel for personnel planning? Of course, it's easy to start with Excel, but clumsiness, typos, and general limitations of the program itself lead to problems in the long run. That is why our system is the best alternative for Excel for the cleaning industry.

Here we list four reasons why Excel will cause you trouble:

1. Time changes

With Excel even the smallest change lets you delete and add rows and columns, change colors, merge cells and many other changes. Clearly, this makes it impossible to respond quickly to the new time change.

2. Individual schedules

Different departments and locations each have their own worksheets, so to get a general overview of enterprise planning you will need to merge and integrate all worksheets. The problem is that by the time you're done, time scheduling will have become obsolete!

3. Search and replace

Let's imagine that the colleague who usually manages the planning with Excel cannot work today and therefore you have to search for another colleague via the Excel search function. The problem, however, is that it is not obvious that any of the other colleagues know how to use Excel or have the right skills to be able to create a detailed schedule with the program.

4. Plan for the next day

It is very unusual for clear and well-structured digital planning to be communicated to employees with Excel, especially if it has to be done today for tomorrow. Similarly, if you try to communicate time with manual scheduling, it usually gets confusing.

Conclusion- Planning with Excel won't help you grow as a business!

It often happens that cleaning companies continue to use confusing software and processes. This can happen due to lack of time to sift through all options and adopt a new and better system. In reality, however, you save a lot more money and effort by stopping using Excel! The Klien-IT-Systems alternative for Excel is the best solution for the cleaning industry. At Klien-IT-Systems all planning is stored in the cloud. This allows you to view and adjust the timetable from anywhere and at any time.

In addition, our planning is very clear, simple and advanced. For example all employees can see their timetable on their app, both for general and specific timetable overviews. Find out how planning on our software works in our blog or request a free demonstration to see all the possibilities that Klien-IT-Systems software offers you.

© Klien-IT-Systems BV
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