Things to consider before contacting A cleaning contractor
WHEN DO YOU WANT THE CLEANING TO TAKE PLACE?
Some clients prefer cleaning to be undertaken whilst they are on the premises, whilst others prefer it to be done either before their staff arrive, or after. Consideration should be given to how access will be granted if it is outside of your organisation's operating times. Similarly, some clients like the cleaning to be done when they are there, preferring to have a day janitor.
HELP WITH MAKING THAT FINAL DECISION
If your decision is between two companies, there is a wealth of additional information you can request that will assist you in determining whether you are comparing apples with apples. The following should help you with this;
How the Company communicates with you should be your choice. Either face to face, emails, texts, phone, or a combination of all.
The recent pandemic demonstrated that the unexpected always happens and this is especially true in a service industry. Without fail there will be an unplanned absence during your service contract. The difference is, how your cleaning provider will address this.
Emergency Ad-Hoc Provision
The unexpected works both ways so it is advisable to ask the service provider what assistance they can give you in, for example, the case of flooding or fire damage.
It is imperative that you make sure your service provider has sufficient insurance to cover legal liability and professional indemnity.
Types Of Products
Sustainable cleaning products are becoming increasingly desired for their positive impact on the environment. Ask your prospective cleaning provider to provide you with details of the products they will use.
Regularity Of Management Visits
Your cleaning contractor should visit your site at least once a month to check on the welfare of their staff and to monitor standards. They should also meet with you once a month to ascertain client satisfaction and to proactively plan changes and discuss additional services for the proceeding months.
Method of Payment
Some companies require a standing order or direct debit to be set up. Others take an average over 12 months and invoice a set amount each month. Most Companies have 30-day payment terms and will charge interest for late payment.
IT Support In Contract Provision
There are many IT programmes that assist in the delivery of a cleaning service. This software monitors staff presence and allows for shift changes to be recorded. In addition software programmes allow for cleaning audits to be conducted and the results emailed directly to yourself for confirmation.
A cleaning audit should be done once a month to check on the welfare of staff and to ensure standards are being maintained.
How Will The Compnay Monitor Standards - Quality Assurance
Your cleaning contractor should hold the ISO 9001 accreditation. This is an externally assessed accreditation that vigorously interrogates a Company's processes and procedures that ensure the clients are receiving optimum quality.
All staff should receive induction training when new to the company. Thereafter a programme of CPD should be available to ensure optimum service levels. Training should involve H&S, Safe Systems of Work (SSOW), infection and cross-contamination control, Contractors' processes and procedures as well as your policies and procedures.
Accreditations are externally marked and demonstrate a high level of intent on optimum service delivery by the contractor. At the minimum, they should include the following: ISO 9001 - Quality Assurance, ISO 14001 - Environmental, CHAS - Health & Safety.
As previously mentioned, sometimes things do not go to plan. It is therefore important that you know where to go to get problems addressed and to ensure there is no repeat. Your contractor should be able to provide a 24-hour Help Desk and dedicated Control Room that will deal with out of hours emergencies. You should also be provided with the telephone numbers of the Account Managers, Operations Director and the MD who should be available 24 hours a day to address your queries. It isn't necessarily what goes wrong, but how it is remedied that is.
Change To Contract
You should make sure that there are no penalty clauses for changing the level of cover that you have contracted for in case your circumstances change. Most companies will have a 3 month notice period of contract end as they have to arrange for alternative employment for their staff.
Uniform & PPE
Cleaning contractors usually supply their staff with uniforms, however, some clients like the uniforms to be in their own Company's brand. In addition the cleaning contractor should be responsible for issuing all necessary PPE for their staff to undertake their jobs safely.
Wherever possible, your contractor should follow all your sustainability initiatives and provide assistance with the recycling of waste.
Your contractor should be able to provide you with all their essential policies, or better yet, allow you access to them on their website.
H & S is imperative within the cleaning industry. Your contractor should hold an accreditation that demonstrates that they have been externally assessed as competent.
For schools and colleges or establishments with vulnerable adults on the premises, or for companies that have sensitive or confidential information lying around, it would make sense to have a DBS check done on each of the operatives. This involves an additional cost and you should expect to pay an additional fee for this peace of mind.
Although most equipment is standard, there are additional items that may be of benefit for you to have on your premises, such as a scrubber dryer or a floor buffer. Your contractor should be able to advise you on this. The equipment should be PAT tested every 48 months and replacement equipment supplied if items are found to be faulty.
Who Is your Liaison Representative Going To Be?
Your cleaning contractor should appoint a manager as your liaison with the Company. You should have their telephone number so that you can contact them 24/7. If you are not satisfied with the manager you have been appointed, your contractor should be able to offer you alternatives.
Your cleaning contractor should work with you and create work schedules that detail what should be cleaned and the frequency. We have provided you with a link for an example of a standard work schedule for your reference.
Longevity Of Company
The longevity of your cleaning contractor is an indication of their professionalism and ability to deliver cleaning services to an acceptable level.
History Of Company
The history of the cleaning contractor can give an indication as to whether this is the type of company that feel you could work with.
Knowing other companies that have selected the same contractor as yourself can provide confidence and reassurance of your choice.
You should ask for a couple of references from other clients that your contractor currently works for to give you confidence in your selection.
You will need to allocate an area of storage for cleaning materials and equipment. In addition, your cleaning operatives will need access to freshwater.
How Do They Vet Their Employees - Right Of Work
If your contractor is able to provide additional services that you may require, such as femme bins, laundry, pest control, window cleaning, periodic cleans, security, etc. this can be very advantageous as there may be a cost-saving due to a reduction in management and back-office costs.
POSSIBLE ACTION IF YOU REALLY LIKE THE CLEANING CONTRACTOR BUT THEIR QUOTE IS MORE THAN YOUR BUDGET
Not everything needs to necessarily be cleaned everyday or even every week if the room is not in frequent use. Together with your contractor you can consider which iteams need daily cleaning due to heavy footfall and what requires less frequent cleaning. This should be able to reduce the cost of their service.
For additional advice on any of the above, or for a no-obligation quotation, please contact Ryan Stillwell on 01702 713100.