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Sourcing a new cleaning company can be a difficult process. The worry of starting with an untested provider, the potential for disruption in your business, how new processes and methods will work in your commercial environment.

At Alliance Cleaning we’ve seen most of these many times before. But importantly, we’ve helped our clients deal with their worries and problems. We’ve now drawn on that experience to create our eight best tips for Facilities Managers who are sourcing a new cleaning company.

1. Know your cleaning contract manager – who are you dealing with?

All too often you will deal with a slick salesman who abandons you the minute you sign a contract. Don’t choose a service without meeting the individual who will be directly responsible for overseeing and managing your day-to-day cleaning.

It’s an integral part of the relationship: that’s why you will meet the Alliance Cleaning manager you’ll work with right from the start of our discussions.

2. Get good, reliable cleaning references

References or testimonials are vital, and ideally should come from a named person. Ask for references from companies in your local area and / or the same sector as you. A cleaning company that only cleans offices may be able to clean laboratories too, but it’s best to find out what you can about their experience.

3. Ask about Quality Management

Not every clean will be supervised by a manager. But there should be systems and processes in place to make sure correct policies and procedures are being followed, the clean is done to the right standard and any issues are addressed immediately.

Your new cleaning contractor should have specific Quality Management systems and processes in place, including: Quality Audits, KPIs, complaint procedures and clear documentation. Ask to see details.

4. Understand how cleaning staff are supported

Ultimately the quality of the service comes down to the quality of the clean. That’s what we’re all here for after all. How well are the cleaners looked after and trained? Is there a high staff turnover? Do cleaning staff know how to use the products and – very importantly – are they clearly briefed and trained on your specific requirements?

Alliance Cleaning operate an ongoing training plan for all staff. We ensure any new cleaning products or technology are thoroughly tested and that anyone who uses them understands exactly how to. Staff are trained on-site too, to understand any specific issues around your company, including special requirements, security, confidentiality and so on. In addition, we run a customised induction training session for every cleaner involved in every new contract as well as six-month refresher courses to cover chemical use, equipment, health & safety and any other processes and requirements.

5. Check for accurate cleaning times

The cleaning company should work with you to create a clear Time & Motion plan, which outlines the time allocation for each cleaning task. Watch out for unrealistic claims, or errors. This is the perfect way to check whether the new cleaning company clearly understands the requirements of the project.

6. Ask about onboarding and a structured mobilisation process

Once you give the go-ahead, what happens next? A structured mobilisation process should cover everything to get started: handover from the previous cleaning company, updated security protocols, training and support, whether there will be any additional initial work before the regular schedule begins and more. Details of this should be part of your contract.

7. Be realistic about notice periods

Check your termination terms with your existing provider, and try to leave with a good relationship if you can. Ask them about any potential TUPE proceedings – this guide provides thorough and useful details. Apart from being good business, it will make the handover much easier. Aim to provide an adequate notice period for your new cleaning contractor to prepare their schedules, staff training and equipment.

8. Check for hidden costs

Many cleaning contractors provide a quote based on the daily cleaning services and then add-on extras once this has been signed-off. Your cleaning contract should clearly outline the full cost of your service including products and other supplies, as well as costs for any extra services you require.

Alliance Cleaning provide a transparent costing breakdown on every cleaning quotation so you can see exactly how we allocate costs and operate your cleaning contract.

To talk to Alliance Cleaning about any of this, and how we could help you, please contact us.