Questions you should ask commercial cleaners

Questions you should ask commercial cleaners

Questions you should ask commercial cleaners 2000 1333 88Admin

So you’ve made the decision that you need to find a local commercial cleaner or an office cleaning service for your business.

Maybe you’ve tried to manage daily office cleaning inhouse, or maybe you’ve just installed new carpets and want to put a regular carpet cleaning service in place to keep it in the best possible condition.  Where do you start?

In this post we’ve tried to summarise the things we think are worth looking for when procuring cleaning services.

  • One of the key benefits of contract cleaning is that it will improve the safety of your environment by reducing hazards caused by dirt, debris and transmissible infections.  Kitchen deep cleaning and canopy and extraction grease removal reduce the risk of kitchen fires.  Daily office cleaning with virucidal chemicals in common areas and touchpoints has proven extremely effective in combatting the spread of illness across colleagues and so affecting absenteeism.

    Therefore, it follows that any company you employ should have a firm commitment to Health & Safety.  This can be demonstrated in some of the following ways:

    • PAT Testing – all company equipment should be fully PAT compliant and stickered, and certificates should be available upon request.
    • COSHH – all chemicals used should be accompanied by a Safety Data Sheet (from the manufacturer) and a COSHH sheet completed by the company, and these should be supplied ahead of any clean upon request.
    • Risk Assessments and Method Statements – these documents should be sent to you ahead of any cleaning, detailing the ways in which cleaning will be carried out, which potential risks are present and how these will be mitigated.
    • Health & Safety accreditation – Companies with a Health & Safety accreditation, such as ISO45001 (Occupational Health & Safety ) or Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) such as Safecontractor/CHAS membership, have demonstrated that they have undertaken an audit of their processes, which equates to a stronger commitment to these principles.
    • PPE – it is your right as a procurer to have details of what PPE cleaning companies intend to use prior to any clean taking place.
  • How a company recruits, trains and manages their staff is a key to show their values and the quality of service you can expect to receive from them.

    • Safeguarding – if your business involves children or vulnerable adults as service users, it is essential that companies in your supply chain has a standalone safeguarding policy and are willing to accept yours. Cleaning firms can go further with this by applying for DBS clearance for their cleaning operatives.
    • Equality & Diversity – cleaning companies should be able to provide you with their equality & diversity policy ahead of any clean to demonstrate that they take a fair and unprejudiced stance regarding staff.
    • Subcontractors – many cleaning companies use subcontractors on their behalf, and this should be made clear from the outset, with documentation to be made available to ensure that any subcontractors are up to task and compliant with the ethos of the company
    • Supervision – how will the cleaning contract be managed and who will be the main contact point for you during the process? Reputable cleaning companies will give you key contact information for staff in advance, and clearly breakdown the best ways to remain in touch with the right person, saving you time.
    • Training – training is arguably one of the most important features of a commercial cleaning company and companies should be able to clearly show that their staff have had the relevant training for the job they have been hired for.
    • Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking  – we all have a responsibility to work towards the eradication of these human rights violations. Whilst companies with a turnover of less than £36million are not legally obligated to provide a policy statement, having one shows that they are committed to identifying risks within their workplace and supply chain.
  • It has become ever more clear that businesses of all sizes must remain aware and proactive in terms of protecting the world in which we live.  Excessive use of dangerous chemicals or carbon-heavy transportation can generate a cost to the environment that far outweighs any individual savings.

    • Waste policy – any responsible company carrying out waste removal on your behalf will dispose of the waste appropriately and supply you with a Waste Transfer Notice for your peace of mind
    • Environmental Policy – since the UK Climate emergency declaration in 2019, British companies now have to show how they are acting to reduce carbon footprint and their impact on the environment. Cleaning companies should be able to supply you with their Environmental Policy and show which steps they have taken to consider the impact of their operations.
    • Accreditations – One of the best ways for a company to demonstrate they are committed to Environmental Management is to supply up-to-date certification of independent accreditations such as ISO14001
  • You wouldn’t go to your accountant for a haircut, or ask your plumber to sing at your wedding.  Likewise, the key to getting the very best service is to hire a professional who has a wealth of experience and references to show that.

    If a cleaning company cannot provide references of previous similar work, it might be worth looking around for someone who can do this.

    A caveat to this is where a company is new, but in any case, if no references are available offering character verification and evidence of transferable skills, this could raise alarm bells in a business setting.

  • It goes without saying that cost is a key consideration of procurement professionals.  This is especially relevant in the aftermath of a global pandemic where many businesses took a financial hit as operations were limited or even halted altogether.  This doesn’t mean that the lowest price will always be the best option for your business, and there are other aspects that must be taken into account (pardon the pun!)

    • Suspiciously low prices – as the saying goes, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”. If you receive a quote from a professional cleaning company which is dramatically lower than local competitors, this can point to issues later on, such as hidden additional costs, dramatic price increases after an initial period or financial setbacks during the life of the contract (where the company may not be able to supply the promised service at the cost).
    • Quality is a price worth paying – contract cleaning companies should be able to demonstrate that they are paying staff at a liveable wage, investing in high quality PPE, equipment and chemicals, and have appropriate management and staff cover built into the contract. These costs should be clearly detailed in your quote, with a breakdown of what the price includes, with no hidden costs.

Is there anything else?

Looking for the perfect cleaning company for your business can be overwhelming, but hopefully these questions can offer a good insight into the kind of thing to look for on your journey through professional cleaning services.  This list is by no means exhaustive, and there may well be other key considerations for your business in order to fit in with your ethos and priorities.

Let us know what else you look for in your professional cleaning, and if you need any assistance, you can contact us at website@tcmscleaning.com or on 0121 333 5824.

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