PFM Awards Finalists

2020 has been a bit of a strange year, well that’s a slight understatement.

The current pandemic has placed huge significance on cleaning and the role we will play in keeping the nation safe moving forwards.

Like most of us, days seem to be taken up jumping from one Zoom call to the next. Business as usual certainly no longer exists within the current climate.

Yet as a business we have had an exceptional year in terms of industry acknowledgements. However, its been hard to sit back and saviour them due to the huge challenges we, like so many businesses, have continued to face.

In March we were awarded a Kimberly-Clark Golden Service award. This was our first attempt at entering this prestigious industry event, so to win an award was extremely satisfying. At the time, the pandemic had not truly started in the UK and I remember thinking how strange it was to not be allowed to shake hands but to instead “bump” elbows. Now the thought of even bumping a strangers elbow would for so many, seem alien.

At the end of last week we found out that we have been successfully shortlisted to the final 3 within the Partners In Cleaning category, for the PFM awards.

Once again this is the first time that we have entered the PFM awards, so to be a confirmed finalist is a great feeling.

2020 has certainly been a year of firsts that will never be forgotten. At Prime Clean we will be sure to celebrate our victories when social distancing measures ease. For now it will have to be another zoom call….

For more info on the PFM awards please click here

Using A World Leading Chemical Against COVID-19

As the world comes to terms with COVID-19 many businesses are having to plan ahead for their eventual return to work. A crucial part of this return will involve keeping staff safe within the workplace. In order to achieve this most companies are looking into their cleaning arrangements and a one off deep clean prior to reoccupation.

At Prime Clean we have set our team up with a world leading and environmentally friendly cleaning agent, Zoono, which can be emitted from an electrostatic fogging machine thus giving maximum coverage throughout a workspace.

Zoono has been tested specifically against COVID-19 and was shown to be effective in killing the virus. The chemical can remain active for up to 30 days on a surface whilst also being lasting for 24 hours on skin. Furthermore, it can be applied to garments and remain effective for up to 100 washes. As a liquid Zoono is less toxic than vitamin C and coffee.

Please get in touch with us today and find out how we can keep your office a safe place to work from.

COVID-19 Deep Cleans

At Prime Clean we are responding urgently with regards to the growing concerns surround COVID-19. Modern day business, as we understand it, has changed dramatically all within the space of a few weeks.

Many offices are temporarily closing down and allowing staff to work from home, where possible. Over the past few years employee welfare has been high on the agenda for many businesses however, the temporary closure of offices will result in spaces remaining empty for lengthy periods of time and a potentially unhealthy office for people to return to. Over the period of closure harmful levels of bacteria may arise so its critical that an office is deep cleaned prior to staff returning.

We have a trained team of specialist cleaning operatives fully prepped with the correct PPE and virucidal cleaning products to ensure a safe environment for the office reopening. This will allow all businesses to return with confidence that staff are protected within the workspace. 

Please see the below options we can provide as part of a virucidal deep clean to help ensure a safe place of work for when people return.

Covid 19 – Bronze service

  • The teams will carry out a full sanitise clean to the entire floor/floors using the AX Ultra product.
  • The teams will be Supervised by a Manager/Area Supervisor.

Covid 19 – Silver service (fogging)

  • Fogging system (fine mist).  Electrostatic/virucidal application using specialist team
  • Fog the entire floor (all areas including the flooring) the system is designed to cling to surfaces, allowing Kill time to remove viruses, as a fine mist of a Virucidal product .
  • Swab the cross contact areas (up to 10 swab tests)

Covid 19 – Gold service (3 phase Physical clean treatment)

  • Specialist team will carry out a full wash down, to all surfaces accessible (including areas which are not normally accessed), Disinfect surfaces (leave chemical on surface for kill time of 5 Minutes to ensure 99.99% Bacteria removed, normal kill time 2 minutes)
  • apply a Virucidal treatment, (Extra attention given to touch zones) and complete the treatment by fogging the area, applying an additional Virucidal coating to ensure all Viruses are attacked and killed where possible.
  • Swabs in specific areas
  • A detailed report with images will be provided
  • Certificate provided.

We can mix and match the above service options to suit your requirements.

If you would like to know more then please do get in touch with Tim, tim.deekerharris@primeclean.com, for a quote and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can. 

Golden Service Winners 2020

Well at lot has changed across the world since the 4th March when we attended the Kimberly-Clark Golden Service Awards. I remember on the day the hosts announced that hand shaking for the prize winners was to be replaced with the bumping of elbows. Which, at the time seemed a strange concept but the thought now of even bumping elbows with strangers would send shivers down many peoples spines! I do recall that hand sanitiser has already become a sparse consumable item with orders taking weeks, now months to fully come through, so to be greeted with multiple hand sanitisers on each table was a real treat, there were certainly benefits in having Kimberly-Clark sponsor the event!

Now back to business, we had first entered the competition (for the first time) when the opening dates were first announced. In fact we were the first company to get in touch about the 2020 Golden Service in March 2019. Our aim was to create a through provoking and credible submission, and our dream was for that to win an award. The team worked very hard to pull everything together and we were absolutely thrilled to hear that we had been shortlisted for a judges visit for the end of 2019. To get to the final five within our chosen category was beyond our expectations given this was our first attempt within the Golden Service Awards.

The judges visit came around quickly and the team were excited to showcase the hard work which had gone into the contract since we had taken over 18 months earlier. Our brilliant Area Manager, Rogerio, guided our nominated BICSc judge around the estate and introduced her to our team of cleaners and two Supervisors. I remember calling Roger to ask him how he thought it had went and he replied in a positive manner. However, it’s a bit like finishing an exam and not really knowing how it truly went until you find out the results.

The big day arrived, we had five seats at a shared table in the Hilton on Park Lane. The setting was fantastic and certainly gives some glamour to the award ceremony. This award within the world of cleaning really is the equivalent to the Oscar’s.

As the ceremony proceeded the excitement around the table was growing and the brief showing of our logo on the big screens only raised the excitement further. We patiently waited as the various category winners were announced all along knowing it was a huge outside chance for us to actually win the award. The moment had come, the category was announced with the various competing companies awaiting the decision, apparently it had been a great category with many credible submissions, but wait was the Prime Clean? Surely not had we actually secured the victory? As I glanced around the table the smiling faces looking at each other confirmed it. Fantastic what an achievement and one that the team was so proud of.

After we had collected the award from the stage and sat back down the excitement had turned into complete joy. Rogerio was particularly proud of the achievement and asked if I would take a picture of him with the award so he could send to his wife. Its moments like these which make the early mornings and late nights all worthwhile.

Thank you again to BICSc and Kimberly-Clark for hosting such a fantastic event and we are so grateful for the top prize!

Here is to trying again next year, and hopefully being able to shake hands!

Prime Clean Featured in June Issue of FMJ Magazine

Our article on the London Living wage was featured in the June issue of the Facilities Management magazine!

Read the article below:

The Living Wage was founded by Citizens UK as far back as 2001 during a meeting that took place in East London, when the grassroots organisation, Citizens UK, brought together churches, mosques, schools and other local institutions to talk about the issues affecting their communities. Low wages compared to high living costs became the dominant theme and the slogan “A fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay” was created. The statutory minimum wage at the time was just £3.70 per hour resulting in many people having to work two or three jobs whilst still struggling to cope with the living costs and supporting their families, particularly in London where the costs for child care and living accommodation is that much higher than the rest of the UK.

The movement quickly gathered support across political parties and businesses alike. The campaign arranged rallies and various charity events to increase its awareness within the community in order to gain further support at a grassroot level. In 2003 the first official London Living Wage (LLW) was announced, £6.40ph (42% above the Minimum Wage).

During a large public assembly in 2004 the movement managed to gain the support of the then, Mayor of London, to further champion the LLW across the Capital. Such public support added greater awareness across both public and private business sectors. Major events, such as the London 2012 Olympics, agreed to support the Living Wage which in turn helped to gain further momentum.

Now, in 2019 The Living Wage has become widespread across many industries and the understanding of its benefits are far better appreciated. However, that’s not to say it has become the norm, yet its growth over the years would suggest it will become even greater established within the years to come.

Interestingly, within London, there are certain areas that seem to have adopted the LLW quicker than others. For example, within the City and Canary Wharf whereby many large financial institutions have their Head Offices, the majority of these businesses have adopted the LLW. This is potentially down to the size of their budgets but also because many of these businesses see it as “the right thing to do”. Furthermore, it may also form part of their Corporate Social Responsibility agenda that is declared to shareholders and stakeholders, alike.

The West End tends to be made up of SME businesses whereby their budgets maybe further constrained, would appear to be two or three years behind that of the City in terms of take-up of the LLW.

Herein lies one of the crucial aspects to the ongoing success and uptake of the LLW, education. Quite often I will attend meetings with potential new clients and explain that, we as a business, will always look to support the LLW assuming the client is happy with the commercial impact on costs that it will have. Within the City, more often than not, the client will already have supported this wage or will be in favour of moving towards it. Whereas, in areas such as the West End, many businesses may have little understanding of the LLW and the benefits that it can bring. At this stage it is down to the service provider to explain and educate the client on its potential benefits in order to justify its increase on their bottom-line costs. The key benefits include;

  • Greater staff retention
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Morally & Ethically correct

Such benefits can be critical when delivering a consistent service, as a major challenge can evolve if there is a regular turnover of staff.

Certain clients will always be constrained by budgets no matter how great the potential impact the LLW would be. However, even if at that particular time they may not be able to support the cost increase of moving to the LLW, it would then be on their radar for the future.

Dare I use the word Brexit, but when it comes to the employment of what many deem “unskilled labour” within the UK, its hard to avoid the topic, so here we go. Although the current impact of Brexit has not been fully felt within the cleaning industry, we have certainly noticed a reduction in available labour. One of the major draws to working in the UK is the increased wages that people can earn compared with their home country. With this in mind, my view is that the Living Wage will become even more crucial as we move forward when it comes to retaining staff, but also being seen as an employer of choice in a restricted labour pool.

Like with everything in life there will always be drawbacks and the LLW is no different. One of the theoretical positives, being able to attract a higher standard of Cleaning Operative, is reducing as the LLW starts to become more common place as many major organisations adopt the principle of paying the LLW. A few years ago, you could attract a more experienced cleaner through paying the Living Wage, however cleaners are now almost expecting the LLW through working in the City which leads into, in my opinion, the biggest challenge posed by the Living Wage, the % increase per year.

For many years now clients have supported the annual uplift. This has meant that cleaners almost become reliant on such an increase. The challenge is that the increase is often higher than inflation, for example in 2017 the LLW saw a 4.6% increase, which is fine in a buoyant market but with external pressures such as Brexit many organisations are having to re-look at operational budgets. As a result, clients may no longer be able to support the % increase each year and service partners may have to come up with other ways to support the uplift in order to remain a Living Wage employer. In this scenario many service providers would have to reduce labour so that the uplift could be applied. This in turn brings operational challenges and may result in service levels being potentially compromised.

Overall the LLW is a huge benefit within our industry and has ensured Cleaning Operatives are paid a fair rate factoring in the costs of the capital. To put into perspective, currently a full time cleaner would earn close to £22,000 per year which is not too far behind that received by many graduates after leaving University. We as a business will continue to support and promote its cause and hope to see an even greater client up take through the coming years.

Platinum Award For Zero To Waste

Over the last two years Rothschild & Co have been working with Prime Clean and BPR Group to improve waste management in the London office on St Swithins Lane. Together they have implemented programmes to reduce the environmental impact of the office.

Some specific examples include:

  • launching a colour coded recycling scheme for staff to separate recycling efficiently
  • expanding the availability of certain recycling streams, particularly food waste, and engaging with staff via team meetings, intranet stories and posters to raise awareness.

This commitment resulted in a Platinum Award at the Zero To Waste ceremony.

UPDATE: Time to Smell a Change

At the start of July we created a news article around a new dual fragrance machine that is most suitable in washrooms, to read that article please click here.

Since then we have introduced the fragrance unit into a large insurance institution within the City on a trial basis. The specific unit we have chosen is the Rubbermaid Microbust Duet Fragrance machine due to its sleek design and reliability.

So far a marked improvement has been noticed in the washrooms and they are smelling “fresher” throughout the length of the day. This is mainly due to the duel fragrances as it is more noticeable when you enter a washroom now rather than the single fragrance which after a period of time can become unnoticed.

The real acid test will come when we remove the new air fragrance units and revert back to the old single fragrance machines. The plan is to monitor any emails that make reference to the washrooms no longer smelling as fresh as they did when the dual system was in place. If this is clearly noticeable then the Duet can clearly demonstrate its worth and have a place within the washroom.

Holidays Are Coming, What Better Time to Schedule Your Periodic Cleans?

Just as daily cleaning services can ensure your premises remain clean and hygienic all week long, periodic cleans can promise your workplace a comprehensive and restorative standard of cleaning that lasts. Unlike daily cleaning tasks, periodic cleaning takes place on a less frequent basis, i.e. monthly, bi-monthly or perhaps even less frequently. The likes of window cleaning and carpet cleaning are prime examples of periodic cleaning.

HNY

Christmas time is a good opportunity to undergo such processes. Why? Well, with manystaff away over the festive holidays, and the office looking seemingly sparse in comparison to the usual buzz of people traffic, carpet and window cleans can be accomplished swiftly and without disruption.

Christmas Holidays… A Great Time to Schedule Periodic Cleans

Scheduling essential cleaning jobs over the holidays makes sense, particularly as the likes of carpet cleaning can be challenging with staff present, and therefore usually requires completion out-of-office hours – yet with the holidays in full swing, carpet cleaning can be initiated during daytime hours, and at your convenience.

Carpets

What’s more, you needn’t stress about the vast amounts of consumables likely to stain your carpet during this year’s office Christmas party if you know the carpet cleaning technicians are due in days later.

Not only can choosing the Christmas holidays for your periodic cleans be more straightforward, scheduling a comprehensive clean to occur before your staff return can also prevent that often ‘stale’ feel that occurs when the office has been empty for an extended period of time, giving your workforce something to feel less glum about as they return to work in the new year.

Other Benefits of Organising Periodic Cleaning

  • Scalable Services to Suit A Variety of Businesses

Not every company requires daily cleaning, for instance, smaller offices with fewer staff can benefit greatly from a less frequent, but professional periodic clean. The regularity of which can be organised dependant entirely on the company’s individual needs. This could be weekly, bi- weekly or even less frequently than that.

  • Creating that Great First Impression

Periodic cleans can guarantee a great first impression when welcoming new clients, partners or simply guests into your organisation.

  • Providing A Healthier Working Environment

Your employees spend a lot of time within their working environment, so it’s only right that you provide them with hygienically clean and tidy premises in return for their hard work.

Not only will a well-maintained working environment ensure unwanted bacteria and staff illness are kept to a minimum, a clean space will also help to improve the mental well-being of your workforce.

Periodic Cleaning Specialists at Prime Clean

At Prime Clean, we can provide a one-off job at your request, so if you happen to have any last minute cleans that require attention over the Christmas holidays, please get it touch and we’ll confirm our availability.

With Christmas fast approaching, there couldn’t be a better time for periodic cleaning tasks to be booked in. What’s more, our team is fully trained, has plenty of experience in cleaning and will work hard to ensure that your premises are kept neat and tidy.

We are experts in commercial cleaning and we take great pride in ensuring that our customers receive the very best level of service. For more information, contact our team today.

Electric Power Drive

Tesla has been grabbing the headlines when it comes to electric powered vehicles for a number of years. All the major car manufacturers are committing to electric powered electric vehiclevehicles but many are still years behind with their development. Even Dyson have joined in on the action!

At Prime Clean we place great importance on building a sustainable business that reduces our carbon footprint at any given opportunity. For this reason we are very mindful of who we partner with and ensuring our supply chain share the same believes and ethical values that we do.

Our largest partner is, Mayflower Washroom Solutions, who deliver all of our consumables and cleaning materials as well as the washroom services that we provide. As you can imagine they clock up a lot of miles whilst completing their deliveries and could potentially have a large carbon footprint due to this. However, Mayflower have always been an innovative business and their recent investment into a fleet of electric delivery vehicles is testament to this. Over the next few years the business will be investing in more electric vehicles and further reducing their impact on the environment.

A 4-step Guide to Changing Cleaning Contractor

For larger firms, i.e. those who employ more than 15 staff members, commercial cleaning is a mandatory investment for both your workforce and your clients, not to mention your reputation. That said, the commercial cleaning sector is an extremely competitive market with many hundreds of providers out there to choose from. So, whether you’re searching for office cleaning, window cleaning, floor cleaning, communal cleaning, or a combination of services, finding a provider that will take the time to meet the individual needs of your company isn’t always easy.

Often an initial faux pas can result in the need to change cleaning provider further down the line, yet to do this, there are a lot of questions you’ll need to address, perhaps questions you may not have the answers to. That’s why we’ve put together a step-by-step guide outlining the main stages in the process, so you can get the answers you need and know what to look for when locating a new and professional cleaning supplier that works to support your business.

Step 1: Where do I begin my search?

Seeking a professional cleaning contractor is often an unnerving task. BICScA good place to start your search is via the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) website. The reason for this being that members of the BICSc must prove they are able to provide a clean and safe environment and promote best practice in the industry to become recognised by this professional body.

Undertaking such essential research can assist greatly in locating the ideal commercial cleaning contractor for your business. This way you can research any accreditations or awards they possess. You’ll find that reputable contractors possess not only BICSc but also ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 to name but a few.

Step 2: Audits and site surveys

Upon selection of your chosen cleaning contractor, step 2 is to invite them to visit your premises to undertake a site audit and survey. What does this entail? To fully understand the cleaning requirements of your building a complete site survey and AUDITcleaning audit must be performed. A professional company will use this opportunity to identify any cleaning service improvements that can be made.

You’ll find that some contractors will provide a quote without visiting your site, basing their price on the specification that the existing provider uses. We advise that you don’t choose a supplier who does this.

Knowing that your chosen cleaning provider conducts regular audits is encouraging and worth questioning prior to signing any contract. A cleaning contractor that conducts frequent audits are clearly keen on ensuring you gain a fair service for the price you pay.

Step 3: Contractor changeover

When it comes to your contract changeover, one of the initial steps in the handover process will be the delivery of TUPE data from your present commercial cleaning supplier to your newly selected one.

TUPEThe onus for this is on the existing cleaning contractor to supply it to the newly chosen contractor. They should use the weeks before the handover to guarantee the handover is plain sailing and that all parties are happy. You yourself needn’t get involved in this process.

For your contractors however, the TUPE process must be completed at least 28 days before the transfer is completed. Ultimately, the handover should be faultless, so your cleaning services don’t deteriorate as a result.

Step 4: Adding value with training

Appropriate training, and evaluation is vital to attaining the cleaning standards that you anticipate. To add value and ensure your cleaning contractor provides the best level of service, it’s vital that you evaluate the training programme that your new supplier provides.

Through proper evaluation and a well-produced training programme your supplier should be able to improve the ability of the cleaning operatives, increasing their confidence in their role and, their performance.

Making the Decision to Change Cleaning Provider

Just as there are a vast variety of reasons why you may decide to change cleaning contractor – perhaps you’re not receiving the right level of service, you wish to lower your costs, or you need a more flexible provider – there are equally many factors to consider when changing your commercial cleaning provider. It’s essential you understand the reasons why you wish to change. Whatever your reasons are, we hope our step-by-step guide has proven useful.

You’ll find vast improvements will occur once you have carefully selected a professional and accredited contractor, particularly where management, flexibility and training programmes are concerned. Should you need further information, our team at Prime Clean are always happy to help, why not get in touch to find out more.