[‎30/‎07/‎2019 10:05] Lauren Stevens:

Award for Environmental Excellence 2019

environmental-award

We had a lovely surprise whilst recently attending an event at London Zoo hosted by one of our partners “BPR” who we use for confidential waste destruction. Much to our joy BPR presented us with an award for “Environmental Excellence” this was in recognition with the way Prime Clean deal with recycling and reducing C02 emissions.

As a business is a great honor to receive this award as we always striving to do our utmost as a business to ensure we are doing everything we can to save the planet. We feel Its imperative more businesses get on board with these kinds of initiatives. And we hope to see big changes in the future of companies lowering their carbon footprint and being more efficient in the way they recycle plastic.

It was refreshing and we are very grateful to BPR for making a generous donation to The Marine Conservation Society on our behalf. To everyone at Prime Clean this is one of the most important environmental charities out there,  there is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing the image of an endangered sea turtle being strangled by a plastic ring and all because people can’t seem to bother to recycle or put something in the bin. So that’s why its very important to do more about recycling plastic and why at Prime we are very passionate at making sure we can always do more to stop this happening after all this is our planet and we need to work together to make sure plastic does not end up in the ocean.

I just want to say on behalf of Prime Clean a massive thanks to all our customers who have helped us achieve this award and hears to a greener planet and a better future for our children after all they are the business owners of tomorrow.

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.

Waste Awarness Day

This week Prime Clean arranged an innovative and forward thinking waste awareness programme through one of our waste partners, BPR Group.

BPR set up an eye catching stand in the reception of a large multinational insurance company in the City. The client had been looking at ways to improve the recycling rate and we believed the best way to deliver clear message directly to employees would be to bring our waste provider in.

A message, explaining about the event, was sent out on the companies intranet so that employees had prior knowledge and to think up any questions they may have.

IMG_0550

As soon as the stand was set up a group of employees wandered up and started to engage with Sarah from BPR. Over the next few hours a constant stream of people arrived to find out what more can be done. A number of “games” were set up to help deliver various messages in a memorable way and a bottle of Prosecco was on offer for the winner of the quiz.

A close eye will be kept on the recycling rate over the next few weeks to see if the event has made any longing impression on the users of the building. Thank you again BPR for all the support in making such a successful event!

A New Shape For Feminine Hygiene

Following on from the theme of the previous articles we will today look at another innovative product that we saw during the Interclean exhibition.

On a fairly unassuming stand stood a cylindrical feminine hygiene unit, TerraCyclic. To view their website please click here. The product not only looked visually appealing compared to the more traditional rectangulaunits but it also makes a lot of sense for smaller washrooms. A previous issue with older cylindrical units was the capacity of the bins themselves, however TerraCyclic offer 3 sizes;

  • Large 26 litre capacity
  • Medium 13 litre capacity
  • Small 6.5 litre capacity

The units can be freestanding using a base or wall mounted and come with 3 varying operational methods for opening the bins

  • No touch – IR sensor
  • Foot pedal
  • Manual opening

Furthermore the unit is serviced by simply removing the lid which is attached to the sealed bag which can then be disposed of through the correct waste streams. This means that servicing is; quick, easy and also more hygienic as the units lid is replaced each time. The unit itself is made out of biodegradable plastic so is not harmful to the environment. The lid is also self deodorising to help eliminate any odours.

In our opinion these would be ideal for small washrooms where the traditional shaped unit can be slightly cumbersome and create even less space in a cramped toilet. The circular shape also means that there are no shape edges so users of a small washroom wont catch themselves on the units. All in all a better customer experience can be achieved through using these units in the correct environments.

Please click here to see a video on the innovative feminine hygiene unit

Orbital Movement, The New Way Forward?

Disc

As mentioned in our last news story (to read please click here) whilst at the Interclean exhibition we noticed a number of the major machinery manufacturers, such as Karcher and FiMap, are championing a new type of floor cleaning machine. Well in fact it is a different form of movement that a range of machines can use.

Up to now the majority of rotary/scrubber driers use the traditional disk or cylindrical movement.

Cylindrical

However, there is a new movement which manufacturers are claiming to be superior. A major reason for this superiority is due to the amount of agitation that can be achieved through this innovative movement.  We tried out one of the new FiMap Orbital machines (FM43) and it was far easier to control than the typical rotary machine which can have a tendency to “leap” into motion!

The movement itself works through slow rotary movements whilst also scrubbing side to side in an oscillating fashion. It can be used on a number of machines and  can use the traditional round/square floor pads.

Orbital

Furthermore, due to the movement, there is far less spray created from the machine itself. This results in time saved as the Operative does not have to go back over areas that may have been sprayed accidentally when using a traditional rotary machine.

After speaking with one of the guys from FiMap he explained that the movement itself had be around for a while but predominately used in the United States. It finally seems to be gathering some traction “over the pond” and lets hope it stays and makes a big impact within the industry!

We will certainly be trying out this new movement and below are some of the claimed benefits it brings;

  • Save cleaning time, consumption of water and detergent  up to 50%
  • Less energy consumption due to orbital movement
  • Easy to control—front / back movement
  • Very robust construction
  • Versatile – suitable for many floors: vinyl, carpet, cement, wooden & marble, etc