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

Prime Clean Expands in the West End

Over the past twelve months Prime Clean has expanded well within the West End, particularly around Mayfair.

This growth has been a result of both, meeting and exceeding, our clients demands. A key part of Prime Cleans promise is our hands on and visible Account Management and creation of bespoke schedules to fit the needs of our clients and their buildings.
Through this we can achieve the high standards that we set for ourselves. This is one of our clients views….

We are beyond thrilled with the service provided by Prime Clean and can honestly say we have never experienced customer service quite like it. The whole team go above and beyond to meet our needs and they have taken away the stress of having to manage cleaners as we have had to do so in the past as everything is taken care of.

If you are interested to hear more about our bespoke services please contact,
Tim Deeker-Harris, via:
tim.deekerharris@primeclean.com | 07525 837 514

Prime Clean at Interclean

Last week two of our team went over to the Interclean exhibition in Amsterdam for 2 days to check out the latest industry innovation.

Interclean

Interclean takes place every 2 years and is the largest cleaning exhibition in Europe. Over the 4 days there are more than 500,000 visitors! The exhibition covers 13 different halls and over 750,000 sq ft.

Prime Clean went in search of new and interesting innovations and certainly found a few which we will look to implement within our business.

Karcher Robot pic

Robotics was a hot topic amongst many of the big manufacturers, with numerous scrubber driers self navigating designated arenas. Crowds gathered around to see if the machine could avoid an embarrassing crash and we didn’t see any red faced manufacturers so all in all a good step forward for robotics. The problem we see is that these machines cost upwards of £25,000 and would really only be suitable for large retail/manufacturing areas rather than professional service environments such as offices. Not to say that you won’t see one of these innovative pieces if equipment self propelling around a large reception area. Yet we believe at the current price range it will be only a select few businesses who will wish to pay a cleaning company for one of these.

One of the most interesting pieces of technology that we witnessed during the show was the Orbital movement which can now be found on a number of mahcines from most of the major manufacturers. We will be creating a separate news story just on this later this week so please stay tuned.

Prime Clean Extends ISO and OHSAS

Prime Clean are proud to announce that we have been successful in our extension to all three management system that we currently hold.

All of the team at Prime are committed to delivering a sustain business model that has a positive impact on our; people, clients and the environment.

We continue to utilise electric powered vehicles for our London deliveries and have partnered with an innovative service providers who are at the forefront of their industries.

A great team effort by all to achieve our new certificates and we now move into our 5th year with ISO accreditation’s.

Please find the latest certificates below;

– ISO 9001
– 
ISO 14001
– 
OHSAS 18001

What are the Company Benefits of Being Living Wage Accredited?

Becoming a Real Living Wage Employer means a lot for a company and the employees that work there, and at Prime Clean, we’re no exception. We think a lot of our staff, and for that reason we’re keen to cover the real cost of living.

As well as being good for society, there are also significant business benefits to paying the Real Living Wage, that’s why there are over 4,700 Living Wage Employers, including more than 1/3 of the FTSE 100 and household names including Ikea, Aviva, Nationwide and Everton F.C. to name but a few.

What Does A Real Living Wage Employer Do?

The (Real) Living Wage is a rate that requires an employer to pay their staff a higher sum of money, which is 100% voluntary. They also require having a plan in place to extend this rate of pay to regular sub-contracted staff too.

In order to become an accredited Living Wage Employer, a business is also required to pay all directly employed staff a Living Wage. The current Living Wage rate is £9.00 per hour, and £10.55 in London.

It was implemented following the Living Wage campaign, where communities and activists across the country worked to campaign until the new rate was officially introduced in a bid to cover the real cost of living.

In fact, in April 2016, the government introduced a higher minimum wage rate for all staff over 25 years of age that was inspired by the Living Wage campaign – even calling it the ‘National Living Wage’. The difference being however that the government’s ‘National Living Wage’ is not calculated according to what employees and their families need to live.

Instead, it is based on a target to reach 60% of median earnings by 2020. Under current forecasts, this means a rise to less than £9 per hour by 2020.

So, What’s the London Living Wage?

The London Living Wage, as mentioned previously, is the Living Wage within London, and currently stands at a rate of £10.55 per hour. Like the Living Wage, it’s a voluntary sum that exceeds the National Living Wage, but to help meet the higher living costs of workers across London, including all boroughs of Greater London, its higher than the Living Wage of £9.00 per hour.

What Are the Business Benefits of Paying the Real Living Wage?

There are lots of ways that Living Wage businesses can benefit from becoming Living Wage accredited… How?

Well, not only can being accredited work to improve the reputation of a business, doing so can also increase motivation and retention rates for employees. Additionally, being accredited can help to differentiate a business from others within the same industry, and for the Prime Clean team, we’ve found becoming accredited has allowed us to achieve all three.

We see it as a long-term investment in our people based on our values and our belief that a team with good compensation and working conditions is in a stronger position to provide a great experience to our customers.

Prime Clean Pay the London Living Wage

At Prime Clean, we are recognised service providers proudly working together with the Living Wage foundation. This means we provide our personnel with the London Living Wage; the only UK rate based on living costs and what people need to live because we believe they are worth the extra £££’s.

If you are interested in partnering with us or would like to find out more about Prime Clean, our services and how we can help your company, then please contact us to find out more.

Power Washing Karcher Professional

Dirty pavement slabs can often look pretty unappealing outside of a building and as winter fast approaches the pavements will start to get wetter and possibly greener!

KarcherFor a number of years we have used the Professionals Karcher range for power washing. At one site we use the HD 5/11 C which is cold water power washer and has been a reliable machine that performs to a high standard. The machine requires little maintenance and as long as it is looked after a PAT tested, there is no reason why it will last more than 3 years of commercial use.

Prior to using this machine we had tested a number of other power washers from different manufacturers but these would often not perform as well compared to the Karcher range.

Some of the key features of the product and what makes it so verstaille are;

  • 490Ltr/hr flow rate
  • Quiet operation
  • Chemical metering valve
  • Pressure: 160 bar
  • Weight 20.5kg
  • Accessories: Easy-press trigger gun, 10m high pressure hose, 480mm spray lance and triple nozzle

The water flow rate plus the pressure allows for the user to cover larger areas within the same time compared to some of the other pressure washers on the market. The cleaning industry is based on a charge per man hour so if we can increase productivity we can then look to deliver cost savings to our client.

We believe strongly in the Karcher Professional range and would highly recommend this piece of equipment to anyone looking invest in a reliable pressure washer.

Saving More Than Just a Drop

Water usage is becoming a growing issue within our country. The more worrying concern is that most major retailers and commercial businesses have little in place to save on their water usage. We have recently met with the owner of an innovative water energy based company, Everything Water.

We looked at a number of plug and play water saving devices that Everything Water are volumisercurrently offering. The product that stood out the most, partly because of its ease of installation and effectiveness was the Volumiser (pictured left). This simple device fits the majority of sinks and reduces the water flow to 1.5 – 1.7 LPM (litres per minute) compared to the average of 6-10 LPM.

A small turbine is located within the device which reduces the water flow whilst still allowing plenty of water to wash your hands. This fantastic product could save large retailers potentially tens if not hundreds of thousands per year (based on the number of washroom sinks they have across their stores) whilst also providing large savings for commercial businesses who have relatively large premises.

Case studies have shown that tap water usage has been reduced by over 70% using these Volumisers which have resulted in reduced water bills and the meeting volumiser 2sustainability targets.

We are already exploring a number of sites in London

where we wish to discuss the introduction of the Volumiser with our clients. We hope to be able to bring cost savings whilst also promoting water sustainability within the workplace.

There seems to be no current reason why this product would not be a perfect fit for large sites that have no current water saving device fitted to the taps.