If you’ve decided to employ a new commercial cleaning contractor for your premises, do you know where to start with choosing the best one for your business? Even if you’ve drawn up a shortlist of possible contractors, there are still many questions you need to ask, both yourself and the company concerned: is the company capable of delivering? Are the cleaning operatives trustworthy? Do they have the industry knowledge and accreditations necessary to comply with health and safety? Do they have both employers and public liability insurance?
By doing some thorough research and getting some fully comprehensive quotes from several different contractors, you’ll be in a prime position to make an informed decision about who to award your cleaning contract to. We’ve put together a guide about how to choose a commercial cleaning company, so that you can get it right first time.
We recommend that you get at least three detailed quotes. Each contractor you invite to quote for you should be aware of your preferred operating hours (whether that’s within office hours or outside of these times), and also the number of visits you’d like each week. You should also be clear about whether your quote should allow for equipment, products, and labour, as you may want to source your own janitorial supplies and cleaning products. You need to decide whether other services such as window cleaning, deep cleans, carpet cleaning and any other ad-hoc services should be included in the schedule, so that the quote can reflect this.
A good sign to look for is that the contractor wants the physical measurements of the site – either the plans, or they take the measurements whilst they are there.
With each company addressing the exact same requests, a large difference in prices should raise a flag and be cause for concern. You can then speak to each contractor about their quoted prices if they differ dramatically.
Research your prospective contractor
If you’d like a strong indication of a company’s level of service, then finding how long they have been in business is a place to start. Any company with poor service level history would go out of business relatively quickly, so longevity is a good focus point.
Check out some of their online reviews, and better still, ask. Don’t be afraid to ask around, as word of mouth recommendations are often the most effective; a bad contractor is unlikely to receive favourable reviews or glowing endorsements.
Value for Money
You need to be sure you’ll be receiving the best value for money and that prices quoted are fair, as well as tailored to suit your requirements and needs. You should be encouraged by a bidder that is transparent in their pricing, showing price per month/year and most importantly the hourly rate.
Attention to Detail
Showing you that your business is valuable to them is important for any contractor. With this in mind, picking a company which is likely to go that extra mile will almost certainly give you the value for money you’re after. And any company which demonstrates they show attention to detail will certainly give themselves the competitive edge! You can determine this by seeing how much the cleaning specification reflects your building as opposed to a cut and paste of a general specification.
This is a big consideration. Make sure you find out about each contractor’s customer service procedures; what is the reporting and feedback practice? Do they provide any guaranteed service levels in case you are dissatisfied? Will you be allocated a dedicated account manager, and if so, do you have a direct point of contact with this person? Do they carry out periodic site inspections, and if they do, how often? Is there a time-frame for any issues be dealt with? These are all questions to keep in mind when making your decision about which contractor to appoint.
Your cleaning team are on the front line so to speak but should be backed up by a support network of management staff to ensure your expectations are met.
Be mindful that any commercial cleaning contractor you choose to employ could be working in your premises alone. You need to be confident that they’ll be doing a good job, and that they’ll respect the fixtures, fittings, and property within your workplace. It is therefore critical that they have the correct (as well as up to date) employers and public liability insurance in place, to cover every eventuality. A current health and safety certificate is also advisable; CHAS (The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) and Safe Contractor are considered to be the best accreditations, but there are a range of others deemed to satisfy health and safety requirements.
There should be trust between your contractor and its employees; are they working legally within the UK? If required, have they had background checks such as DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)? A suitable company for you will have a good training structure for all staff they employ. They will be knowledgeable and skilled in the use of products and equipment as well as all health and safety procedures.
Is Green Cleaning a must?
If your business has a sustainability policy, you may prefer your cleaning contractor to be green. Requests for ethically sourced and environmentally friendly products have risen year on year, as businesses become more aware of their carbon footprint. Many contractors now specialise in green cleaning and will offer alternatives tailored to your environmental policy’s needs.
Have confidence in your choice
When it comes to making your final decision, it’s sometimes best to go with your gut feeling. You need to feel comfortable knowing that who you appoint is going to deliver what they promise. At point of quote, note how enthusiastic they are about winning the contract. Did they ask relevant questions? Are they eager to please? Do they understand the needs of your business, and are they willing to go that extra mile? Are any extra requests or ‘add-on’ services any bother to them? Will they have the best interests of your business at heart?
An approachable and professional candidate should reflect the company’s ethos and culture, providing you with a favourable idea of the service you’ll receive should you award them your contract.
Unfortunately, not all cleaning companies are as reliable and trustworthy as they first seem. In some cases, you could end up with a careless cleaner and an unprofessional clean. Where a CQC standard is also required, this could leave your premises at risk of immediate closure. Don’t trust just anyone with your office, commercial, industrial or surgery cleaning; Brightr are proud to be Northampton’s best reviewed, most trusted cleaning company. We also offer professional, high quality commercial cleaning in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas.