Blog, Cleaning, Facilities Management

Cleaning Contracts – Top Five Tips to Avoid Being Taken to the Cleaners

Cleaning contracts and getting the best from your cleaning company doesn't have to be complicated.

For building owners and occupiers, keeping a space clean, tidy and hygienic has never been more important.  Whilst routine cleaning has always been key, there has been a fundamental shift in the expectations of those who use a building or space.  Whether it is school cleaning or commercial cleaning – People now expect to see enhanced cleaning taking place and at a deeper (deep cleaning) and more frequent pace.

Bringing in professional cleaners is a great option to ensure that standards are maintained and buildings keep sparkling on an ongoing basis.  Here are our top five tips to make sure you get the most out of embarking on a contractual relationship with a cleaning company:

Tip 1: Make sure you have the Cleaning coverage you need

There will be cleaning firms a-plenty when you google this as a search term but make sure you filter out those who just aren’t practical on a location basis.  A local firm could be the right option if you only have buildings in a single city, as could a national firm with presence in your area. For instance RFM Group provides cleaning and FM services across the North of England, including Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Humberside and Lancashire. However, if you have a more complex building footprint across multiple locations, make sure you’ve checked that you can get the cleaning support where you need it, when you need it.

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Tip 2: Ensure the cleaning staff are well treated

In times of economic uncertainty, it can be tempting to ask service providers to deliver efficiency savings wherever possible.   This may be possible when looking at the services undertaken or reviewing supply options but beware of any impact on worker’s rights, conditions and pay. Making sure cleaning staff feel respected can help remove any negative impact on service standards so look for things like fair rates of pay and the living wage, what HR policies the supplier has in place and how cleaners will be contracted.

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Tip 3: Consider how long you want to tie yourself in to a Cleaning Contract

Choosing the right contract length can be tricky.  Pick something too short-term and although you get the flexibility, this can be offset by a potential lack of commitment on the part of the supplier as a result of contractual uncertainty.  Lock in to too long and it can be hard to make changes if your requirements change or you’re unhappy with elements of the service.  Honesty is key in these conversations.

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Tip 4: Be clear about your Cleaning KPIs and targets

As with any role, providing clarity about expectations and standards will ensure there is no room for interpretation about what is expected.  It’s also helpful to have a conversation about how often things like performance targets will reviewed and how any discrepancies in delivery will be managed to avoid difficult conversations down the line.

Step by Step Guide to Switching Facilities Providers

We speak to businesses every day who feel they ‘don’t want the hassle’ of switching suppliers or are unsure about the terms of their current contract. That’s why we’ve created a Step by Step Guide to Switching Facilities Providers. See our three simple steps to switching your supplier and how easy it can be to make a significant positive impact on your business.

Tip 5: Talk about your appetite for innovation in the Cleaning Contract

Innovation is a great thing but sometimes, it’s ok to stick with what you know.  Over the duration of a contract, it’s likely there will be the evolution of new cleaning methods and technologies that improve productivity and lead to cost savings.  There will also new products available that offer additional functionality, such as auto-sanitizing an area or the ability to repel dirt or water.  This, combined with technology that can monitor the footfall or usage in an area means the business of cleaning has the potential to become quite complex.  Set your expectations in the early conversations about how you expect innovation to be approached to ensure you’re not wasting time or money in the future.

Invest time getting cleaning contracts correct

There are many factors involved in selecting the right cleaning partner, with commercial considerations up there as a key one.  However, investing time in thinking more broadly about the factors that can support the success of a contractual relationship can ensure it has the best chance of being a success for all involved.

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A full glossary of cleaning terms can be found in RFM Group’s Industry Terms in Cleaning Glossary.

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Putting Covid-safe measures at the heart of facilities management The impact of Covid-19 has reshaped the role of facilities management. It now looks beyond how buildings are managed and services delivered to a broader role in ensuring compliance with complex and detailed guidelines designed to ensure Covid-safe environments.

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